I had a busy day ahead. I fixed breakfast for my granddaughter before her mom picked her up, then I started running errands in preparation for a surprise Zoom birthday party my sister had planned for my mom. I invited Mom for a late lunch then would hang out and find a way to get her on the Zoom call in time for everyone else to surprise her. I picked up the flowers and balloons in town then drove to a nearby town to pick up a favorite meal for lunch. While there, I decided to stop by a grocery store to pick up a couple treats my mom and aunt both enjoy. As I began the drive home, I realized my phone battery was nearly dead.
I tried a couple chargers, but nothing worked. I turned on battery save mode, messaged a few people how they could get in touch with me, and hoped I’d make it home with a sliver of battery power.
I wasn’t surprised. I’d been having trouble with the battery for a while, but I used portable chargers to keep it alive through each day. Then the charging port began to glitch. I could usually still make it work, but not this time. My phone had been a good one, lasting six-plus years. I’d considered several times getting a new phone when I had time to avoid a situation like this one, when I was under pressure to immediately get a phone. But why get a new phone to replace a phone that worked well enough for my purposes?
At least it died on a day I wasn’t travelling for work or dealing with any significant crisis or challenge. I soon made it home, then I had access to my laptop. I focused the next five hours or so on family time. We enjoyed seeing each other across several states and laughing through a trivia game based on my mom’s life. My mom and I enjoyed a leisurely lunch and conversation. I packed up all her goodies, and she went home.
I went to the store and picked up a new phone. I’d done some research off and on—enough to know what was important to me and what was inconsequential. I asked a few questions, made a couple adjustments since my first choice was out of stock, and promptly walked out with a new phone.
It didn’t take too long to arrange everything on the phone the way I prefer. I back up my phone often enough and lost very little. My contacts, apps, and more imported, and I just had to figure out some settings, record a new voicemail message, and order a couple accessories.
I “lost” about six hours on my phone. I knew I wouldn’t get the messages or missed calls I received in that short time my phone was dead. (I know of only one person who called and left a message during that time.) But I didn’t miss much when I thought back to the day. I had been fully engaged with family. I gained so much during those hours. It was a full and good afternoon, and I was grateful.
I’m thankful for the technology of my cell phone, and I see some concerns with not having access to it, but my life is full because of the people I do life with. I often connect with them through technology, but the technology is a tool not the relationship itself. Dealing with a dead phone that day wasn’t the prominent part of my day. It was a simple problem to be solved. What was at the forefront were people I love.
Let’s keep what’s at our fingertips in perspective.