May I Have This Dance? (NO!)

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Hey sweet thang…why don’t you come over here and have a seat by me…

While hanging out at my parents’ house today, my daughter went up to my mom to tell her how amused she was with their dog.  My daughter’s exact words were,  “He’s so funny!  He hugged me around my leg, and then he started dancing up and down!”

Oh.  Em.  Gee.

And she wasn’t kidding.  Between this today and the Dominatrix Barbie avatar scene from yesterday, this kid is killing me.

Don’t Eber Eber Worry About Lyrics

 

 

Here is my sunshine tidbit who cleared away my grey skies a couple of days ago via her own unique version of a song (that apparently came equipped with a seriously distracting microphone / flashlight).  It is a well-known fact that two-year olds have a long-standing contractual clause against continuing to do anything and everything you ask once they suspect that it’s something you actually want to film. They never eber eber cooperate. I’m so glad that this little one made an exception this time. 🙂

***Thank you Taylor Swift for giving us this brilliant sassy song!

What – No Whip?

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Even the expression on her face looks like she wants to smack you!

There is a not so fine line between being a supportive parent and allowing your young kid to have a game profile pic akin to a dominatrix.  Despite serious odds to the contrary, I was able to maintain my emotionless game face when my daughter gleefully showed me this “pretty new matching outfit” her avatar was wearing today.  Given that she typically opts for flowers and butterflies in the fashion world of gaming, I recognized that there must have been a specific reason for this choice.  I paused momentarily before responding to allow all of the “you forgot the leash” and “no self respecting s&m wench would wear that flower headband without a complementary spike collar” type of comments to exit my mind in lieu of exiting my mouth.  Not that she would have understood anyway, but even I have to draw the parental standards line somewhere.

Once the wise crack responses ceased running through my brain, I allowed my out loud voice to kick in.  I asked her nonchalantly, “So what is it about this dress that you like?”  She said that she wanted to look tougher because several people were teasing her about her babyish and girly profile name.

Boooooo!!!

At that point, I, too, wanted to bust out a tougher outfit and kick some avatar butt.  Nevertheless I couldn’t permit an S&M response as we aren’t going for Fifty Shades of MoJo in this house.  I calmly but directly explained that the dress and boots she had chosen were not appropriate for her age even if it was just a game.  I told her that she had to find another outfit that was more suitable.  She wasn’t pleased but it wasn’t earth shattering either, and she left to pick select something else.

And then returned with this little number…

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This pasty boxy babe is effectively a mannequin displaying the clothing one can select.

Nooooooo.

I’m not going to allow an avatar with a skirt cut up to her hoo-hah either.  Seriously Roblox.  Stop.  It.

I responded less nonchalantly this time.  I wasn’t angry, but I wasn’t playing anymore either.  There are other categories of clothing beyond frilly / girly and hoochie / biker wench.  Pick another outfit.

And this was her final choice…image000000_17

It struck me as rather unusual but perhaps she was aiming for a Richard Simmons kind of look.

richard simmonsI have always loved that guy.  I can’t help  but appreciate anyone who owns who he is through and through while also sharing humor and hope.  Not too shabby Richard. You go boy!  Ultimately that was the ensemble her character donned.

I know that this is a game, but are these really the kinds of options my kids are given?  Seriously?

I frequently wake my kids up on school days by cranking up “Sabotage” by the Beastie Boys or “Hypnotize” by Notorious B.I.G..  They are the clean versions, but I do feel like Amazon and I have seriously different takes on what the word clean means.

At what point did I become the stuffy parent?  I typically don’t sweat the small stuff (nor do I Sweat to the Oldies even though I think that Richard Simmons seems like a sweetheart), but I’m not digging the hooker avatar option.  I don’t want to raise a princess (although she will always be one to me), but I’m not interested in this route either.  It was yet another reminder that I really have to keep a close eye on what the kids are doing on their phones.  It appears that I am going to have to whip them into shape before they start thinking that they need to do the same to someone else.  Yikes.

whip

Stormy Weather

I feel relatively grounded on average.  However there are times when I feel life piling up around me, and I lose sight of the sun.  My thoughts become cloudy, and I focus on an unrealistic desire to resolve all pending worries in the immediate moment or else.  When I get into this ultimatum frame of mind, I attempt to remind myself that there is no way that everything will be resolved immediately and seek to access my calmer analytical side.  I ask myself “What does ‘or else’ really mean?”

On 90% of the items, the plain truth is that if those things don’t happen, no biggie.  They just happen later or life goes on anyway.  The remaining 10% are almost exclusively highly improbable, and even if they do happen, will not be improved by torturing those around me.

Despite knowing this, I opted for the “free torture for all” approach yesterday.  Opted isn’t really the right word.  It was more like having my mind invaded by a frenetic wild-eyed doppelganger who looked like me in the mirror.  I needed the pragmatic rational me to kick the irrational “what did you mean by THAT comment” me out of the driver’s seat.  Frenetic doppelganger would still be hanging out in the vehicle, but at least she wouldn’t be driving the bus.

Work was in high gear (nothing new).  I need to have surgery on one of my hands (that is new), and due to various reasons, have to have the procedure done next week.  Thankfully it’s on my right hand, and I’m right-handed.  Also I can type with my toes and allow my young children to create complex spreadsheets whenever they need a break.  Wait.  No.  I’m thinking of the clever octopus in Finding Dory.  I do actually need my hands to type.  I started to worry about this yesterday, and the panic train began its exit from the station.

I wanted to write a post but there was no time.  I wanted to search for a low-key vacation spot in the area but again there was no time, no cash, and no freedom since we are chained here by the looming possibility of a house showing.  Thinking about the possible showings had me thinking about the house and the cleaning worries began.  The mental to do lists were already cycling.  Once more I remembered that I needed to work before any of that could be tackled.  So I worked as the panic increased and the noise in my mind grew.

Tech turn off time rolled around.  Those of you who live in an area with hurricanes have probably seen the way these storms can stall over water for a short period of time before moving along their paths.  It seems as though they are taking a leisurely respite, but in fact they are often building in strength and becoming disastrous destructive powerhouses.  Yesterday’s tech turn off was analogous to this storm stall period and ultimately led to a category 3 Hurricane MoJo.  Bless my poor kids and husband.  They all opted for duck and cover or just ran whenever I got within range.  I swear I heard one of them tell another, “Serpentine!!! Serpentine!!!”

Thankfully that particular storm blew through the area within a few hours, but all affected residents are still under watch for ongoing heavy emotional floodwaters and scattered hot messness.

I just get completely overwhelmed with it all sometimes.  Work worries, house worries, family worries, health worries, money worries, worry worries.  It can be incredibly hard to stop it all from circling my mind once it gets going.  Second verse…  Same as the first…

Tech turn off was hours behind me, and I was tethered to my laptop once more.  My tidbit teeny kid came in and wanted to help me work.  Language can be subjective, but I feel like she and I have widely divergent interpretations as to what the word help means.  To me, help means help.  To her, help means jack up my spreadsheet beyond repair.  Semantics are funny like that.

So when she offered to help, I said, “Don’t even think about it lady.”  Being her mother’s daughter, she had no interest in heeding my silly warning and climbed into my lap anyway.  Damn she was good.

Next plan.  Turn on music.  What can I say.  The kid likes to shake her bon bon and typically can’t resist a beat.  It is a solid deterrent to kid destroying behavior.  Cheese also works, but I had no cheese.  So music it was.  And then she started to sing.  She’s two.  She doesn’t always get her own name right.  I had no clue that she knew the song at all, but she absolutely did.  Admittedly it was totally her own version of the lyrics, but if you know the song, you know where she is going with it.

In a matter of seconds, she made me smile – really smile – that big fat make your cheeks hurt smile.  My heart sang with her as she sang into her flashlight (that had randomly appeared) and shredded the lyrics.  I turned off the work right then, parked her little hiney in my chair (at a safe distance from the aforementioned computer), and recorded a video of her in action.

It was the smallest moment, but there was such tremendous magic in it for me.  I never cease to be amazed at the way life feels like it is hanging by a thread, but then suddenly, in the blink of an eye, reminds you that you are where you need to be.

Nothing had changed from one moment to the next.  I still had the same items on my list.  Work, surgery, house, family, etc.  But there was clarity around them.  I could even see unexpected blessings in some of them.  Knowing that I will likely be limited in what I can do for a week is forcing me to seek more help at work.  We have done a lot on cleaning the house, but some of it will just have to be whatever it is.  Oh well.  Maybe we can’t do a vacation away, but we can look at little day trips.  That’s totally doable.  And then there’s family.  They love me even when I’m certain that they can’t stand me.  I do the same when they form their own personal hurricanes.  Their love is boundless.  So is mine.

As much as I seek to avoid them, I learn so much about myself and those around me during and after these storms.  I am terrified of leaving a path of destruction instead of following a path of enlightenment.  So often we feel like we have to be on one road versus another.  We decide that there can be no shared space between the two.  No commonalities.  No crossover.  But what if there aren’t two paths at all?  Maybe the difference lies in recognizing that your choice isn’t about the path but rather how you let it shape you.  We are where we are supposed to be right now.  Sometimes it feels like we lose our way, but we are never lost.  Not really.  We get so focused on where we want to go that we forget where we are.

I pray that we see the benediction and grace along our paths even when they appear to be lined with anything but blessings.  Find the magic in the moment, and remember where you are and who you are.

Blessings to all of you.  Joanna

(Day 20)

Disastrous

Depression – Shifting Your Perception

Depression.  If you have ever worn that label, you probably felt a heaviness in your soul just reading the word.  It doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue with a magical lightness, does it?

I wore that label on my heart and spirit since I was in elementary school.  I felt the weight of the diagnosis long before it was made.  It consumed me.  I would take flight only to be snapped back to the ground like there was a chain around my soul.  I barely scraped out of my college years with my life.

I hold no judgement toward anyone who has committed suicide.  None at all in the slightest.  Truly.  I remember believing with every fiber of my being that it would be better in the long run for everyone I cared about if I just died.  I understood that they would hurt in the short term, but overall, I believed that it would be a gift of true kindness from me to them.  They wouldn’t be stuck working through all the problems I brought into their lives each day.

I didn’t have a clue about how completely and utterly untrue that was.  If you ever tell yourself that others around you will be better off if you are dead, you are more wrong than you could possibly imagine.

The people who care about you – even the ones who may be angry with you – NEVER stop hurting.  The hollow aches in their chests don’t go away.  They will always feel a heartbreak that will never be mended.  They will cry every time someone new asks about you.  They will have to suffer thoughtless comments from others who don’t understand, and they will then have to go on the defense with searing pain or swallow the unkindness like broken glass.  They will ask themselves every single day what they could have done differently, and even though the clear answer is “absolutely nothing at all,” they will always wonder.  The part of their life that will be better off will never happen.  They may be able to forgive the choice, but they will never be able to be thankful for it.

I did not know this then, but I see it now.  If you have been impacted by suicide by a family member or a friend, my heart goes out to you more than I can tell you.  There are no words to explain the level of confusion and misunderstanding people stumble through when they are at that point.  I write these words for those who suffere depression personally and those who have watched someone they care about be torn apart by it.  If you are reading these words, they are written for you.  Know that you are precious beyond measure.  You are dear and important and perfect as you are.  You absolutely matter.

People who suffer depression feel like they are broken on the inside. Like something is wrong with them.  Like they are crazy.

But what if the crazy part wasn’t actually crazy at all.  What if instead of seeing yourself as being broken, you saw yourself as being made differently than the person beside you?  If you were to look at that person and compare them to any other on the planet, I assure you that you would find unique attributes of each one of those individuals – attributes you wanted to have and attributes that you were glad weren’t on your personal shame list.

What if instead of believing that you needed to be fixed, you recognized that the way you happen to think, feel, love and hurt in extremes actually allows you to experience the world itself from a wider emotional range?  When I was younger, my days were consumed by the highest highs and lowest lows.  My eyes were opened again and again to spectacular wonders as well as dark looming tragedy.  The incessant whipsaw of emotions made me tough on certain fronts and softened my heart on others.

I always find it amusing when I hear people say that this person is on “The Spectrum.”  I’m not implying that autism is comical to me.  I am saying is that the term “spectrum” is an interesting word to choose because it encompasses all the colors we can see with our human eyes, but it also refers to colors that are there yet remain invisible.

What if people with depression are able to see the invisible parts of the spectrum?  Perhaps in lieu of perceiving invisible light, they perceive an emotional range that is out of reach of most humans.

I would never wish a diagnosis of depression on anyone.  Never.  But I wouldn’t go back and change that part of myself or my life either.  I have a broader emotional view and intutive sense than many others around me.  I see people who have a complete inability to recognize the depth in another’s tone.  They can’t hear the unspoken message in the other person’s words, but it is crystal clear to me.  I have been in that emotional place, so I feel it with all the tangibility of a wave crashing into the rocks.  My ability to sense more has helped me to guard those I love, but it has also allowed me to see others who need a hand to prevent them from drowning.

You may feel like you are a stone sinking below the waves because of that label.  Just know that the label may be the broken part, not you.  Your perceived darkness may actually be a beacon of light to another.  It may be the very thing that allows you to shine.

Lose the label.  It doesn’t define you.  If you can’t release it now, know that it doesn’t get to steal your brilliance, passion, or ability to see with more depth and feeling than most will ever comprehend.  Take off the blinders when you look in the mirror, and recognize who you truly are.  Release the curse so you can find the gift.

We would never need light if we didn’t have darkness.  They go hand in hand.

In love and light always.  Joanna

(Day 19)

The Terminator – How to Kill a Cyborg & a Classic at the Same Time (Day 18)

Who among us doesn’t think the words “family film” when remembering The Terminator.  Everyone you say?  Well there’s a reason for that, but it’s not the one you think.

Many would assume that this movie has yet to solidify it’s slot in the family film genre solely based on heavy violence, adult language, and visible nip / hiney action.  While those elements do have merit, I have no doubt that the key determining factor that ultimately locked up the R rating designation was that the movie makers had pre-teen / young teen kids of their own and knew that those almost adult humans would ask ten thousand questions during the whole film thus driving the surrounding full adults insane if they were allowed into the theater.

For other parents reading this, I have a few comments I would like to share.  First of all, my husband fell on his sword and hung out with our tidbit kid in the other room as she watched a painfully bad kid cartoon.  I have reached max capacity on my cartoon swine viewing limit and have determined that life is too uncertain to spend one more second of it with that freakin’ pig.  Take Peppa back England!!!

So it was just the bigs (the older kids) and me watching The Terminator.  Once again take a deep breath judgy parental pants because we are actually pretty strict on what we let our kids see.  There is a high lame factor present on their shows.  However the Terminator and Alien were the first R rated films my parents let me see two hundred years ago, I didn’t die or go on a killing spree (yet…), and I am following the tradition.  These movies are kind of like R light.

I don’t sweat some bad language here and there.  Although my husband and I weave in and out of our own personal mine field of F bombs, we are careful to keep the verbal arsenal under lockdown until the kids aren’t around.  But these kids do go to school with lots of other kids, and we recognize that they hear the words daily.  I’m not indifferent to it, but there comes a point as a parent when you have to wake up and smell the fochaccino.  I think of it like someone talking smack about me behind my back.  If I never catch them, then I don’t know and I will remain peacefully oblivious.  But if I do…

Watch.  Your.  Back.

On the sexuality front(al), my kids know where babies come from (adult humans obviously pollinate), but we still steer them away from anything super steamy or laced with heavy innuendo.  I had already seen the movie multiple times before and therefore knew when the film was going to get all nudey booty.  Miraculously there just happened to be freshly baked cookies exiting the oven in the kitchen at the same time!  It was as if a mystical force knew what was about to happen and planned it that way.  And by mystical force, I mean me.

As for the violence, The Terminator was hard core violent in it’s day.  However it would barely scratch a PG-13 rating nowadays.  So that’s the dish.  If you are still annoyed, why are you continuing to read this?  Look away!

And now, after all that, I’m going to give you a small sense of what it was like to watch this action classic with them.  I will walk through the key scenes of the film, but this will be done via telling you the questions they asked  me and the answers I gave in return.  I’m only going to share a teeny fraction of these as I don’t have the patience to type them all, and the internet isn’t big enough to encompass that much data anyway.  This is a novella of a post, but I want to document this now.  I need to know exactly what to teach my grandchildren to say as payback years down the road.

***Spoiler alert – If you haven’t seen this movie, what is up with that?  Also I will be loosely telling the tale, but I’m absolutely going to ruin the whole thing for you if you keep reading.  Given that this is exactly what my kids did to this movie for me, it only seems fair.***

I didn’t write that text.  It was part of the shot.

(Opening scene – intro shot)

KID 1 – Is this in the future?
ME – It says 2029 A.D. on the screen.  You know what that means.
KID 1 – So yes?
ME – Seriously?
KID 1 – So yes?
MY HUSBAND (We are one minute into the movie yet he clearly can’t take it anymore and thus sticks his head around the corner) – It’s 2017 now!  Yes – it’s in the future!!!

(Fast forward to present day which happens to be the 1980s at that point – naked Arnold a.k.a the Terminator appears, flashes his hiney, and goes on the hunt for some threads)

Because of course Arnold would definitely wear the same size clothes as any of these string beans.

KID 2 – Where are his clothes?
ME – He’s from the future.  I guess he lost them in time travel.
KID 2 – They don’t wear clothes in the future?
ME – I can’t go into the delicate nature of time travel right now.  Please just watch the movie.
KID 2 – But he’s from the future?
ME – Yes.
KID 2 – Why is he there?
ME – Please just watch.

(Other naked guy soon to be known as Kyle Reese appears)

And in another lucky happenstance, he meets a homeless guy with perfect sized pants just waiting to be stolen – praise be!

KID 1 – Another naked guy?  Is he from the future, too?
ME – Yes.
KID 1 – Are there going to be more naked future people?
ME – No.
KID 2 – So he’s from the future?
ME – I just said that he’s from the future.
KID 2 – But why doesn’t he have clothes.
(Beats the heck out of me kid but I will say anything to make this stop.)
ME – They burn up in time travel.
Kid 2 – Oh….

(***Addendum to post – My husband read this entry after I wrote it.  He said that they explain in the movie that you can’t take anything with you when you time travel, so that’s why they are sans underoos.  I probably would have heard this explanation as well had I been watching it in a kid-free zone.)

(Both men have donned their totally tubular 80s fashion, and it’s time to search for Sarah Connor.  Lucky for Sarah, she is already fully integrated into the 80s look as can be evidenced by that hair.)

And this, kids, is what we call the feathered look.

KID 2 – Is she from the future?
ME – No.
KID 2 – But he is from the future?
ME – … (staring blankly and locking the words from my mind in my mouth)

Hey baby. You come here often??

(More movie stuff as the Terminator methodically tracks down every Sarah Connor he can find in the phone book and pops a cap as needed.  Meanwhile I get to explain the mysterious “phone book” concept to my kids, and their reaction is one of shock, awe, and palpable embarrassment for all that once was.  More movie stuff.  We see Kyle Reese is also Desperately Seeking Sarah.)

KID 2 – Why are they looking for her?

(Kid 2 broke me at last.  I could no longer endure the endless questions while I waited for her to see what was going to happen.)

ME – Okaaaay so the big guy is a dangerous robot from the future who is trying to kill that lady.  The other guy is trying to save her.  In the future, the robots take over the planet.  She will have a kid that will help save the humans.  The big robot guy goes back in time to try to kill her before that happens, and the other guy is trying to stop him.
KID 1 & 2 – He’s a robot!?!?
ME – Yes.
KID 2 (in regard to Arnold on screen) – Is he a robot?
ME – Yes.
KID 2 (in regard to Kyle Reese) – Is he a robot?
ME – No.
KID 2 (every few seconds for the next 15 minutes whenever any guy appears on the screen) – Is he a robot?  Is he a robot?  Is he a robot?  Is he a robot?  Is he a robot?  Is he a robot?
ME (in response back every few seconds) – Yes.  No.  Yes.  No.  Yes.  No.  Stop asking.  Pleeeaaase.  I’m begging you.

(Fight scene in club.)

Watch me whip…Now watch me nae nae…

Excuse me but did you just pull a “stop short” move?

(Escape.  Car chase.  Escape.)

I’ve got my eye on you!

(I’m not even going to begin to run through the eyeball removal questions. Needless to say, there were no further inquiries regarding the Terminator’s robot status after that.)

I’LL BE BACK

(A few minutes later, Arnold delivered his famous “I’ll be back” line.  I explained the significance to the kids.  Now the only people who have used the words “I’ll be back” more than Arnold would be my children. Throughout the rest of the film. End. Less. Ly.)

Used homeless guy sweatpants AND a tie-dyed top? Save some sexy for the rest of us!

(More escaping amidst many more painful questions.  Sarah and Reese hideout in a swanky roach motel.  As he starts to reach for her cookies, the timer goes off and we head to the kitchen for a few minutes to get ours.)

(We return from our brief cookie hiatus to find the couple running from the Terminator yet again.  I run through the “robot from future going after girl from present as guy from future attempts to save her” dynamic for the twentieth time.)

(More running…  More escaping…  More running…)

KID 2 – Is he ever going to die?
(Seconds later)
KID 2 (again) – He’s never going to die.

(At least she asked and answered both parts of that one.)

(Cue the countless “why won’t this thing die already” scenes.)

Arnold had to lose a lot of weight for these last few scenes.

KID 1 – What!?!?
KID 2 – I toooold you.

(More running and then we enter the factory with other big machines.  The irony hangs out just waiting to do its part.)

Don’t leave me future sweatpants guy!

(Kyle kicks the bucket in a last ditch effort to blow up the cyborg.  Fail!  Half a cyborg body remains and drags it’s torso after Sarah.  Since captain sweatpants didn’t finish the job and managed to leave her with shrapnel in her leg (as well as one other parting gift she won’t soon forget), she can’t run and therefore crawls away in turn.  She pulls herself through a huge machine clearly used to press large somethings (I believe that mechanical engineers refer to these giant pieces of industrial equipment as “those really big thingies that smoosh other not quite as big but still really big thingies.”).

KID 1 & 2 – Noooo!
KID 1 – Oh come ooooon.
KID 2 – Oh yeah.  She’s gonna smash him!

(Sarah climbs out of the mega smoosher.  As the torso of the cyborg reaches toward Sarah, she pushes her body back from his clawing hand.  She desperately feels (blindly) around a wall (that she cannot see at all in the slightest) because that’s (naturally what you do when you are terrified out of your mind and have access to a massive piece of industrial machinery that only two people on the planet have a clue how to use and that’s) where she locates…

My bet is that he was just trying to style her bangs differently.

…and presses the button.  The smoosher smooshes away the last of his scrappiness.)

(Get it?  Because he is now scrap metal and before he was scrappy.  <— This is what it would have been like if we had watched a comedy instead.  Nothing says humor quite like a five minute joke explanation to break out why a two second line is funny.)

KID 1 – That hand is gonna be like Thing from The Adams Family.
KID 2 – Yay!
KID 1 – So there is no more future now?
ME – … (dead pan stare as my jaw hangs slack)  (I had explained it too many times already.  Here we were at the very end, and they still missed the whole damn story.)

(Final scene – a few months down the road)

KID 2 – She has a doggie!
KID 1 – Awww.  Wait.  Why is she pregnant?
ME – Hmmm.  I don’t know, but the movie is over.  Who wants the last of the cookies?

How to Reactivate Your Brain (Day 17)

pencil and paperPerhaps you read the title and thought to yourself, “I’m going to read this post because I could definitely use a few mental reboot techniques.”  If so, click elsewhere because this is not the post for you.  It was more of a question than an exciting opportunity for neuro rejuvenation.

This question is the direct result of my own clear mental deactivation as evidenced by the recent brain bumbling and stumbling during one of my tech turn off challenges (now a.k.a. family time) (because it sounds a little less daunting) (and it also sounds like you’re a weasel if you tell other family members that you don’t want to participate).

pencil and paper1At some point during our no technology family time, I decided that I want to run a calculation on something.  The conundrum I faced was that I was not allowed to use my phones or computers.  Hmmm.  How was I going to do this.  I sat contemplating other possible options that would be at my disposal yet not explicitly in violation of the challenge rules.

pencil and paper2A-ha!  I devised a plan!  I could use one of my old business calculators.  So I searched.  And I searched.  And I searched.  There was no business calculator to be found.  But a-ha once more because I could use one of my kids’ calculators from school!  Surely that would do the trick!  Irritatingly once more I failed to find a calculator after a few more minutes of searching.

I want to be making this nonsense up, and I want the story to end there.  But I’m not and it doesn’t.  Keep in mind, there was no impending meteor I needed to redirect and these numbers would be the key to Earth’s salvation.  I just reeeally wanted to run this calculation.  Also keep in mind that the calculation involved very basic math and that I do mathematics for a living (but via spreadsheets).

So I crept into my office and stared at my phone…  There it was on my desk.  Dark and quiet and oh so beautiful.  Just sitting there.  Waiting for me.  Calling to me.  “Joanna…I can do that basic math that your small human mind cannot comprehend…”  Yes I hear you phone…

I turned it on.  My heart was racing.  I was so stressed about this because I was nanoseconds away from complete tech challenge anarchy.  The phone was on and ready.  I just stood there.  I knew how disappointed I would be with myself if I used the phone.  I was already thoroughly dismayed at witnessing the crazy I had achieved up to that moment.  Would I completely blow past the line and full out break the rules for basic math that could wait?

Maybe.  I might have.  But then I remember an old set of tools I once used in my youth when I was faced a with mathematical question.  I have a suspicion that you know what I am going to say, but no, it wasn’t an abacus.  It was a frickin’ pencil and paper.

pencil and paper3

You cannot make this insanity up.  I had literally forgotten that I could solve the math myself.  I am a mathematician, and I am more than a little intelligent (or so I thought at some point prior to that moment).  I had become so grossly accustomed to accessing my technological assistants whenever I needed an answer that I didn’t remember to use my own mental assistants.  Based on the wildly embarrassing amount of time it took for me to recall such complex tools as “pencil and paper,” I’m thinking that those mental assistants of mine were either sleeping, picketing, or (most likely) assumed that they had been fired long ago based on lack of work.

The problem took twenty seconds to solve.  Maybe less.  I don’t know how long it had taken me to solve the problem of how I was going to solve the problem, but it was exponentially greater than twenty seconds.

We need to wake our brains back up!  We have to stop leaning on our tech and allowing it to think for us.

Given that it is called the tech turn off challenge, it’s pretty clear that I did not operate entirely within the intended boundaries.  Thankfully I did not access any of the tech functionality, and I learned a serious(-ly embarrassing yet eye-opening) lesson.  I avoided using the phone.  I also avoided admitting any of this to my family, as I learned that particular lesson years ago.  Some things are best left unsaid (and posted to the internet because no one there sees anything ever???)…

In hindsight I have full confidence that the Universe was watching the whole scene while shaking its head back and forth and eating popcorn.  You’re welcome Universe for the entertainment, and I thank you for the reminder in return.

Love, light and logic always – Joanna

Bumble

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