Life with a flip phone

I lost my phone in November and went a month without, just because I didn’t have time or the inclination to get a new one. I happened to have an old flip phone around from a previous experiment so I reactivation it and now have been using a flip phone for two months. Very rarely (maybe once a month) I borrow R’s phone to help with directions to get somewhere new, but mostly I’ve been making it work.

Some reflections:

  • I am really good at remember directions now. I can get to all of our basic driving directions no sweat and can look up the intersection of a new place and actually remember where it is
  • I am much more able to be bored. I spend a lot of time sort of passively reading instead of passively on my phone, but also a fair amount of time doing nothing.
  • It is really hard to stay in contact with more than 5 or so people. I can’t face time, group text, etc. Mostly I see people in person, call people, and have the energy to text only a few times a day because it takes forever.
  • I miss the ability to listen to podcasts and audio and use my desktop a lot to listen to podcasts.
  • You are completely boxed out of some things in life (like restaurants with only QR codes). I’m thinking about getting a printer to print timed tickets and similar items.

We have a new baby on the way and so I’m thinking about getting a new phone mostly to take video/audio but I don’t want to. I feel like smartphones totally corrupt my brain and I have no idea how to control myself around them.

Dec 2022

I’m realizing I haven’t posted here in a while…since August which is almost half a year. Everything feels sort of fuzzy to me. Where have I been? What have I done? Who am I? I have 3 months left of work and then a new baby and 6 months of leave. With MG I was so nervous, but with this baby I feel more excited to have a cute little buddy in the house. I am really wanting to spend a month in Europe somewhere, not doing anything touristy but just being elsewhere for a while, but still working to convince R that is not a crazy idea. This year really went by in a blur. I’m thinking about getting a paper planner for 2023 that might include some reflection prompts.

For the end of this year, I am trying to both soak in some of my day-to-day moments of life and take it easy. Unlike most years, I don’t feel a desire to think about a whole new me. We do have a lot of home errand items on our list that we are moving through, but other than that, life has been pretty relaxing.

August 2022

Sitting in a very optimistic but still mentally hard and uncertain limbo. I know why…and you can probably guess why. In a period of time where you are sort of just waiting for the next checkmark and hoping everything is okay. My first benchmark was Monday and my second was Wedneday. On Monday I felt hopeful but uncertain, but passed easily. On Wednesday, I felt optimistic and passed very well! The two for real real benchmarks are coming up — one next Friday (8 days away), and the next in about 3 weeks. But…there is literally nothing I can do about it except for try and wait calmly and with compassion.

July 2022

For some reason, it being July feels like my life is passing before my eyes. My only goals for the month are to do summer.

  • go to the beach (at least 3 times)
  • have park picnics with our friends every Friday
  • spend some hot days at cold museums
  • have or make ice creams and popsicles

June 2022

I’m not really in the mood to have goals this month. We all got COVID, then a stomach bug, then MG and I got another fever. It’s been awful. We are finally mostly back to health and normalcy. I am going to the gym today for the first time in 6 weeks! I want to go the beach, eat mostly healthy, workout, and see my friends. Very low-key nourishment. Oh and maybe buy a banjo.

Q1 2022 Books

For some reason, I’ve kept a list of all the books I’ve read so far this year. Or at least all the adult books I’ve read this year. Because I’m me, I thought it could be a quarterly review. Here goes:

  1. Raising a Secure Child – this book changed my lens on parenting, from identifying the spoken desire to unpacking the actual need leading to tension in any situation.
  2. Oh Crap, I have a Toddler — maybe a best of all time kids book for me, or I just found it at a great moment (aka the transition from a two-year old to a three-year old). Articulated something I felt which is before 2, you have to adapt to a child’s needs. After 3, the child has to adapt to societies needs. Also GREAT information on setting boundaries as an adult.
  3. Do Nothing
  4. Minimalist Parenting
  5. Out of Office
  6. Stolen Focus
  7. How to Manage Your Home without Losing Your Mind
  8. Abhorsen
  9. One and Only
  10. Power of Fun
  11. Breast & Eggs — incredible. A female-focused book that doesn’t really go anywhere but deep inside the female mind in a surprisingly good and light way.
  12. South of the Border, West of the Sun — also so good! Just a beautiful love lost and found story.
  13. The Goblin Emperor

Basically a book a week, heavily tilted towards nonfiction reading focused on parenting and modern thinking about work.

April 2022

We started a weekend practice of each of us contributing to a list of activities that we want to do. The list normally ends up having stuff like playground, long walk, coffee shop, nap on it. Flow state has been a really helpful marker for me, and I’ve realized there are a lot of pockets in my weekend I really, truly enjoy. Our family seems to have reached a nice harmony with weekends that are mostly self-led and not overly busy but restorative in the best way.

For April, my goal is bike riding! I took a coached class to get my confidence up. I want to take one more class, and then when gymnastics starts in April, I can bike alongside then. I am finishing a really nice day of gymnastics (MG goes in alone! So R and I can grab coffee:)), playground, library, lunch, etc.

March 2022 & Thoughts on Weekends

You know, I was coming into this looking at my Feb list and being like how the heck do you have fun/leisure??? But then I realized I’ve been having some really nice weekends and wanted to unpack. I have thought for a long time that nothing I can easily access puts my into flow states. A few things do: a really beautiful hike, dinner and drinks with friends, but I rarely do those things. But I’m realizing that a weekend totally off tech — like no phone, no computer, maybe we watch 1 movie at night, puts me into a different state of consciousness where I can access leisure. And then I sort of switch back to internet-mind on Monday morning.

This no-internet weekend state is so nourishing for me. I cook, I can play at the playground FOREVER, I take long walks, I read a lot, I go to the coffee shop. It coincidences with having a 3-year-old (!) who is a lot easier to just have a chill weekend with. For the first time, it feels like we live our weekends out in NYC like we used to before we had kids, wandering around, eating somewhere, sitting on a bench, running into friends, etc.

But it also means I am like behind on calls and texts and various internet work (e.g. buying a thing or writing an email) and don’t take any photos! For some reason, I have a hard time accessing tis world without total disconnection.

So my March 2022 goal is two-fold:

  • weekends: keep figuring out this nice weekend flow and working to make weekends nourishing for the whole family.
  • flow state: keep exploring the concept of flow state and see where I am starting to access it

Feb 2022

Another month. I have actually been doing okay…moving on from the feeling of failing IVF and able to be more present in my life and enjoy the child I already have and the goodness of the life I have. I do find I just have such an enormous deep well of appreciation for how good my life is. And, weirdly for me, I have so much energy recently. I don’t know if it is the weight of IVF is temporarily lifted or the longer days or a new medication I’m on or what but many days I wake up with a well of energy and have been doing extra workouts.

I don’t have that many goals for this month…just enjoy this period of respite while it lasts. Maybe:

  • get a massage
  • do a new thing (like new neighborhood, new museum, etc.)
  • finish the hat I’ve been knitting since LAST YEAR
  • make pasta at least once

Jan 2022

A new year, but I’m mostly still stuck in my old junk. Our IVF cycle fails and I feel like I just live fully in a life of what ifs. What if we stopped treatment? What if we kept going? What if this is a sign from the universe that the next child will have intense needs and will be a mistake?

And, I decided to make a big life change — moving from 40 hours of work a week to 24 hours. So I’ll have two days off a week (either Monday/Friday or Tuesday/Thursday).

I first want to take some space. My goals for the day off are small — make dinner, prep for healthy foods for future lunch, do some errands and — most importantly — take a long walk and invite a friend along. I feel so stuck and just need to open up some fresh energy and figure out what I want.

Goals are easy:

  • keep working out
  • keep making and eating healthy soups
  • start the process of working 60% time
  • be compassionate towards myself