Wednesday, 28 January 2009

The phone

The phone is a challenge for me.

I don't know if my "always answer the phone" instinct stems from my social butterfly days of my teen years, or maybe from my work in the film industry where the business demands instant communication. Whatever the root, I have developed the habit of automatically answering the phone whenever it rings, no matter what I'm doing.

It's a habit I'd like to break.

I have a good friend with four children just older than mine. Her life is busy, with a husband in church leadership while he works full time and pursues a Master's degree. Her kids are in school, plus she has a toddler at home. There are a number of activities for the family, the kids. Plus there's the monster-size playful dog as well. She is a very dear friend to me. But I never expect to actually hear her voice when I call. Her family has a (conscious or not) policy not to interrupt something just to answer the phone. She simply waits until she has a convenient time that isn't interfering with her life as a wife and mother to pick up the message and return the call. I so admire it.

Me, the phone rings and I think my pulse quickens. Who is calling? Is it social or business? Does it require immediate action? Mostly it's just curiosity in me that answers the call.

I am famous for decrying modern technology, often saying that "they lived without the devices for thousands of years and somehow made do." or "what on earth did people do a hundred years ago when they couldn't get a hold of me right away!" I long for the easy, slow-paced days gone by.

And so I am making a "phone resolution". I am going to be more discriminate when I answer or don't answer the phone. Specifically, I will not answer:

1) when I have time alone with my husband.
2) during meals
3) during devotionals
4) during family activities
5) when I have a half hour to myself to relax

Maybe after enough time goes by the natural impulse to pick up the phone will pass. Maybe my heart will stay calm, and the sharp ring will fade into the background. Maybe I will attain some of that peaceful atmosphere for which I long.

1 comment:

Kevin H. said...

Not a bad idea (especially when so many phone calls these days are from telemarketers of various stripes).

I don't know what kind(s) of phone(s) you have at your place, but if any of them are digital, you might try changing the ring-tone to something less obtrusive/urgent and more subdued. Heck, just turn down the volume a ways so they don't make your heart leap when they start pleading to be answered!

If all you've got are built-in ringers ... umm ... I got nothin'. It's all will-power from there on out.

Good luck!


P.S. Just make sure you answer the phone when I call, okay. I like to feel special. :)