I am the kind of person who gets a thought in her head… and has to run with it right there and then, otherwise it will disappear into the abyss! So my posts won’t be in any kind of order unfortunately… however, they will hopefully be helpful to you when you need them! I will be writing anything and everything about our minimalism journey, including the reasons for this change in lifestyle, and how we did it. But right now, I have this in my head, and it needs to be burned into the internet to rid myself of the ‘mind clutter’.
So, for the last few months, my 2 year old mobile phone has been slowly dying. It had been dropped a few times and, as a result, the screen was badly cracked and, in it’s last weeks, half of the screen would produce a strobe-like flashing whenever I opened an app. Frustrating!
A few months ago I would have been desperately searching the internet and finding a way to budget to get myself a shiny new one! People would offer their old handsets in the mean time, but that would have been a hard offer to accept. I can’t go backwards! I can’t have a phone that’s even older than the one that had died on me! Accepting an old phone, then coming to the realisation that, well… it works just fine, would give me no excuses to get a brand new one, right!? And everyone would see that I was just getting a new contract because I wanted to, not because I needed to. I can’t let anyone think that I am being self indulgent and selfish. Particularly when we have a large family to feed. So I would have clung onto the broken device, made excuses as to why a particular brand of borrowed phone wouldn’t be able to offer what I needed, you know, for blogging and the substandard camera and blah blah blah… it would have constantly been on my mind, I would have grown to hate the damn thing. Whenever I looked at it, it would have made me unhappy. I would also have been subconsciously worried about forking out cash for a new contract, but it wouldn’t have been as strong as my desire to upgrade… and at my next opportunity, when everyone felt sorry enough for me, I would order that brand new sparkly phone!
Now I am in the throws of my minimalist/zero waste journey, (I still have a way to go) I am finding many ways in which my outlook has changed. Dramatically! It’s almost an obsession now, a very healthy one, particularly on our finances! When my phone started to strobe, it was only sporadic and stopped if I put it on charge. My husband offered to search out an old phone, but I refused… this time, not because I was holding out for him to say ‘Oh go on then, lets look for a new contract!’ but because, well, it still worked! It did everything I needed it to do, I was used to it, it was comfortable… it just flashed now and then. So what!? Once it got worse, and flashed constantly with no let up, I decided it was time to take him up on his offer. He searched through the caverns of his ‘man drawer’ and found the phone I owned before this one. The one that got sssooooo slow and looked like it might have glitched this one time so I decided it was at the end of it’s days there and then, and made a pile of excuses as to why it wasn’t good enough anymore, ha! I swapped sims, downloaded the apps I needed, and here we are!
Yup, the screen is cracked, not as badly, it is still slow… but IT WORKS. It does everything I need it to do. It can’t make or receive calls or texts due to me not actually having a contract anymore, (that’s a story for another time!) and, as a result, I cannot download whatsapp. Which is all actually kind of perfect for an introvert like me… every cloud! I have messenger on Facebook, and everyone knows they can contact me on there. So, what am I actually missing? Nothing. What have I gained? Well, ALL of my contacts are in one place. All my conversations are in one place. I don’t need to go searching through 5 different apps to find a a particular conversation thread. I can see, in one place, who is trying to get hold of me, and assess whether I need to reply immediately or leave it until I have some more time to sit and write something thoughtful. A huge amount of mind clutter and disorganisation has disappeared. I have more clarity. I am not constantly thinking about how I can get my hands on a new phone. A new phone that would entice me to download all the apps that took up all my time, using it because it was there, being distracted from what else is here. The important stuff.
I had a problem (a real one this time) and I solved it. Done. No worries. No stressing. No money spent. No guilt. The problem has gone. The solution came. It is in my head no more.
Obviously it is in my head right now, I am typing about it, no need to get pedantic!
On my journey so far, I have come to see that so many of my previous worries were ‘new phone worries’. My head was constantly filled with a barrage of problems I had only made up in my head. I was blocking resolutions, easy resolutions to these ‘problems’ because of my greed or ‘want’ to be in control of the situation and make my ‘own’ choices. I know now that it was the media causing me to feel this way. (We all kind of know this, but continue regardless.) To be so desperate to ‘keep up’ and not ‘fall backwards’. Or to finally get that product that would make me happy and content with my life and solve all of my issues, those happy and content people on the adverts seem to have got it right. Ads fill peoples heads with ‘new phone worries’ all day, everyday.
New outfit worries.
New TV worries.
New sofa worries.
The cold weather is coming so I need that beautiful new chunky knit blanket I saw in Ikea because otherwise we will freeze and die, plus it will save money on the heating we will end up putting on anyway because we will realise the blanket doesn’t quite cut it unless we cover ourselves from head to toe in the beautiful thing so we can’t see the new TV or breathe… but it’s really pretty and goes with our new sofa, worries.
From someone who thought that I was immune to being ‘sold to’, it was a bitter pill to swallow when I realised I certainly wasn’t immune. They had been in my head this whole time.
How many of your worries are ‘new phone worries’?