Saturday, January 03, 2015

New Years Goals and An Old Phone Friendship

Some of us have to deliberately make things complicated.  It's how we're wired.  We can't help it.

Instead of the normal New Years resolutions, I thought I would see if I could distill my goals and also things I want or ought to do into simple verbs.

Because simplifying is good.

I thought, oh, maybe five of them would summarize what I would like to do this year in all the major areas of life like friends and travel and writing.



And that wasn't nearly all, which goes to show that you should never tell a scattered but obsessive person to plan ahead and make a comprehensive list, because they [we] will be so paralyzed by fear that we might forget one sub-category that we will spend two days making a list and the rest of the week finding the right printable paper on Pinterest, with just the right borders and lines--oh, and it has to be numbered--on which to write each of these as a title, followed by every possible particular in the numbered list, because what if we forget something??

For example:
1. bathrobe for Matt
2. put pockets in skirts
3. quilt for Ben
4. quilt for Steven
5. [etc.]

FlyLady on her insightful website addresses this very thing. Just find a piece of paper already, she says, and make a list.  Don't take time to find the perfect paper and pen.  Don't make the perfect list.

Just write down the reasonable basics, she says, like it is possible to do this without obsessing.  It's ok if you forget something, she says.  Progress not perfection.

Yes, well.  FlyLady has never yet called me up to see how well I listen. I can follow her in the minors like wearing shoes all day and shining my sink.  But to make a list on any old piece of paper??  No no.  And surely with all those pretty, detailed lists I will actually get it all done...Mrs. Smucker hopes fervently while exaggerating only slightly.

I wonder: How do you normal people make goals and keep them?

In other news, after a few months of frustration and guilt, I had the screen of that dreadful smartphone go black in the middle of formulating a prayer chain message one time too many, and I went back to my old flip-phone.

You know, that nice, sweet, cooperative, friendly flip-phone, who wasn't the least bit jealous of how I rejected her to spend all my time with the smartphone.  "Oh," she laughed comfortably when I pulled her out of the drawer and charged her up, "I know how it is.  I knew you'd be back."

She has real buttons that do what they say they will do.  I can push the 2 to call Paul. I can text even faster than I could on that annoying glass screen.  The flip phone doesn't put in all sorts of wild letters  and semi-cussing that I never meant to type.

I was in Wendy's one day, eating lunch and sending Paul a text.  "Oh, I'm glad to see I'm not the only one with an old-fashioned phone," said a voice to my right.

I looked up.  An older lady sat across the aisle.  She said, "My kids and grandkids keep bugging me to get a smartphone.  I won't do it.  I just won't.  I tell them, 'I just want to make a phone call!'"

Oh Sister.  I said, "Yes!  I know exactly what you mean!"

Then she rummaged in her purse and pulled out her phone.  It was exactly like mine.

We grinned, united and strong, standing firm against the rushing tide of techy offspring who think they know what's best for us, but so so so do not.

I am happy that in one area, at least, I have what it takes to un-complicate my life.

Quote of the Day:
"Was there a year zero, or was it 1 BC and then 1 AD, like the streets in Halsey?"
--Emily, who has given my mind a twist every day since she learned to talk


  1. Oh wow I am glad we met up again if only in cyberspace! I loved your blog today... Me the inveterate list maker actually graduated to my SCRAPPY BITS... notes any where and on anything then throw them in a basket... Or tape them to a wall. Oh, I now have sticky notes on my computer which can be put in a file. So my lists, at least, are organized.

  2. I've had a running "To Do List" Word document since the 7th grade. Only once have I crossed every single item off of it -- the night before I gave birth to my 3rd. I take that as a good sign.

    And living in a foreign country, I have to have a smart phone for directions and translation services, but as soon as we move back to America, I'm going back to my flip! I HATE SMART PHONES!

  3. When my old flip phone dies, I think I'll sit down in the middle of the floor and cry. Why do they have to make things so complicated? And why, oh why, do my kids have to scoff at the fact that I only want my phone to be ... a phone! Not a camera, or a computer, or a game console, or an organizer, but just a phone.

  4. There's another way to accomplish everything on your list. I often do things that weren't originally on the list so I write them down after I did them just so I can cross them off. :-)

  5. Shannon in Ohio1/04/2015 10:46 AM

    I'm worried what I will replace my old flip phone with when it invariably dies, it is faithfully limping along, but I'm afraid the end is near. I've lost track of how old it is, 5-6 years? A few buttons have permanently fallen off (I have them, but they no longer stick) and the charger only works in fits and starts. They don't make anything similar to my phone anymore. Any chance you will share what make/model you've found that works for you?

  6. I read a hint to prevent people from stealing your cell-phone: have a vintage flip-phone that the thieves don't want. There was a picture of the phone. It looked just like mine. I had my phone (the predecessor to this one) a long time before I learned how to operate the address book, and much later, how to text, though it is still quite laborious. I think I could take pictures, access the inter-net, etc., but I don't know how. It does what I need. LRM

  7. Ohh dear Flylady. She told me I wasn't getting things done because of perfectionism, and I didn't believe her....... Until I didn't make my daily routines because I haven't bought a new notebook, or found the "good" pens.

  8. Shannon--Sorry I'm so late in answering this! My phone is a Samsung and it also says Verizon on it....and I'm afraid that's all I know except that it's black and it also comes in purple.