I make seriously stupid mistakes all the time. Like, really stupid. I’d like to blame it on lack of sleep. On top of that, I’m fairly confident that I’m also losing brain cells at a rapid pace. This contributes to some pretty interesting events at our house. Yet somehow, I manage, every single day, to keep everyone fed, somewhat clean, and alive.
That’s more than I can say for my cell phone.
Yesterday morning, I went out for a short walk with my son, and put my cell phone on the back of my husband’s car…it doesn’t take a genius to figure out what happened next. Long story short, we found it on the side of the road a few hours later. In great condition, but wet. It needed Apple CPR in the most desperate of ways. So, thanks to some tips from the internet, and some experienced phone-soaking friends, I stuck the phone in a bag of rice, and prepared myself to be phone-free for the next 24-48 hours.
It’s pretty amazing how much we rely on these darn little things. It’s pretty sad, actually. However, I decided I was going to make the best of it. It was just a phone. I would survive.
The funny thing is, as the hours passed by, I realized I actually liked being without my phone. It was kind of freeing to not have it “attached” to me all day. I knew I was on the verge of doing some major soul searching, so I decided to document my little 48 hour journey. Partially so I could share it with you, and partially so I could remind myself of these simple truths next time I found myself feeling dependent on this little electronic device.
So here you have it. This, my friends….is what I learned while my cell phone was bathing in a tub of rice.
I was more intentional with my kids. I stopped fights even before they were going to happen. I wiped tears quicker and laughed louder. I smiled more. I actually smiled more. Most of all, when they looked at me, I was looking at them, rather than at my phone. I don’t want my kids growing up having to ask me a question 10 times, because the first 9 times, I was too busy on my phone to hear them. I want to BE there. Really BE there. I get them once, and it’s fleeting. Lord, help me to be present with my babies. It’s HARD, but so worth it.
I wasn’t always looking for my phone. This one really hit me. I couldn’t believe how many times I caught myself looking around to find my phone. How many times I took my eyes off of my kids, even for a split second, to find something that didn’t actually need to be found. It was alarming.
I wasn’t on Facebook. This is an entire blog post in itself. I don’t spent a TON of time on Facebook, but I spend enough time…too much time, probably. It’s a dangerous place for me these days. Why, you ask? Because, to be honest…I’m tired. And because I lack confidence, at times, in who God has created me to be. Thanks to social media, I spend way too much time comparing myself to every single mom, every single marriage, every single anniversary date, every single paycheck…and I always come up short. It’s exhausting. Facebook shows off the best of everyones’ lives. It doesn’t show off the 10 years of conversations, growth, and commitment that led to that perfect anniversary date. It doesn’t show the countless hours of work and endless sacrifices that led to that huge paycheck. It doesn’t show the impatient mom who rushes her kids into the car, it only shows a picture of both of them perfectly placed in their car seats, smiling from ear to ear. It doesn’t show how the house looked just 10 minutes before that beautiful, 5 course dinner was served…somehow, the toys, food, and bras hanging from every spare inch of the dining room didn’t make the cut. Social media tends to paint “perfect” pictures. Makes moms look skinny and flawless. Makes relationships look easy. Makes the grass look just a teeny bit greener. The lies of comparison can steal our joy so fast and so hard. Well, today MY grass was greener…I had a little less technology and a lot more fun.
I looked forward to my husband getting home. Okay, I know what you’re thinking. Don’t I look forward to my husband coming home EVERY day? Um…YES. 100 times yes. But, he always texts when he’s on his way, or calls to let me know he’ll be home soon. I found myself looking out the window every few minutes to see if he was coming. I was like an excited high schooler waiting for her date to arrive. I kind of liked it. We don’t have room for a lot of *spark* these days, so I find it where I can get it. I have a good man on my hands, but between our day-to-day tasks of keeping a house maintained and keeping our kids alive, we don’t have a ton of time for excitement. So…the anticipation was nice. I’ll take it.
I didn’t know what time it was. I know this may sound small to some of you, but my phone is also my clock, for the most part. I’m still up A LOT at night, and every time I get up, I check my phone to see what time it is. Some nights, I get so frustrated to look at my phone, only to realize it’s only been 15 minutes since I got up the last time. I get irritated and angry, knowing I’m getting so little sleep. And it can be pretty overwhelming, when you’re sleep deprived, to look at your phone and find that you’re a mere hour or two from the sun being up and the day starting. Needless to say, it was amazing to just get up and tend to my baby throughout the night, without the frustration of realizing how much sleep I was actually missing out on.
And, last but not least. I felt free. Nothing but my kids in my hands all day. And it was glorious.
Don’t get me wrong. I love my phone. And I’m excited to have it back. But I’m also not dismissing these little life lessons I’ve learned in the past 48 hours. May I cling to the fact that there is nothing wrong with enjoying my phone, even with spending time on it here and there…but there are simple joys to be found, small moments that might be missed if I don’t set things aside. And pay attention…close attention.
Count the little joys today, my friends. And, even if just for a few minutes…leave the phone on the table.