Sitting on the Baby

Being Dragged into the Future...Kicking and Screaming

When I was growing up there was nothing I hated more than an old coot who did nothing but sit around and endlessly harp on the good ol' days.

Do you want to know who I am today?

This whole line of thinking began this morning when I looked at the calendar on my wall and realized I'd turned into my grandmother.

You know you're old when you don't even go buy yourself a new calendar for the year - you just use the free one from the dentist's office.

But this segues into a bigger problem I've been having regarding calendars, phones, and my stubborn resistance to change. For years this pencil and paper wall calendar held our whole family's schedule. It was the beating heart of playdates, practices, half-days, birthdays, and the few moments when my husband and I would be allowed to carve out our precious free time.

But recently my husband's schedule became so busy that he needed to be able to see our calendar at any time. He took my wall calendar and sucked it into his smart phone. Made it obsolete in a matter of minutes. (Or, hours of cursing at our respective laptops and phones while we tried to make them all coordinate electronically. LOVE technology.)

And now I'm confused. I can put the appointments on the Google calendar but then can't see them unless I come to my laptop. And what happens when the internet goes down and I can't see my schedule?

So I printed the Google calendar. That's it there on the wall with the days checked off in good ol' fashioned red China marker.

It actually does make sense, since this is where I spend most of my working time, to have the calendar here instead of having to run into the kitchen every time I need to schedule something. But I can't see the whole text of the appointments in the printed version, so I have to look at it online every day anyway.

(Just in case you're wondering, that random used lunch bag is where I've been stuffing my receipts all year, and it must soon be organized for tax season. This is how my life goes.)

Now, the calendar problem ties into my phone issues. Bear with me. Here's a picture of my current phone.

Don't laugh. I love my phone. I am a crazy texter - it's constant - and this phone works for me. It fits in my hands and I can type so fast I put even teenagers to shame. I can put it in my pocket while I work all day, and it takes a serious beating. I don't want a phone that requires insurance coverage.

But...my phone is dying. It's two years old and no one can hear what I'm saying. I went to the Verizon store and asked them to replace it. They don't make it anymore. Freakin people and their desire for the next best thing!!!

While mulling over the choice between keeping the phone I love and having people understand what I'm saying when I call them (really, how important is that? Only in case of emergency, right?), I realized I can see my internet calendar on a smart phone. I could continue with the paper version, but the more I think about it, I really need to be able to access our schedule at any time too.

So this may be the deciding factor on my phone choice. Not if it's comfortable or I like it or if it fits in my pocket or works for me. It's about being the mom. And of course my superhuman ability to keep our schedule running smoothly.

Ironically, amidst my crisis over technology and its stranglehold on my life, we had a power outage this morning. When it was time to go to the bus my son asked, "How do you know what time it is when the power went out?" I smiled and very smugly pointed to the clock on the wall, with the batteries, that runs all by its little old self, even without the help of electricity.

And during that power outage I thought, "What will I do with the boys all day with no power?" It took me two seconds to realize - it'll be the best day we've had all year. Get their noses out of computers and tablets and video games and actually see each other. It will be remarkable.

Why am I resisting a smart phone? Because I know myself. I spend too much time as it is staring at a screen. It's only a matter of time until I cave and get the fancy new phone, and I hate that I'll probably end up loving it. But I will miss my old phone that I love, like so many other simpler things that are now a part of the past.

© 2014 The Valley Advocate