Amid last year’s pre-Christmas chaos, I had an epiphany: I would be happier if my life were simpler. I needed to embrace the concept of less. Less stress. Less stuff. Less technology. More face-to-face and less Facebook. By Christmas eve, I already felt happier in anticipation of the new year when I would put my plan into action. It would be a wonderful, quiet, small, stress-reduced, virtually technology-free year. I was about to lean back into a smaller, cozier, peaceful time.
Unfortunately, I forgot to share my plan with the rest of my family.
The next morning my husband enthusiastically presented me with my gift: an iPad Mini. As I reluctantly fingered the sleek, snappy white packaging, I felt a small panic attack threatening to erupt. My whole new plan for simplicity and less technology was about to be thwarted. After I listened to my husband tick off the many AMAZING virtues of this overgrown iPhone, I believe what I said was, “Oh. Wow. Thanks. This thing scares me.”
I know, I know. It was a terrible, ungrateful thing to say. My teenage sons went buggy-eyed. My husband looked stricken. I knew he wanted that iPad more than anything. But he gave it to me because he thought it was the coolest thing available and that I should have it. And he’s a really nice guy. (He and his own iPad are very close, but, as he often tells me when listing all the cool stuff my iPad can do that his can’t, his is the first generation iPad. Woefully inferior and bulky).
So I was presented with a dilemma: choose to undermine my new, simpler, less-technology life plan or appear to be a cold, ungrateful bitch on Christmas Day. I went with the former and aggressively feigned enthusiasm for my new gadget. I would grow to love it, I said.
Since then, I admit that Mini and I haven’t exactly gotten together that much. Aside from downloading the Kindle app and checking my email, I haven’t taken the time to get to know Mini. The other day my husband saw her lying between stacks of newspapers and warned me not to recycle her. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that I hadn’t even known where she was.
I thought about officially regifting Mini to my husband, because she would bring him SO MUCH joy and because he looked so forlorn when we were in the airport last week and his iPad wasn’t up to the job of downloading something that he was sure Mini would zip right through. Unfortunately, Mini hadn’t made the trip with me, so I couldn’t offer.
When we returned from our travels a few days ago, I found Mini lying forlornly in my dark bedside table drawer. Her battery was at 87%. I’m not sure I’ve ever even recharged her. Since Christmas. That 87% made me feel really, really guilty. She was ready to go. Ready to do…whatever it is that Mini can do. She deserved an owner that would allow her to fulfill her destiny. I really needed to step up.
So the next morning I picked her up and opened her cover. Like magic, she sprang to life, cute and perky and eager. Since I usually write in my gratitude journal first thing in the morning, I consulted her about her thoughts on gratitude journals and she responded with: Gratitude Journal – The Life Changing App. For $3.99. After combing through a few other free gratitude journal options that flashed obnoxious advertising for some casino fish game, I decided to spend the money and let Mini help me be more grateful. I could easily use a regular notebook to do the same thing, and I write much faster on paper than on Mini’s tiny keyboard, but I didn’t tell Mini any of that. I figured I owed her that consideration after all those months of neglect.
Here’s my digital journal entry from yesterday. Mini would like to point out that I could never upload photos to my paper gratitude journal like I can with this app. She does have a point. I guess.