Sunday, May 17, 2015

An Expensive Run

The clouds were heavy. Thunder had been intermittently testing its voice. But at "this" moment, there was no rain. So, a 4 mile run was in order.

There is nothing like the threat of impending rain to cause one to test one's speed, with the hopes of beating its downpour by making it home - first. 

Forget making it home dry. Rain like Bible-Famous-Noah's Tsunami hit about mile 3. Ignoring the option to turn off to many family members' alcoves along the way, I pressed on. The rain surpassed my speed and did not slow down. 

Like all 21st century runners, of course we have something tech close at hand for listening entertainment. My proverbial smart phone was in an armband case. How funny of me to assume it could survive. 

By the time I made it home, I was soaked wet. And everything on me as well. I can survive with a little rain but not the phone. With a bit of dismantling, drying with a towel, consulting YouTube for how to use the magical "dry rice" treatment, and some big hopes - I succumbed to the idea that it was in trouble. Hello, Verizon Service Guy - can you help me? 

Thus ensued my discovery that not only was the phone shot, but I'd have to wait for a new one to be shipped to me. In the meantime I was dealt a loner. That was a horrific experience in itself (so bad, I was almost ready for a rotary phone. You laugh. But it was awful). Over 12 days later and the "smart phone" still had not come home. The wait ensued. 

Here's my point: a fast run, to stay healthy and disciplined, with the goal of making it home before the rain was an initial great goal. But the demolishing of a phone, in the rain, and days of being without my right hand has given me pause. 

Guilty. I'm just like many of the 21st century phone touting adults. Used as a tool for work, time killer, entertainment, a way to keep in touch it is indeed second nature for me to consult it - constantly. It's my crutch for my introvert-ness self in a crowd who does not want to talk to people: I hide behind my phone. It's my anthem of coolness - carrying a smart phone, and using it for maps, directions, flight details, tracking world news, taking pictures, and more. And it's my resource to make sure every moment counts for productivity. The trivia a Verizon Rep shared with me did not come as a surprise: that for many people it is the first thing they touch in the morning, and the last thing they touch at night. I'm not sure why this is trivia to some of us - it's just fact. 

So my point of this piece is more of an examination in the mirror: I like my phone, use my phone, but have abused my phone. In the same way you're thrown off your stride when you can't use a hand, or you're without a car, this has been expensive by throwing me off my rhythm. 

Truth be told - the expense was probably worth it.  Being without it has shown me how much I don't need it. Don't worry I'm not going rogue and throwing it away but I hope to be more mindful that there is life beyond the screen. And becoming obsessed with a phone and everything on it is not healthy. This too is good to remember.

So, here's to runs. In the rain. And finding the 21st century magnificent technology is not yet perfect. With rain - and the quality moments of life as examples - it just can't beat or replace everything. And that's ok. It is still annoying to be without the grandiose smart phone but life will continue.