Today I had a moment – one of those moments where you think to yourself “wow this could change everything”.
This moment originated a couple of days ago with a call to apple support.My phone battery has been a real pain in my ass for the past month and I finally decided to stop being attached to my charger and spend the money to get the battery replaced. Cheaper than a new phone, right?
Anyways the very friendly apple tech lady told me she would reserve a battery for me then my local store would call me to set up an appointment to replace it. So today ended up being the big battery replacement day.
Brought the phone in, talked to the lovely apple folks, took my phone, and please come back in 2 hours.
What the hell was I going to do for two hours? Did I mention I had my 5 month old with me? So yea, I had my baby with me and halfheartedly attempted to kill 2 hours at the loose leaf tea store near by – yea I know, super realistic Laura. Who the hell can spend two hours in a tea store?! So 40$ worth of tea later – let me tell you the shock of my husband upon receiving the emailed receipt as he proclaimed that he had no idea how a person could spend 40$ on two small bags of tea. I don’t know what the confusion was about, clearly a person could spend that much on tea. I digress – I drove back home with the baby.
I put the baby on her activity mat and had a bowl of cereal for lunch – had to keep things cheap, I mean I did just spend 40$ on tea and all. While I was crunching away I was watching my little girl who was staring at me and offering up gummy smiles. She would look at her dangling toys, then back at me, then smile, then repeat. It was adorable.
It made me think.
Normally when I sit at the table my phone is next to me. To my credit I am not always on it, but there is some amount of distraction to be had with it sitting right there. I check emails, I get texts, and yea I do the compulsive social media checking thing sometimes too. Regardless, here I was phone free and enjoying the company of this sweet little person.
There were no distractions. There was nothing I had to get to, there was no one who was going to interrupt. It was just me and her.
How many of these moments have I been missing out on? How many gummy smiles have looked my way only to see my face illuminated and my fingers scrolling?
Sitting here now I can tell you with 100% certainty that there is not a single thing on my phone that is more important to me than my children and my family. So why the hell does it get all my time? I can also say that for the most part I don’t really care about what I am looking at while I am doing it (unless I am of course reading a thought-provoking blog). It has become mindless – almost compulsive in nature. It is where I turn to fill silence and space.
I am not okay with that.
I want to do it differently. I know realistically it can’t be like this afternoon, because there will be interruptions and sometimes they are necessary but I really want to work on being more present. Being more mindful in these small moments. I mean this is what I tell my clients to do – gotta practice what you preach!
Alas the two hours passed quickly by and baby girl went down for her nap. She was left sleeping in the thoughtful care of her daddy while I took our tiny dog and went back to the apple store. Tiny dog and I got the phone, with lots of customers and employees oohing and ahhing over tiny dog’s cuteness (much to his pleasure) and I triumphantly tossed it in my purse. Not a single email check. I didn’t even unlock the screen. I left the store feeling empowered. I knew I was going to try to be different. I told myself I wouldn’t even take my phone out of my purse tonight – not until bedtime when I would need to charge it.
I did a lap around the outside mall with tiny dog, enjoying the sunshine and the smiles on people’s faces as they looked at all tiny dog’s black, cute, fluffiness. We made our way back to the car.
I got the dog in the car and I am embarrassed to say that I had my phone out and was checking through and deleting emails, catching up on texts, and scrolling through social media as soon as I sat down. I don’t know how long I sat there with the car off – probably a couple of minutes. I was lost until I heard the dog snort, which scared me because I apparently forgot he was there.
Ok. So I made it all of 15 minutes before I fell back into my old phone hungry ways. I’m trying here people! But what this did tell me, aside from that my phone use is mindless and potentially compulsive in nature, is that this is an area that I am actually going to have to work at and be mindful of.
I have to be mindful of being mindful.
I don’t know though, the feeling that I am potentially missing out on my own life is a pretty big motivator.
Here’s to connecting through disconnecting, gummy smiles, loose leaf tea, and being present to enjoy it all!