It’s not the same without you

I’ve missed you so! I’m back from my blogging vacay, at least temporarily. I wanted to at least check in with you.

As you may or may not know, I attempted to unplug from all digital electronic devices. Was I successful? The truth is, I’m not even sure it’s possible really, especially if you have a phone that requires constant attention. I must have a phone, right, after all, because I have children, this goes without saying, so OKAY…I’ve dipped into the blogosphere a few times since my announced absence. So, so…big deal!

Wouldn’t you agree it’s impossible to break free of the smartphone? Unless I chuck my phone off a cliff, I’m not sure I can actually go a day without it. I mean, they’re in our bedrooms, capturing the color of our bedspreads or some such. In my reintroduction to the world of work, (I temped for a temp), I observed that people walk around the office with the smartphone in their palm, eyes cast downward, gait unsteady, traipsing around, doing something “job” related, undoubtedly. It’s only a matter of time before the smartphone is implanted inside our brains or our eyeballs. We’ll say, this IS easier, and no more neck cramping.

Considering the scope of the almighty smartphone, I feel strongly that although I have slipped momentarily, I was most successful in taking a break. Just look. Here’s proof.

I feel lighter: Digitally, I’ve shed baggage. I deleted 23,000 messages from my email accounts and I felt light and happy enough to do cartwheels. This is how happy it made me. And at .00042 calorie/mouse click, that’s 9.66 calories I burned while completing this fulfilling, albeit repetitive, task. Who knew? But realistically, it’s probably more than 23,000 clicks, so let’s just say I burned an even 20 calories. And this without even trying. A bonus!

The flip side is that in the absence of my overloaded email accounts, ads have devoured my computer. I’ve debugged, defracked, blocked, disabled. There is no end to this, and I must now call on the professionals.

I am a hero: Undoubtedly, I’ve extended the life of our pet hamster, Little Claws. See re-enactment below:

Lucky and Little Claws, fast friendsLittle Claws, contemplating life and the Universe Oh, it was dreadful! Little Claws was just one claw away from nearly jumping off the kitchen counter while the cat callously rooted him on. Little Claws, with his cheeks stuffed with food (not shown), must have considered it would be his last meal. Perhaps, he could get one last swallow in before plummeting to what most certainly would have been his death. If I had been blogging, I know he would be gone, GONE! I know this, because I was there to catch him. Don’t worry. Little Claws is safe, unharmed, and back in his wood chips.

My spirit is renewed: I had two dressers broken and my bed frame cracked. And then, unexpectedly, a good friend of mine who was moving (sob, I am sad), gifted me her bedroom set. Times like these, I feel someone is looking over me.

The flip side is that I needed to organize, and fast. I had to sift through piles and piles of miscellaneous crap, toss or reorganize into smaller piles, to be organized yet again. Check out the disposable Kodak.

Messy PileAnd there’s more…photos.

PhoootooosssThese photos require frames. Clearly, this is evidence of a mom gone berserk (who me?), who must feel that every moment is special and must be captured for all of eternity. There’s not enough wall/horizontal space for all of these, and most don’t want a photo from six years ago. This is complicated by school photos now being a bi-annual event, which I must purchase just because. You’d like the most recent, you say…let me locate that for you….

I touched the stars: I saved the best for last. I’m not talking about a rocket ship, but the next closet thing: a roller coaster. Actually, that would be several, like six of seven of them. I lost count.

I’m ON this thing. The Hammerhead. Pure lunacy. I’m NOT going on this again.

Hammerhead

Just look at those legs dangle.

Hammerhead lunacyThe Boomerang (below) went not only forwards, but backwards, too. I thought I might fall out of my seat in the slow, steady climb facing forward. I had never done that before.

BoomerangI rode all these coasters with my ten-year-old son. Waiting in line, he told me he wasn’t afraid, although I detected a hint of fear. I nudged him a little closer and held his sweaty palm tight in mine, trying to be brave for him, secretly trembling in my boots. What he didn’t know was that he gave me courage, each and every time. We bonded.

Now you…How’s your summer? What’s shakin’?

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71 thoughts on “It’s not the same without you

      1. Hi Amy! I’m good thanks, working on my new to be business. I am one of the few people without a Smartphone so when I log-off, I leave everything behind.

        It’s great to have you back though and you first photos at the top of this post reminded me of a really cute TV commercial over here from the 1980’s. The last second or so is missing but I hope you will like it as much as I always did http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4tB6p6yGac&feature=related

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      2. Stephen, I like the idea of leaving everything behind! That must be a good feeling. I don’t think I’ve felt that way in a long time. A new business? Good for you! That must be keeping you busy.

        I love that commercial! My cats aren’t quite that lovely with Little Claws, but maybe in time. Thanks for sharing that!

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    1. As much as I love my smartphone, it also feels like a curse. Yes, 23,000! I let that go far too long. I vowed to not let my inbox get over 100, and at that, I’ve already failed! Glad you got some rain to cool you off! I miss your posts, too, and will try to catch up with you.

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  1. 23,000 emails? Oy vey, my Type-A self would never allow such things…

    Glad to see you’re having some fun. Went on a few roller coasters with my kids this summer as well. Fun to hang out with our kids, isn’t it? Reminds us what’s important in life.

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    1. I know, 23,000 is ridiculous and most of them were unread, Carrie! That’s even more pathetic. The roller coasters are getting scarier and scarier, I think. I pat myself on the back for going on them. I’m glad you’re getting the chance to spend time with your kids! Definitely, it’s important.

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      1. I only say that because next week my son will be at the Junior Olympics for water polo. Should be exciting, and then I will hang out with my sis. Hopefully, I’ll be able to post before I leave.

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  2. I noticed you were missing but didn’t know you were on a digital vacation! Glad to see you! My smartphone broke a couple of weeks ago, and I temporarily transferred my SIM card into a real old dinosaur of a phone which I had to use for a few days, and in some ways it was quite freeing to not have access to emails or facebook or anything on there! But I soon jumped at the chance of a replacement smartphone when it came up!

    Your story reminds me of the last hamster we got. We had just brought him home from the pet store and the next day we were in the kitchen and heard a really weird kind of squealing noise from the other room, dashed through and found the hamster inside my cat’s mouth! The cat had somehow tipped the cage over and got him out. We rescued him from the clutches of my cat’s jaw, and even though he didn’t look injured, I was sure he would die from the shock or something, but no, he went on to live a long and happy life (long in hamster terms anyway!).

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    1. Hi Vanessa! How’s your summer. It’s good to see you. Well, I tried to take a break, you see. I feel like I did get a lot done, things I’ve put off, and I’ve been more present with my kids since I haven’t been blogging. But, I have missed it and have missed all my friends here. I’m not surprised you would jump at a replacement phone. I understand.

      The cats actually seem a little perplexed by the hamster. They have never tried to bite him, although one of my cats seems tempted. Hamsters are pretty simple, aren’t they? Little Claws always seems happy! He’s the easiest pet I’ve ever owned.

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    1. HI Cathy! Good to see you. Apparently, I’m on too many lists.. That’s years worth of emails I’ve neglected. I can’t do that again. I learned my lesson. Little Claws is a trooper and I’m quite attached to him, surprisingly. Thanks!

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  3. Hey Amy! I have thought of you lots since your blog fog post. I thought super hard about you when Mr. Me Clown wrote about scraping FB followers off, only one of two posts of his I’ve read. Because, you try so hard to acknowledged sledge each and every person that visits, I’m exhausted watching. That’s a lot of gratitude. So I hope when you do decide to return your funny well to the internet universe, you don’t worry about anyone but you. Your need to write and ride roller coasters with your kid. And mopping up ice pop dribbles off the kit hen floor. Wait. Maybe the 10 year old can do that. We’ll be fine just reading, no strings.That is what I was thinking as you know I wished I’d had half as many com enters as you.And would probably end up compelled to stay up way too late answering back. You know we’re in the same codependent boat headed over the waterfall.
    Love(
    Shalagh
    Fsent rom my fiddle phone

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    1. Hey, Shalagh! I missed being away, but I think it’s good to step back from time to time. I try not to get too caught up in the reciprocal exchange. I do what I can, and I respond because I want to. I do what feels manageable, knowing I can’t do it all. When I step back, I see all the other things that need my attention, too. There you have it!

      My child will start chores soon. You get into the habit of doing it all, but no more. I agree he can wipe up a spill or two. Hope you’re doing well. I’ll be over at your blog soon.

      Love,
      Amy

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  4. Yeah … Amy is back in town … well, at least for now.

    Good for you doing what you can to get away … and cheers for being a brave mom for joining your ten-year-old on the coasters.

    Summer here has been good … although more hot and humid than I like. But hey – I know your area had it on full roast for a while!

    … and I just noticed you have blue eyes.

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    1. Hi Frank! How are you? It’s been a little humid here, but probably nothing like what you have. We did have a week long heatwave that was quite draining! Lately, it hasn’t been too bad. Even 101-102 doesn’t feel so bad.

      Thanks, I have been able to get to a few nagging things since I took a step back from my blog. It’s been a healthy thing for me. Including, riding the roller coasters!

      And, you are correct!

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      1. My sumer has sucked in ways I don’t even want to think about.
        But there’s been some good music, and I have my girl, so overall I shouldn’t complain.

        Still. I couldn’t be happier that you’re out there having fun (I’m living vicariously through you now!)

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      2. Guapo, I’m sorry. Work wise? Life, in general? I hope you can keep smiling…just keep thinking about your girl, and music, of course, always helps us along. Would you like to clean out some drawers with me?! How about a closet? That stuff just never goes away, does it, which is why I always put it aside. Hope things look up!

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      3. Sadly, life in general. Much harder to just ignore.
        I’d love to help you with your closets.
        I could probably del with airing out my own.

        Fortunately, I’m taking a mental health day tomorrow, so I might be able to get out and enjoy myself…

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  5. Oh, I didn’t realize you were on a digital vacay – or maybe I did but I forgot. I’m glad it was just a vacay and not just bye bye Bumble. I have tried to break my electronic addictions – even bought a book called the Digital Diet (only diet I’ve tried). Like Jackie, I have a dumb phone – it’s pay by the month. I’m not sure how you guys see such tiny stuff on your phones! I did get another Nook (Nook HD tablet w/ google play!) which I’ve had some fun with, although a lot of times I hand it to the kids so they’ll let me nap. I forget where I was going with this. Um, welcome back!

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    1. Well, Alice, even if you didn’t know I was gone, I missed you! No, you’re stuck with me. No bye bye Bumble! The Digital Diet, huh? I’m skeptical, but I suppose anything is possible. I understand why you would feel that way about phones and seeing the little stuff. You find a way, I guess, although I think it’s hard on the eyes! It’s probably horrible for them and I’m doing damage. I’ll be visiting you soon!

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    1. Hi Dianne! Thanks. Yes, I do feel somewhat invigorated. At least I accomplished a couple of things. Sometimes I wonder how I have a blog at all, there are so many things competing with it. Good to see you! How’s the RUC?

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  6. Amy, we must be sharing the same wave length!
    It’s my first day back in the blogosphere, too! Like you, I found it impossible to unplug completely. I tried HARD to look the other way when new posts would come through my inbox, but I couldn’t resist the urge. I’m telling you this blogging thing is addicting.
    As for your time off, sounds like you were quite productive. I applaud you for going on the Boomerang with your son. Takes some serious guts!

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    1. That’s hilarious, Anka!! We must be on the same vibe. Well, we are sisters, right? Perhaps, in a parallel universe we truly are. That’s the only explanation I can come up with. Really HARD! And, I had so much to consume me when I wasn’t blogging, EVEN. It still made it tough. I found I really missed everybody. I feel I got a couple of things done. Now that I’m back today, I realize that it would have really difficult to blog with my kids. Speaking of, how are you feeling?!

      The Boomerang was scary. I went on it twice, Anka!

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      1. Hopefully, I’ll be a ‘cool’ mom and join my kids when they’re ready to ride roller coasters. For now, I’m just trying to find ways to beat the heat. You know how your body temperatures changes when you’re pregnant–I feel so darn HOT all the time!

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  7. You’re an awesome mom going on that scary ride… No way would I.
    Isn’t it kind of sad how everyone walks around tapping on thier phones? It is addicting — good for you unplugging a bit.
    Summer is blah blah in my house.
    Cheers and lovely new gravatar.
    Audra

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    1. Thank you, Audra. Good to see you, miss. I actually have always loved roller coasters, but I think they’ve gotten a lot scarier. We went on Superman, one that my son raved on and on about. He kept on telling me that it goes 200 mph!! Yikes! It only goes 63 mph, actually, But, STILL!! It was terrifying but fun!

      Sadly, I feel like I’ve become one of those people. At least, I’m aware of it! I hope I can snap out of it, someday. Why does it happen? I want to see a study. Well, I hope you’re enjoying your summer. We have our share of blahs too. We can always float around in the pool. Thank you so much!
      Amy

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  8. Amy, I’ve seen you on Facebook so I don’t feel like you’ve completely gone silent. With your beautiful new gravatar, hamster saving, and literal heart-stopping feats of madness (I’m really not into rides or roller coasters) you’ve been living it up! 23,000 emails is no small feat either.
    Glad you are enjoying things. Take it day by day.

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    1. Thanks, Tania. I know, I know, I think I kind of substituted the Facebook for the WP. Since for many there is a lot of interchanging info, etc…you know what I mean. If I really want to unplug, I need to hide my phone or take all my apps off, and then I’ll have to put them all back on. What a pain that will be! It won’t be as bad deleting 23,000 emails though, so I could possibly consider it. Haha.

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      1. I deleted a bunch of apps. A lot of what I had were freebies that I never actually used. They were taking up space and distracting. It was liberating to delete them! Much like you prob felt after all those emails. It’s hard to unplug completely but I think limiting access is good for us too.

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  9. I resisted my smartphone for so long, wanting to hang on to my flip phone fast. Now I’ve become one of those jerks who takes pictures of her food.

    Isn’t cleaning up an inbox nice? Sometimes that purge just makes you feel a little lighter.

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    1. Jen, I know! It’s ridiculous, isn’t it? I’m as bad as my husband now. I used to accuse him of spending so much time with his stupid smartphone. Now look at me?!

      I did feel mentally lighter after that purge, Jen. Amazingly so.

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  10. Glad you’re doing well, although I miss seeing you around. I was just thinking about you the other day, wondering how you’re doing. I understand the urge to unplug though. Hope the summer continues to be awesome for you.

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    1. Thanks, David! I’ve missed you too and it’s good to see you. It’s been good for me to take a step outside, even if only briefly. I can get quite addicted to blogging, so it’s good for me to do that. I don’t have quite the will power for a complete unplugging. Maybe if I went to a deserted island? I hope you’re having a great summer!

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  11. Nice to hear from you, Amy.
    You aren’t far off with eyeball telephone idea. This new google glass we are seeing everywhere is more like a whole freaking computer attached to our eye. It is cool but a little scary all the same.
    I’ve been unplugged myself for a few days due to an extreme faceplant on my part and the concussion that came with it. It has been weird being away and now I look at all the things in my inbox and I just want to turn the computer off and lay on the couch. 😉

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    1. Michelle, so good to see you! Oh, wow! I’m sorry about your faceplant. That must have been awful. How are you healing and feeling? You describe it perfectly…you just want to turn off the computer and lay on the couch! When I start to feel overwhelmed that way, I know I need to take a little break. I’m sure it won’t be long before the google glasses are all over the place. I don’t think I’m quite ready for that!

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      1. I don’t think I’m ready for the google glasses yet either. As far as the faceplant goes I’m really kind of gross to look at now. I can’t see well because of the swelling and my glasses got messed up. I’m on a mushy and liquid diet because my teeth got messed up. The good news is I have managed to spend a little bit of time on the computer today…with lots of breaks.

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    1. Hey, Ginger! Good to see you. How’s your summer going? The cats (I have three) so far have been kind to the hamster, though it still feels unpredictable! I’m not so sure I should trust it. It could be their little scheme.

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  12. I know you need the phones and stuff in case of emergency, but to actually be there for the kids… and the hamsters.  The 23,000 messages can wait.  Or be deleted.  So-called smartphones.

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