Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The glories of unintentional unplugging

I've been on an unintentional phone-cation the last few days, and I have to say, a girl could get used to life without 4G.

Saturday, I drove down to Virginia with the girls to visit my BFF Rebecca* and left my phone in her purse ... because why should everyone have to carry a purse when walking down the street to get some afternoon FroYo? (Especially when they're more than likely also going to have to carry a 23-pound toddler and/or a 29-pound preschooler.) 

And even though I told myself as I was packing up the three (THREE!!) bags I required for one measly daytrip, "Self, don't forget to get your phone out of Becky's purse." Self was all like, "Yeah, sure I'll remember to tell you ... NOT!" You know, like what you used to do in elementary school to amuse and annoy your friends, like, "Sure, I'll do my spelling homework and practice playing 'Hot Cross Buns' on my recorder ... NOT!"**

It's really rather irritating when Self gets cheeky. 

Here's one of the last picture I took on my phone before it went on a holiday.
It's a fly eating a spider. I think.
Although on second look it could be a spider eating a fly.
Either way. It's pretty scary.

Anyway, short story long, I left my phone at Becky's house. She offered to drive it up on Sunday and I told her not to worry about it because that's a lot of driving and she has a broken foot and that just seemed cruel and also, I didn't really need the phone anyway. Brad has two, so I could just borrow one of his in case of emergencies. 

But I think this was all part of Self's master plan to get me to stop spazzing out so much. 

See, the past couple weeks have been a bit ... frenzied. I had a gazillion articles/blog posts/interviews to complete in a short amount of time and as such spent all of the time I was not working on the gazillion articles, blog posts and interviews worrying about how the hell I was going to complete them. I'd take the girls to the park to scale tall playground equipment and play in the mulch, and I'd be worried. Or, I'd  read them "The Berenstain Bears and the Bad Dream" for the 30th time in a day and I'd be worried. Or, I'd drive down to Virginia to see my BFF Becky and be walking down the street to get some FroYo and I'd be worried. 

You get the point. Anxiety about what needed to be getting done was high. Enjoyment about what was happening in that instant was low.

What does this have to do with the phone? Well the phone with its e-mail and Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and Text Messages and Camera and Peekaboo Barn is also a bit of a distraction from enjoyment of what is happening now. In fact, it's a huge distraction from it. 

I get updates on assignment deadlines and interview responses that need to be formatted via e-mail. Texts about various family drama. And Facebook updates about how wonderful and awesome and totally fulfilling and perfect everybody else's life is (thanks successful high school classmate who just moved to Key West with her three beautiful children, thus living out the daydreams I've played out in my head when I'm not worrying about the gazillion articles, blog posts and interviews.)

I spend so much time trying to get pictures of the girls in the midst of some adorable behavior or another that I'd miss the actual joy of the moment. 

I had this realization in yoga last week, too. I spent most of the class over-analyzing my poses and so most of the class was not actually very helpful by way of reducing stress and centering myself and letting go and all that. During half pigeon, while I was trying to perfect my hip stretches, it occurred to me that in all the repositioning I was missing It. Because the whole goal is to do the pose and then let your body sink into it deeper and deeper. That's what makes it effective. Not spending the whole time readjusting my leg or twisting my hips or fidgeting my arms. When you spend the whole time fighting gravity you're missing that wonderful (and sometimes painful) sensation that comes with giving in and letting go and being in the present moment.

You know. It.

As usual, I realize I'm not writing anything that hasn't been written before (over and over again). Unplugging and living for the moment are not revolutionary concepts. Maybe the reason they're such popular topics is that people have such a hard time with them -- maybe now more than ever when technology is constantly demanding our attention. 

My phone comes home tomorrow. But maybe I'll just forget it somewhere else. (Although not out of state, cuz that's not convenient for anyone). 

*Quote of the day: "I just want your skeletons, you can keep your corpses." Becky, who's studying forensic anthropology ala Bones on "Bones," said this whilst we were splashing about her condo's pool with the girls. Obviously, she was just referring to the research specimens she requires for her graduate thesis research (No icky tissue samples please!) But I think "You can keep your corpses" would be an awesome name for a death metal band.

**I imagine the "NOT!" jokes made in elementary school, while lame in of themselves, were not nearly as lame as the one I just came up with. Of course, given my uber-lame status in elementary school, I very well could've uttered a lame-upon-lame "NOT!" joke, such as the one mentioned above. If I was even un-lame enough to be uttering "NOT" jokes at all. Which probably wasn't the case. 

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