Saturday, July 19, 2014
Refocusing on Reading
After my mom's stroke, I carried a cell phone with me at all times. Her insulin dependent diabetes left her in an even more fragile state after the stroke, as she was unable to manage her insulin dosages and blood sugar monitorings. There were frantic midnight runs to the ER when her blood sugar dropped to dangerously low levels. I never knew when a call would come in and I'd have to drop everything and go. Even though she was being cared for by very capable people, her condition was fragile. I kept my phone close at hand.
My mom died several years ago. While I haven't needed to be so tethered to my cell phone since she died, I've kept my phone pretty close. It's been hard to let go of that feeling of urgency and worry that crisis is imminent.
Keeping my cell phone close has been a habit, starting from needing to be available for my mom, but morphing into...just a habit. I have a few games I play. I check the weather. I can check my email. There are texts. And I have a pedometer. I have a nifty, snarky to-do list app that I use a lot. And of course there's the camera...who knows when the perfect photo op will present itself? It could be any time! I do use my phone.
At my work we have a program every summer to encourage team members to take better care of themselves. We can register online and get points for things we do that are good for us and the planet. Things like eating our vegetables. Points! Exercising. Points! Drinking water. Points! Taking an alternative form of transportation. Points!
They refine and change the program every year. This year they've added a few things. We can get points for spending time doing hobbies. We get points for meditating. We get points for doing activities with other team members. And, we get points for turning off our cell phones.
Hmmm. I hardly ever turn my cell phone completely off.
But I like me some points, so on one of the first days of the Greek Trek Challenge, I turned it off. I wasn't having any text conversations with anyone. It wasn't my turn to play a game. I had other things I needed to do around the house and there wasn't any real reason to keep it on...so I turned it off.
I didn't think it would feel very different than having it on. There are times, lots of times, actually, when even if my phone is on, it's in another room, or even on another floor (we live in a three level row house), and I almost never have the ringer on. It didn't seem that it would make much difference to turn it all the way off.
But having the phone completely off did feel different. It's as though I wasn't having tiny feelers out, listening to hear if a text came in. Or if it was my turn to play a game. Or if I needed to check the temperature. Or check my email.
Having the phone off felt quieter. I felt calmer. Did I mention I was also getting points?
Something else I noticed when the phone has been turned off? I wanted to read more. And I already like reading a LOT. I have been realizing that the phone has sometimes been this little pull away from things I really want to be doing.
Thank you, Green Trek Challenge, for helping me refocus on what's important to me - like reading.
And thanks for the points!
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