Bad things happen when I leave my phone at home. The mindfulness “just-be-in-the moment” movement has a lot to answer for, frankly. Like the time I tried to be in the moment with my kids at the playground and Whitney Houston died and nobody else worked at Mamamia back then except me so I had to scramble to write a post and get the news up. Hours late.
Or the time I went out with my girlfriend Bron, and decided to turn my phone off so I wouldn’t be distracted only to turn it back on as we left the restaurant and have it explode with dozens of missed calls and text notifications from my husband the highlight of which was this:
“Coco has hurt her neck, I’ve called an ambulance.”
[spoiler: she was OK and in fact asleep by the time I got the message with no lasting physical or emotional damage].
“You can’t ever turn your phone off,” Bron texted me later that night. “Not when you’re somebody’s mother.”
These are wise words and I’ve lived by them pretty much since. But on holidays with my family last week, I thought we were safe. The only child who wasn’t with me was 19 years old and wouldn’t even notice if I wasn’t phone-accessible for, say, an hour.
A beach walk to the nearby creek with my husband and children? A great opportunity to break the shackles that bind my phone to me at all times. Live in the moment! Be present! Mindful! Remember tender moments in my heart instead of being absorbed in capturing them with a camera!
What could possibly go wrong?
A few hours later, I’m at the local police station.
I’d been surprised to notice bullet-proof glass as I walked in, separating me from the police officer on the other side. He looked up as I approached the desk between us.