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I have been married for 34 for years to my amazing husband and best friend, Randy Alward and am the mother of three grown sons and two daughter-in-laws.

Turn off the Noise

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Turn off the noise.

Life is too short

 

 I think the IPhone (or whatever you use) is the most amazing invention since dry shampoo or 30-minute pizza delivery.  But there’s the other part of me, the stop-and-smell-the-roses girl, who thinks it’s a huge distraction.

Do you find yourself checking your phone WAY too much like me?  

 

It looks innocent, but man, it’s a thief of your time.  And time is our most precious commodity. Your time with family, with friends, with your spouse and even with yourself.  I glanced around at Panera Bread today and probably half of the people had their noses buried in their phones. Including Randy and myself. I put it down sheepishly and smiled at Randy.

 

I bet that there will be a 12-step program soon or something very close.  People will line up for help with their addiction to their cell phones.  “I’m Cathy and I can’t put my phone down at night”.

 

When I was a little girl we had a few phones in our home.  (No not cell phones, young ones.)  These phones had squiggly wires about 12 feet long and hung on the wall in the kitchen and sat by my parent’s bed on a night stand.

 

I was taught how to answer the phone politely.  “Vegh residence, may I ask who’s calling?”  

 

If a friend wanted to reach me, they had to call our house.  Even worse, if a boy who was interested in me tried to call (which honestly, didn’t happen too often) he often had to talk to my parents first.  Awkward.

 

But that was all your phone was used for. Talking.

 

Nowadays, you text with your phone, email, order anything under the sun and have it delivered usually in 2 days from Amazon Prime, (I love Amazon Prime), play games on it, connect with thousands of other people in a split second on social media.  Thousands and thousands of apps are available to occupy your time. 

 

What would you do without your phone?  

 

Probably notice that your teenager was having a bad day. Or that your husband was feeling stress and really just needed to laugh or hear a thank you for his hard work. Maybe you would stop feeling bad about yourself so often when someone on FB or Instagram got a new car or lost 20 pounds.  Or just got the promotion or dream job that you always wanted.  Or just looked darn good.

 

I heard someone say the other day that you were never meant to be reached 24/7.  You were never meant to walk around worrying about what hundreds or thousands of other people (usually strangers) thought about you.   Don’t get me started on the bullies on social media. I’ve seen some awful comments posted to nice people.  You were never meant to worry about how many likes or comments you got from a post.

 

And I know for certain you were never meant to spend hours standing in line at the Apple Store waiting for a soft-spoken bearded boy to teach you how to find your Gmail account, that mysteriously disappeared off your phone.  

 

Which I did yesterday.  

 

As I was standing there, an older woman (samesies) kept tapping my bearded guy on the shoulder and interrupting us.  She apologized to me and I smiled and said “Oh no problem at all, I totally understand”.  When we were left alone for a few minutes, she stared at me with frustration. 

 

She looked weary.  I think she knew deep down that she wasn’t meant to be spending the last precious years of her life feeling overwhelmed about a 6 inch by 3 inch box.

 

I have a feeling a lot of older cell phone users feel like tossing their phones into the Columbia River at times, like I do. Or at least into the toilet.

 

So, I have a few tips.  

 

Turn off your phone completely after six p.m. or for dinner with your family or even if you’re by yourself every night. Period. (That’s why I love the Magnolia Restaurant in Waco. They have cell phone holders to place your phones in while you eat. Genius JoJo and Chip.)  Ask questions. Laugh.  Tease.  Encourage each other more.  

 

When you head to bed, leave your phone charging in the kitchen or somewhere other than by your bed.  Blue light is bad for your sleep.  (Google it.) So is reading a late-night email from a ticked off client or your boss when it’s too late to do anything about it.  In fact, tell your work that you cannot be reached after a certain time every night. And while you’re at it, turn off the news.  Maybe check in once a week.  All it does is make you mad.  Or sad.  Or both.

 

I saw a girl post on FB today that she would be off of social media for 21 days.  Sounds like a vacation to me.  I think I’m going to try it soon.  

 

I know a lot of us rely on our phones for very important reasons, including social media for our businesses (me now) and we need to keep our phones around for important occasions, etc.  I get it.  

 

I’m only suggesting that you remind yourself to put your phone down more.  More than you did yesterday.  That’s all. You’ll find yourself smiling at your gorgeous new countertops.  You might read more.  You may dream more.  You might learn to think more positively.  It will happen.  Trust me.

 

Turn the noise off with me.  Your precious life is more important than your phone.  

 

 

The Simple Life

The Simple Life