My day started out the way that most of them do. My 4 year old tap-tap-tapping on my shoulder with a goofy grin and a “good morning mama!” followed almost immediately by Baby Girl (ok, really not a baby anymore as she’s almost a year old but I may forever call her Baby Girl) squawking and squealing to let me know that she is done with being confined to her crib. Patience is not her strong suit…she must get that from her father.
I work from home so most days our morning “routine” is pretty flexible. We get up, everyone gets fed, dressed, teeth (sometimes even hair!) brushed, read a book or play a quick game then off to daycare. Today, however, I had an early morning appointment about an hour away from my home. What could have been complete chaos actually went pretty well and with a bit of rushing around and creative wording on my part we were ready to go.
Both kids in car…check
Out the door by 7:30am…check.
The daycare drop went as smoothly as possible and I was off! On time even! I had my tea, my tunes, my wallet, life was good and I was feeling pretty impressed with myself.
And then it hit me.
As I was on my way to the freeway, it dawned on me that somehow, SOMEHOW in my rushing around this morning I managed to leave my cell phone on the countertop. I could see it in my mind. I knew just where it was, and just when I had left it. I knew how it had happened, but knowing it did not change the fact that I was now having a mild panic attack. I’ll own it. I panicked at not having my phone. My nice, stress free morning was all of a sudden jam-packed full of stress. I felt absolutely sick knowing that I would be gone for 2/3 of the day before I’d get back home to get my phone. I debated turning around for about 5 seconds but knew if I did I would definitely not be on time. Gah.
For the record, I do remember life before a cell phone. I didn’t own one until I was in college and paying my own bills. And although I fought getting one for a long time (I’m thrifty), I have come to appreciate my “smart”phone. Its convenient. It has apps that save me money and time. Both things that I am all for! But if I’m being honest with myself, (man I hate doing that) it is also one of my biggest time wasters. I spend too much time checking social media, the weather, my calendar, trying to get that perfectly cute pic of my kids, texting, checking social media, playing some dumb game, emailing, checking social media…tell me I’m the only one and I’ll tell you you’re a liar. It’s too easy to get caught up in “the convenience” of having everything right at our fingertips.
Turning around wasn’t an option, I had no choice but to continue on. I drove without chatting with a friend via speakerphone. I didn’t have my Itunes library with me so I searched the radio for some jam worthy songs and sang them far too loudly. I took in the beautiful sunny morning. When I got to my appointment, I had an actual conversation with someone rather than scanning my facebook feed. I had some time to wait throughout my appointment and rather than filling every minute with something, I sat back, closed my eyes and just enjoyed the quiet.
My mind is always going and I’m always thinking about what is next on the list or the calendar. But right then I didn’t have either of those things in front of me and it gave my mind down time to focus. To collect itself. And I’ve got to say…it was AMAZING. Instead of panicked, I felt free. Free of worry. Free of my schedule. Free of the stress that also comes with that phone. Not forever, but just for a little while. It was just what I needed.
I’m not saying I plan to get rid of my phone. But I am pretty excited about “forgetting” it again for a half a day sometime soon. I’ve got to admit, I got a little thrill out of knowing that no one could reach me for an entire half of a day. Down time. ME time. You should try it.