Garden & Gathering

Nature is Party to All

Month: November, 2012

No Phone November, Day 3

Day 1

I didn’t check my bus schedule. Mistake. I sat at the bus stop nervous if I gave myself enough time. Pacing back and forth waiting for a late 44. I finally found a clock inside Bartell’s and knew I had more than enough time to get to work. Felt relaxed until the end of the day. Someone called in sick and I found out that I had to stay late at work. The problem? I made a date for after work, but didn’t have a phone to let the person know I might be late. Not fun, but only because I am so trapped into a modern way of thinking about scheduling. If you are going to be late, it is so easy to let the person know. I could be waylaid by a freak snow storm and a yeti terrorizing my neighborhood, but I can still let people know what is happening. A blessing and a curse. I am trapped to my phone, because everyone else is. I am expected to be available, because everyone is immediately available for contact.

Day 2

I brought my phone with me to work. I had to. I was receiving a ride to work (eco-conscious!) and we were meeting at specific location, but at an undetermined time. I kept my phone off until after work when I was watching election results. I felt guilty all day for cheating my 20 some readers.

Day 3

I had a 7 am doctor’s appointment, to a new doctor, in what is basically Maple Leaf. I took my phone on my walk because I didn’t know the area. I didn’t listen to music, just used the GPS. When walking home, I tried to take a different route and ended up getting lost around Greenlake. It was a beautiful adventure and I didn’t use my phone until I realized I had done a loop after about an hour of walking. I did send texts to relate a story that I felt needed to be shared. I used it to find a bus back to my part of town. It was used not for convenience, but out of need.


I am impressed by the clarity of mind I have when freed from phone usage. I can not only hear myself think, but thoughts generate from the depth of my being and germinate throughout my mind. They stimulate me, yet I am aware, completely, of my surroundings. I am instantly relieved from the shackles of a clock, of online personality management, of soundtrack selections, and idle information gathering. I am free to improve and strengthen my mind. My time is not wasted in gathering useless data. Instant gratification turns into a prolonged enjoyment of simply being in any given moment.


At this point, this challenge is a success. I am already accomplishing the goals I set out to achieve. I miss listening to music on my bus ride to work, but now I can read on the bus. The commute actually seems to take shorter time while reading. I encourage you to spend three days without a phone. Don’t try this during a hectic part of life, just when you have three days in a row to spare. See how you feel. Do you feel more anxious? Less? People today will go their whole lives holding onto a cellphone unless they accidentally forget it at home. Try purposefully leaving your phone at home and tell me what happens in your day.

November Challenge

A few friends have been bothering me about a new post. It has been two months, I suppose I owe it to you.

My mind has been wandering inside the closed doors of my body. I feel strapped down by internal and external complexities. I bought myself a banjo and a gym membership to redevelop my internal wellbeing and strength. How to simplify my external self? I already gave away extraneous things I have accumulated. I had to think what in my life seems like a luxury, but works as an obstacle. My iPhone.

To be honest I am not (yet) brave enough to give up my iPhone, but maybe after this challenge I will change my mind. How should I break my addiction? For the rest of the month, with the exception of my short trip to Philadelphia, I will use my phone only like a landline. 

Starting Monday, I am going to delete all of my apps and leave my phone at home for three weeks. This is important. I will not be immediately available anymore. If you want to see me you will need to either make plans or hope for a spontaneous encounter. Serendipity.

What I am hoping to see happen:

1. Become more attentive to my surroundings by not wearing my headphones everywhere.

2. Become more responsible with my time by planning out my commute ahead of time.

3. Become less reliant on a constant flow of new, unimportant information that streams from the little screen in my pocket.

4. Become less easily distracted by all the little alerts I receive about someone posting photos of their dog on Facebook.

5. Become in control of my situation, rely on my strengths, and understand my weaknesses.

I’ll post some updates about how this is going and how I feel about my progress.

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