Burner

“Don’t worry baby, I’m not seeing someone else, I’m just selling drugs.

I paid, and Ben stood in silence as I swapped the sim cards at the desk. “Ben, you got a phone on you? Can you call this number?” Ben’s nervous at this point, but he obliges. It works. I said “good” and powered them both down.

Then I hear familiar radio chatter and turn around. The police are walking in.

Let me explain how I got here.

The past four months have been some of the most stressful I’ve ever made it through. Between the world going into lockdown, cautious travel, and a business that became busier than ever, I lost track of time. I swore that the only day of the week was Friday because every time I looked up, it was Friday again.

I felt like I was going crazy. It’s August? Wait, it was February yesterday, and I could eat tacos at a restaurant and see people’s faces and immediately tell if the server was British.

“Where did my time go?” was the wrong question. “Where is it going?” is the question to answer.

I checked my screen time last month, and I’m embarrassed to tell you that it was almost three and a half hours a day. 

Let me re-frame that. 

It’s like watching the Titanic with Leonardo Dicaprio, EVERY. DAY. 

I was fed up with it. I thought I was doing good with staying off my phone, but app-developers can read your psychology, and apparently, I’m easy to read like a book written for dumb kids.

*So if I was going to stop this ship, I needed an iceberg. 

Hello, burner phone Idea.  

Back to the police behind me:

I have a burner phone.

Seven days ago, I briskly walked into Best Buy. “Hey man, I want a dumb phone that you can only call and text on, no apps. Got one?” The store associate, Ben, who I’m sure gets plenty of odd requests for phones, gave me the inquisitive eyebrow, probably because I was holding a newer model iPhone.

I paid, and Ben stood in silence as I swapped the sim cards at the desk. “Ben, you got a phone on you? Can you call this number?” Ben’s nervous at this point, but he obliges. It works. I said “good” and powered them both down.

Me: “I promise I’m not selling drugs.”

Officer: “Most drug dealers don’t say anything, so I believe you.”

We share a laugh and I asked him how much time he spends on a screen. 

“A lot. We have to write reports on just about everything.” 

Between the computer, phone, and ipads, (Because you know you don’t have a surface) we’re giving the titanic of our attention to a screen. Not the news, not a connection on social media, not stocks. Just the screen in front of us.

I still have my iPhone for Spotify, Audible, and the occasional download of Instagram to post a dog or CrossFit photo and then delete the app again.

Seems a bit extra, I know. 

But I don’t have the question “Where is my time going?” ringing in my head anymore. 

Meals prepped.

Dogs exercised.

Errands Ran.

Starting a new chapter in my book.

*Too soon? It’s been like 100 years.

**On the British/Bad teeth joke. I have bad teeth. Fight me IRL. Really though, don’t, there’s a reason I have bad teeth.

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