I’m back, call me anytime

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 13, 2013

For years, I didn’t have a cell phone. Well, that’s not exactly true. I had one when I worked fulltime at the newspaper and sometimes covered stories at night.

Then, I was no longer a newspaper person so I didn‘t think I needed a phone since I didn‘t do much traveling after dark. I thought I could surely survive a trip to town without one.

However, a couple of years ago, I caved and got a cell phone again and before long I made sure it was with me even if I was only making a quick trip to the grocery store. Still, I didn‘t consider myself as addicted to my phone as some folks seemed to be. That was until last weekend.

“No SIM card installed,” was the message that popped up on my iPhone and I did not have a clue what it meant. When I tried to use my phone, I found out it meant, “this phone is not working at all.”

So, I used my first line of defense against any electronic emergency. I turned the phone off and prayed the angel who guards devices would fix the problem.

It worked and when I turned the phone on, the message disappeared. I made my call and didn’t give it another thought until it happened again. This time we were on our way to Montgomery.

I turned on the phone to call my father-in-law and let him know our plans for the day.

“No SIM card installed” popped up on the screen. I turned the phone off and back on.

“No SIM card installed.” Repeated off and on procedure.

“No SIM card installed.” Reality set in. My phone was not working and was not going to magically begin working no matter how many times I turned it off and back on.

“Well we are going to have to travel like we did in old times,” my husband said laughing.

I thought about that and realized that, yes, there was a time not so long ago when we went on trips without being able to contact anyone from the car while we traveled. I never felt panicked about that one bit.

So why did I feel anxious now? And I did catch myself feeling anxious because I was phone-less.

In that moment, I realized how, like everyone else, I am dependent on and addicted to all the gizmos and electronic gadgets that are part of our lives. Oh, I convinced myself I wasn’t one of those folks who needed to be connected every minute. No, my devices didn’t own me. I could be without them anytime and be just fine.

That is the story I told myself. Truth is I felt lost without my phone. I wanted to know I was a few taps away from being able to make a call anywhere, anytime or jump on the internet while I cruised along the interstate.

However, our wonderful inventions do stop working sometimes, leaving us stranded on the communications highway. That is how I felt Sunday afternoon — stranded, disconnected.

I thought about that later as I watched people talking, texting and taking pictures while they ate and listened to a great band playing. They were connected; their phones worked.

Then it occurred to me that my connection to what was actually going around me was better than some of the folks who were busy connecting to life with their phones. So, I took a deep breath, released my anxiety and enjoyed the rest of evening and the trip home without another thought about my lack of a phone.

So does the story end with me deciding that maybe I’ve gotten a bit too attached to my electronics? Nope.

Monday morning I marched down to the cell phone store and restored my connection. I’m back so give me a call anytime.