leaving my phone downstairs.


It wasn’t in any way purposeful, and the act itself certainly didn’t happen overnight.

At first, boundaries came naturally: I refused to check e-mail on my cell phone altogether, and I trucked the trusty ol’ alarm clock from move to move, gathering extension cords, if necessary, to help the digital reach its ultimate destination on my nightstand or plush against the carpet floor.  I’d be sure to turn shut my laptop by 9 every night, because I knew my restless mind needed time to calm down before settling into sleep; instead, making myself a cup of tea, I’d nestle down with a book before tiredness fully set in.  Closing my eyes would feel right and ready, and I’d sleep uninterrupted throughout the night.  And then, just as it had mere hours before, the sun would rise again, and I’d lazily lie there, cursing the morning before gulping down gallons of coffee, before fully rising to the dawn.

An hour or so later, I’d finally see and remember my phone, left on the kitchen table, settled comfortably in the corner of the couch.

And the days and nights would repeat and repeat, repeat and repeat.

But then marriage came, and with yet another move, the alarm clock lost and never replaced.  Soon it became just as easy to keep my phone just inches from my face, its alarm my new morning salutation.  Eventually pregnancy and motherhood, with accompanying counterpart, sleeplessness, arrived; and my brain so tired from want of sleep, I’d reach not for a book to read, but for my phone.  I’d scroll through Facebook and Pinterest, Twitter and Words With Friends while I lay awake unable to shut my eyes, newborn babe in for the long haul at my breast.

Day and night, my cell phone became an extension of myself, its presence certifiably missed if I couldn’t find it, if I accidentally left it behind at the office or – God forbid – in the other room.  I’d watch the teenagers I worked with, chastising their always-texting, always-connecting fingers, their eyes frantically glued like fluffy feathers to a first grader’s sticky art project.  That’s just their generation, I’d lamentably say to the volunteer leaders around me.

Curious as to what happened next?  Click here to read the rest of the story on the lovely Addie’s website.  Otherwise, from what you have read, is your phone too much an extension of yourself?  If this too is a problem for you, how do you create boundaries?  


6 thoughts on “leaving my phone downstairs.

  1. I enjoyed the rest of the post and left a comment at Addie’s place. Another thought came to mind: I’ve heard that device use can cause sensations similar to addiction, and cutting it off can mimic withdrawal symptoms. Did you experience that, Cara?

      1. Thanks for directing me over here Tim from my post! I read the rest of Cara’s post over on the other site where it continues. Ya know, I can have tech addict problems at home- let me check e-mail, or my blog, or whatever one more time! Ugh. The desktop computer calls me. So I can relate, and need to limit or better control my tech use at home. But for me, I have no problem leaving the house with no tech. If I’m out doing something, for hours or all day or even out-of-town for a couple days, it does not bother me to not be able to check in. That is where I am odd I guess. I don’t use a cell phone or lap top. – Thanks for your post Cara!

    1. Oh, no withdrawal symptoms …I think I just needed to get my head and heart and its priorities in order. 🙂

      Cara Meredith

      be, mama. be. carameredith.com

      1. Looking forward to reading yours, Laura! A couple of months have gone by since originally writing this post, and I realize how quickly the “need” for my constant companion went away. I think the mom part of me still feels the need to have the phone with me, like when we go out and such, but if I really think about it, I’ve survived longer without a phone than with, and surely can go an afternoon without it. Baby steps. 🙂

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