"Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to let you in."

-- Robert Frost

Friday, March 16, 2012

lost communication

I lost my cell phone this week.

Well, not really lost as much as little hands stashed it.  One moment charging on the night stand -- the next in the hands of a little girl as I distractedly got ready for the day thinking to myself, "You ought to stop her or you'll never find that."

And that's exactly what happened.

It was gone for four whole days.  Newel kept urging me to find it.  My brain kept telling me I should when time allowed it.  The kids half heartedly looked for a dollar reward.  And life merrily went on.

Until ... Newel's urging got more insistent and Christian looked up from his oblivious world with a reminder of a locator app on the phone.  He tracked it using my computer.  First an aerial picture of our house showed and then we heard a muted alarm.

We went on the hunt which took us to the craft cabinet ... and found the phone tucked neatly into the play dough box I'd asked Eliza four days back to clean up .... as I'd distractedly gotten ready whilst thinking to myself I'd never find it again.  Spot on, cuz I'd have never thought to look for it there as I'm not a regular play dough mom.

Christian, in his genius, remarked that all gadgets should have locators.  That way we might be able to find the apple tv remote she carried off as well :)

Husband relieved and phone back in hand, I headed up to town and as I drove, rather than feel gratified, I felt a renewed sense of loss.  Weird, cuz I'd found the phone.  Only ... I'd once again lost the freedom I'd had from it for the last four days. I'm not crazy addicted and make a conscious effort to stow it most of the time but I realized that like it or not, it's still in my head.

Other than the fleeting thought when I'd left the house in those days, that a child at school might need me for some illness or injury ... though all were healthy and well ... I'd not missed it one bit.

I'd not missed a text.  I'd not missed a call.  I'd not missed checking email messages more periodically than I would have otherwise with a computer.  I'd not missed cruising the newspaper or articles at the table during a downtime moment.

Sure, they were all there, piled up on the phone.

But I hadn't missed them.

Instead, I'd enjoyed a picnic out in the woods with Eliza with nothing but a breeze to listen to and pine cones to throw in competition.  I'd walked our dirt road and chatted all the way breathing in the freshness of air. I'd listened to stories from kids without the nagging in my brain of checking to see if I'd been texted or emailed something important.  I'd soaked in bike riding, play and conversation on the driveway, literally drinking in the warmth of the afternoon sun without it at my side.

And my brain had been free.

I thought about the iPads, iPods, iPhones, iTouches.  The world that, though entertaining, convenient and loaded with great stuff, so quickly becomes an  ....i, i, I, .... Me, Me, Me world. And whose plan was that, anyway?  The selfish nature of an adversary would delight to have me lose my attention to inward distraction even if it is only occasional ... and focus only on "I". It happens so easily and doesn't even have to take much more than a clouding of my brain with thoughts of "needing" to be connected, even when my gadgetry isn't actually in hand!

Will I get rid of my iPhone, just to be free once again? No. It really is a great and useful little electronic.  But I'll make it a little less "I" by leaving it stashed just a little more often, far away from my niggling attention.

Now that apple tv remote, I'm beginning to miss.


  1. we should all lose our phones every now and then.

  2. Yes, it would be nice to lose my phone once in a while too. Glad you enjoyed your time without it :)

  3. My happiest days are when I realize I haven't had my phone all day. They are the devil and yet they are so darn helpful!!