Middle age: When you’re sitting at home on Saturday night and
the telephone rings and you hope it isn’t for you.
I toast the iPhone 5 after Apple conveniently made my iPhone 3 email inoperable since the spring. Most days I wish all the nerds of the world would take an extended vacation so I can catch up on popular apps like Instagram and Camera Awesome.
My kids threaten to stage a rebellion, claiming that I deprive them their basic human rights of owning a laptop and cellphone–“like every other normal kid.” I threaten to send them to Ethiopia so they know what having nothing really means. Yes, I do enjoy the quiet in the house when one has the iPad, the other is on the big computer, and the third has the DVD player. I get a blank stare when I talk about the value of silence or boredom and moments of reflection. Who needs to mull over feelings, yearnings and imagination these days?
The budding lawyer among them insists this is their future: constantly occupied by electronics, restless unless hooked onto something wired or wireless. To me it eerily looks like people living in one roof but inhabiting separate worlds, rushing through meals to finish the next level of Minecraft, oblivious to blue skies and lovely weather outside when lost in another video. I sound like an old fossil missing the good old days where gatherings didn’t involve scrambling for our phones at every ping and chime. My early bird husband’s alarm clock jars me out of many sweet dreams even on weekends. There’s no escape from the teeth gritting drone of landscaper’s leaf blowers at all hours of the day. We are outnumbered by gadgets that rattle the nervous system constantly then we wonder why the rise of nervous and attention disorders? How are we to nurture our skill for commitment and sustained attention? Multi-tasking and efficiency in going through our To Do lists are all consuming. Are we in our list somewhere?
I keep my cellphone ringer off whenever possible which would make me a very lousy doctor on call. When I roll out of bed, I have to wrestle with my hand to stop it from instinctively reaching for the iPhone to check messages. It takes effort to persuade myself to begin my day by sitting quietly and listening to my inner ramblings. It is a daily struggle to remember that my most important business is to connect with my Self first.
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© Sharon Birke
201 697 1947
Photography for the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother
Katrina Amato styled by Just Rosy
Makeup : Tomoko Miyamoto
Hair : Yulitzin Alvarez Funes