I sometimes think I was born in the wrong century. Or at least the wrong decade.
I am suspicious of new technology. I was the last of my friends to get a cell phone and one of the last to get on Facebook. Siri weirds me out. Social media overwhelms me. I learned what emoji are yesterday.
When considering children’s activities/education/toys, my framework is often WWLIWD? (What would Laura Ingalls Wilder do?)
So when Hubs started extolling the wonders of the iPhone 6, he wasn’t surprised when I responded with my usual snarky attitude toward the latest and greatest things.
My three-year-old iPhone 4—that I purchased after eating my words about how I’d never get a smart/touch-screen phone—was perfectly fine, thankyouverymuch.
Fun fact: I bought it with money I got from selling my blood to science while I was pregnant with #2. Don’t worry, it was only a little blood. A story for another day.
Until it started acting weird. And I had to face the reality that iOS7 + all of my files + an old iPhone weren’t getting along. It was time for a new one.
After finding the best combination of storage, capability, and price (for me, a 32G iPhone 5C–and isn’t this case lovely?!), I attempted to set it up as much like my old phone as possible.
And that’s when I noticed.
A new iPhone’s default settings are to notify you about EVERYTHING. Alerts for texts. Voicemail. New emails. Sent Email. FB posts. Tweets. Calendar Events. Air Drops (what?).
Thankfully, you can change all of these and remain blissfully unaware of the constant stream of new information. Which, except for texts and a ringtone, is what I did.
Most people probably aren’t bothered by phone notifications and would have just left them. However, I prefer as little visual/audio clutter as possible. (HSP and all).
So if I didn’t want my life’s soundtrack to be chirping or chimes, I had to make a little effort. It felt a bit tedious, but it didn’t take long and now my life is uncluttered by alerts.
It reminded me of living intentionally in other areas of my life.
If I don’t want to just drift along doing our culture’s defaults, I have to be purposeful.
Sometimes, opting out of default-mode takes serious time and energy.
Like when I overhauled my family’s eating habits. Or decided to homeschool for pre-k this year. Or planned a two and half week road trip with a toddler, preschooler, and pregnant belly.
Those decisions meant research and planning and preparation.
But sometimes living intentionally is more like changing your phone’s settings. It doesn’t take much time and still yields satisfying rewards.
For example, back in October I imagined that writing every day for 31 days would feel totally overwhelming in the midst of an already crazy season of life.
But actually? If I kept the posts short and sweet, it amounted to less than an hour a day.
If I want to keep my Christmas season simple and stress-free, I’ll take a minute to make a list of what we’ll do this year—and then resist adding to it.
If I want to stop mindlessly checking email throughout the day, I just put my phone out of sight (which is why it’s often in the kitchen cabinet instead of on the counter, begging to be checked).
If I want to make a habit out of reading the Bible to my kids, I’ll just read a psalm or a proverb at breakfast every morning.
None of these takes crazy time or effort; they’re just small changes that have helped me live more in line with what’s important to me.
Thanks, new iPhone, for the reminder.
What are some small ways you live intentionally?