I Wish The Universe Would Stop Using My Husband To Tell Me Things

The tacos were long gone, and the kids were counting cat cookies by the time I picked up my phone and started skimming.

Dinner was technically over. I'd already endured a 20 minute chorus of nonsense, which is to say, I chatted with my six and four year old in between bites of guacamole. I figured I'd earned at least a few moments to read three dozen status updates, of which 80% combined words like "snow" and "ice" with ample sarcasm. (My favorite--a friend who announced she was "expecting again!!", and then in the fine print, told us the expectation involved 6-9 inches of snow and not 40 weeks of gestation. But I digress.)

Larry arrived for dinner just as the guacamole dwindled to dangerous levels, catching me phone-handed. But it didn't even occur to me to put the phone away. Instead, I read him a few updates, a quote from a blog post, and the weather report. Which looking back, I realize was enormously helpful in sealing my fate for the intervention that followed.

When the Eternal Quest to Put the Kids to Bed was finally behind us, he started the spiel. Distracted, disengaged, and this is a problem--how do you not see it? I didn't like the spiel. At all. I tried defensiveness, deflection, and I might have tried a bit of sarcasm (which works so well in Facebook, why not real life?)

But guess what. That cussity-cuss-cuss spiel was accurate. He was right. (There. I said it. HAPPY now, Dear? ) By the end of the evening, I understood and agreed. This hyper-connected, email and internet obsessed mother can do better. I need to do better.

This morning, he emailed me this WP article. (Yes. Emailed. Oh the irony.)

And then it was clear that the universe was trying to tell me something.
(I just wish the universe would stop using my husband to tell me things. It's getting annoying.)

I live distracted at baseline, and the ridiculous lengths to which I take multitasking are not doing me or my tasks any favors. 

I'll give you an example if you promise not to judge: updating TurboTax while on the phone with doctor's office while overseeing homework while preparing dinner. But so you don't think I'm totally crazy, I had a good 8 minutes to kill while the pasta was boiling.

I know I need to make some concrete changes, specific resolutions on which I can feasibly follow through. I'm comfortable with the amount of "focused" time I spend online--that's at least one area where it's not excessive. Where I am faltering is in how distractable I am, how I reach for the phone way too often, how I skim and glance and check instead of giving one thing my full attention.

And so (again in a stroke of ironic genius--or oxymoronic behavior--you choose), I turn to the internet to help me figure this out.

What should I do differently, give up, do less of? What boundaries have you set to instill balance in your use of technology? Has it worked? Is it safe to assume I'm not getting an iPhone 4 for Valentine's Day? (Wait. Don't answer that one.)

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