Friday, June 21, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Rhythm

Last night O Bear made a huge mess of dinner, so I put him straight into a tub of water on our front porch and let him splash around for a bit in there, naked as a jay bird as the mess slid off. And while he sat, I absentmindedly tousled his hair, pulling it into a baby mohawk and forgetting, until the next morning he woke up and it had dried that way. It stayed that way all day, somehow, and wearing the polo shirt he got from his grandmother, he looked like such a toddler, like he had grown up into himself over night.

Sometimes I catch myself pecking my own arm, when it grazes my lips. I'm embarrassed to admit it, but it's only because it has become so instinctive, to kiss the top of his head when he rests on my chest or his fingers as they reach for my face. The feeling of skin on my mouth is like the bell to Pavlov's dogs.

And this is the rhythm of my new life. These side-effects of days filled with showing affection. Affection is my latest mastered skill in occupational motherhood.

I said I wouldn't write for a couple weeks, that I would listen instead and really hear. But I am listening, and I am hearing, so I can't help but to record.

Five Minute Friday

Friday, June 14, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Listen

For once I want to actually do it. Put everything aside to live in a world of quiet. I want to find a secluded place, out in the wild, where only the sounds of nature fill my ears, and soak it all in. I want to lean in and listen to the sound of my one and only little baby, babbling as he scurries across the floor. I want to still my thoughts so I can listen and really hear my husband's carefully chosen words, and even more, to understand their true meaning. Yes. That is what I will take this month for. Less writing and scurrying and catching up so that I can soak up a few weeks of listening. That feels right.

Five Minute Friday

Monday, June 10, 2013

Adventures in Simplicity: Embracing the Flip Phone

These are the stories of our family's adventures in living simply. We've had our share of highs and lows in the few short years we've been on this path, but we're loving just figuring it out together as we go along. And now with a new baby in the mix, things are sure to get even more adventuresome!  You can find the entire series, including our reasons for choosing this path, here.

If my minimalist husband had his way, neither one of us would even have cell phones, period, and we would just get a landline, which, while certainly possible (hello 20 years ago), is not something I am interested in doing. I like being able to call Andy at the grocery store when I forgot to add something to the list, and I like being able to bug my friends for directions when I get lost in the car, which is about every other week, on average. If you are interested in going cell phone free, however, there are some great thoughts in this post.

I did once have an actual smartphone, a couple years ago as part of a job and so I know, it's nice. About once a day, I kind of wish I still had one. I'm terrible with directions, so I would love to still have a GPS in my pocket everywhere I go. And I love the idea of always having a camera at the ready to capture little moments, especially now that we have a little one. And every time I find myself waiting in line or sitting in a parked car, I wish I could at least do something productive like check my email.

From my smartphone days. I don't have a photo with my flip phone because why even have it out?
photo by
BUT, also about once a day I find myself very thankful for my obsolete little phone that does nothing more than call and text. Mostly, I like how it keeps my life a little more analog. I like that I have to be intentional about my time online because it means going into another room and using both of my hands.   I like how I'm not tempted to use social media while I'm spending time with my son and I like those quiet times in line or in my car when I have nothing to do but sit and listen and think. I truly believe that  times of forced reflection throughout the day are important to my development as a human being and with a smartphone, I'm not sure I would have them. I even kind of like how easy it is to lose track of my phone completely for hours or days at a time (though I'm not sure my friends and family do), because it's just not a lifeline to me like a smartphone would be. Also, I like how the money we save by using such simple phones helps to make our simple lives possible.

Obviously, some families truly need smartphones to make their lives work. I know that. We may even be one of those families some day, but right now the small benefit simply doesn't outweigh the cost, both to our finances and to our quality of life. So for this season at least, we are smartphone free and loving it.

Anyone else out there embracing the flip phone like it's '05? What keeps you from going smartphone? Any unusual arguments for living simply with a smartphone?