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My cell phone is in technology hospice care. I can only give it comfort, taking the battery in and out, keeping it hooked up to its charger as long as possible and being gingerly attentive to the huge crack on its face so it can have some semblance of life. It’s old and certainly not a “smart phone”, but for a “dumb phone”, it’s been brave to hang with me this long. Another battery has been ordered, but I honestly feel that will only prolong the inevitable. This little phone has been with me in good times and in crappy times. It has enabled me to attempt to text and has assured me AAA or someone I know will be on the other end of the line, should I need help, milk or am aimlessly lost. It did not protest when nestled in my back pocket as I plopped down on a wooden beach chair. (Hence the crack) It never acted up when I dropped it on several occasions in parking lots and in my garage. It refused to shut down even when I accidentally flung it out of my purse in “the ladies’ room”. It should have screeched to a protestable halt by now.
I have made many arguments in my head as to why I NEED a new “smart” cell phone. Life would be easier and more portable. Having MS, as I do, a new phone would help me feel more secure. Having the internet at my finger tips while out and about would save me time and energy. Conserving energy with MS is a major issue. I could multi-task better and faster. I could actually learn to text without causing grief to someone awaiting my reply or becoming frustrated with myself. Better texting ability would allow me the opportunity to talk back and forth with my out of state daughter more because texting for her is unlimited. She doesn’t have a home phone and is always on the go. With a new phone I could also take pictures which actually do not turn out like blurred Picassos and share them with others or onto my computer.
I have also made many arguments in my noggin as to why I don’t really NEED a new one, right at this moment or, in hospice terms, the next 6 months. I do not like my needs dictated to me by geeks or the peer pressure of the “must haves”. I don’t own a Playstation nor a Wii. I drive an old Saturn (which has several cracks) which, in dog years, should have been cremated years ago. I live in a small house I bought 15 years ago and will only move when I need to be closer to my mom. I am not one to feel I have to “keep up with the Joneses” in any aspect of my life. I usually go to great lengths to steer clear of them because they annoy me, I go with my own flow most of the time and I’m gloriously stubborn. I like it that way. But, I find myself WANTING a new phone…
A while back, when the new Apple Iphones were the new “thing”, I was struck by a color cartoon in a newspaper. Well, not just struck, but it made me cry. Envision, if you will, a small, malnourished naked child sitting on a parched desert ground. In the child’s left hand is an ad for the new Apple Iphone. A skeleton looking right arm props a sad little head. The caption reads simple, yet heart wrenching… ”Can you eat it?” I cut it out, placed it in a magnetic acrylic photo frame. It has been on my refrigerator door ever since. I cut off the name of the cartoon and the artist, so I can’t tell you much else about it except it is a daily reminder of the glutenous excess of “stuff” many people have and the mere non-existence of even basic needs many will never have. Gulp. It keeps me grounded, grateful and on my knees. One cartoon.
So, this is my struggle. It may seem stupid to you, but it sure isn’t to me. I have to balance my perspective daily as much as I have to try to keep my balance, period. Life was given to us to enjoy as well as to be aware of how our joy can help others. Things are afforded us not for us to hog, flaunt and waste, but to share and be grateful. Yes, I will at some point, have to surrender my obstinance, allow my phone to die peacefully and get another phone which will meet my needs and perhaps some of my wants. I doubt seriously, I’ll ever get an Iphone. I wouldn’t be able to look at my refrigerator again.
Remember in all you have, be grateful. Be generous. Be mindful. And, as always, be kind.