Sunday, November 12, 2023

Life slows down

when you are sick, and all you want to do is burrow under the blankets with the dog, who is mystified that you won't take her for her twice-daily long walks, but otherwise, seems content to cuddle up with you. We do a lot of dozing. Whatever plans I made for the week fall off my plate. 

A baby story-time at the library I'd been looking forward to leading. A dear friend's bookstore event (Natalie D. Richards' tenth book, and her first middle grade, which I can never remember the name of so I call it "The Moose Book" because that is what we called it when she was writing it). (For the record it is actually called Fifteen Secrets To Survival, and it is so clever and fun and just perfect for the 8 to 12 year old in your life-- in case you want an early holiday gift idea.)    

Instead of doing those fun things, I was flopped out on the couch, sipping hot tea (a special recipe from my husband's co-worker in India that he swears by, a blend of turmeric, ginger, basil, honey and lemon. A word about this tea that I figured out after stupidly dumping the contents of those herbs into the cup of boiling water and then needing to sift out the mush: 

you can use a tea holder. I use an adorable plastic dinosaur tea holder that my daughter-in-law gave me, and there's just something about that perky little guy floating around in my tea that gives me such a happy lift.

Also, I was reading a book about how to break up with your phone, called, conveniently, How To Break Up with Your Phone by Catherine Price. It's very funny (and scary). The funny part is how much I can relate to this particular addiction. How absurd it is that you can go from "just gonna check my email" to reading an article about the rise of fascism in America to shopping a sale at Eddie Bauer and back again, and the next thing you know another hour of your one wild and precious life has ticked by never to be experienced again.

The scary thing is something I already knew, but apparently needs to be pounded into me repeatedly, which is how our phones are specifically designed to urge us to pick them up and to keep us scrolling on and on and on, like an endless dinging and pinging slot machine. (Side note: one of the most depressing things I ever witnessed was twenty-five-ish years ago at a casino, a roped off area with two slot machines that only took one hundred dollar tokens, and there was a man perched on a seat in front of one, slipping $100 dollar token after $100 dollar token into it, pulling down the lever, and losing, over and over again, his face completely blank, like he couldn't stop, wouldn't stop, until he ran out of tokens. 

On our phones, of course, we never run out of tokens. The feed just keeps feeding itself forever.) 

Maybe it is okay to do some mindless scrolling, when you are sick, for example. But I am resolving to you now that I am breaking up with my phone. Or at the very least, I am going to set some serious boundaries on our increasingly toxic relationship. While I am sick is as good a time as any. 

Now. When I have my snoozy dog and plenty of hot tea and good books to keep me company. 

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