Don’t check your phone.

Lying in the dark, freshly washed and smelling of lemon verbena, cuddled up in bed, ready to fall fast asleep. And then, a shrill sings out in the darkness, banishing the serenity that filled the room. It’s accompanied by flashing lights and subsequently followed by three sharp beeps and one painfully iconic notification ding.

My phone is going off and I can’t answer it.

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                                 (A screen full of notifications can be hell on earth.)

It’s just sitting there, unchecked, just waiting. I get an mental itch develop, the one that makes you straighten picture frames in stranger’s houses, alphabetize the herbs and spices in the pantry or make excel spreadsheets keeping track of the television shows you watch.

I was challenged to do 24 hours without internet and phone, disconnecting myself from social media entirely and it wasn’t that hard; the social media part was easy, but not being able to clear the little numbers telling me I had multiple messages sitting on my phone were difficult to forget about. It was reinforced to me that I am perhaps a little OCD.

I love to be organised. It’s my thing. I am known as the person who has their life together, to-do listed and all the key parts highlighted. I don’t like to play board games because you have to have a thought out strategy, card games you are expected to know the rules and video games you should have enough skill to not drive into all the lampposts in Grand Theft Auto. This makes me the worst company on rainy days. I like to know what I am doing.

It’s a safety net I developed a long time ago, getting as much control over the situation as I can so nothing can surprise me. Therefore being without internet or my phone caused me to learn to forget about what was coming and instead live in the moment. I remembered what it was like to not live with fear in the back in mind of what my friends, family or the world was up to and instead listen to music, sit in the sun and relax on a beautiful Sunday evening.

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(Left: Myself chilling in the park on a sunny day.)                                                (Right: The view from my apartment.)

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