Scrawling Versus Scrolling: Can Journaling Break a Mindless Phone Habit?

Welcome! I’m glad to see you here. Are you here for PSA? Yes, Phone-Scrollers Anonymous, that’s right. Take a seat, please. Don’t be shy. (That’s my department.)

Well, I suppose since I’m the one who’s organized this meeting, I’d better start:

Hello. My name is Marian, and I’m a mindless phone-scrolling-aholic. It’s been 34 days since my last early morning, sitting up in bed, sipping coffee in the dark, I-hate-that-this-is-how-I-start-my-day-but-I’m-seemingly-powerless-to-stop mindless phone-scrolling session.

Can you relate?

Here’s my tale: I wake at 5:15. I pour myself a cup of coffee. (Courtesy my husband, who is up at 4:45.) And then I sit up in bed, the room dark except for the glow of my small screen. And I begin to scroll.

I bop from blog to blog. I hop onto CBC and read the news. And then — maybe — pop over to The Guardian. I tell myself not to look at the comments section, but I rarely take my own advice. When that gets to be too much — when my chest is tight with the conflict I’m absorbing — I look through Facebook to see what my eight “friends” are up to. Instagram is next. I drool over knitted items I will never make, vegan dishes I’m too lazy to prepare, zero-waste sites that make me want to do more more more with less less less.

Two cups of coffee and 45 minutes later I put the phone down. I pull on work-out clothes and head down to the basement treadmill.

But I’m feeling icky:

  1. I’ve just wasted a whole lotta time (and daughters of Dutch mothers must not waste time!).
  2. I’ve bathed in a myriad of emotions: fear, envy, inadequacy, hopelessness, rage and disgust. To be fair to the Internet, there’s also been a laugh or two and a feeling of connectivity. But the residue of the negative is the thing that seems to stick.

Thoughts:

  1. This is a terrible way to start the day.
  2. How did this happen? How did I get here? What did my mornings look like before I had this damn phone? Did I used to just, you know, get up? Why don’t I have any willpower?
  3. Hmm. Addictions. Habits. Nature abhors a vacuum. Maybe I need something to replace the phone scrolling as I sit here in the dark and drink my coffee. Gum is to cigarettes what FILL IN THE BLANK is to phone scrolling…
  4. What’s that, Internet? NaNoWriMo?
  5. Yes, well, erm…
  6. How about NaNoWriMo-lite?
  7. Hmm. I already have a journal. It’s right here, in my bedside table.
  8. But it’s dark.
  9. *Actually?*
  10. /Turns on the light/

More thoughts (and some questions):

  1. Filling a page is a glorious accomplishment.
  2. Journaling can be anything you want it to be. It can be a to-do list or a to-blog list. It can be a poetry-under-construction site, an active volcanic eruption, or a flowers-and-sunshine tra-la-la walk in a meadow: look at all the things I have to be grateful for!
  3. There’s a lovely soothing tactile rhythm in keeping the pen flowing, even if the words are — literally — keep the pen flowing keep the pen flowing.
  4. In 34 days I’ve used three pens. They weren’t new to begin with, but this is ridiculous.
  5. Sometimes words come out and I have no idea where they came from. They fall out of the pen and I look at them and say WTF is that how I really feel?
  6. Words are evidence.
  7. Uncensored journaling requires one of two things: a) absolute security and trust in the knowledge that a double-underlined PRIVATE will be respected, or b) absolute fearlessness for any possible repercussions that may occur if that double-underlined PRIVATE is not respected.
  8. A cross-shredder would also work. Or a fire.
  9. There’s ritual in daily writing. I need more ritual in my life.
  10. Journaling is a cheap thrill. ANOTHER page done! Go me!
  11. Journaling is writing exercise.
  12. Thinking is not writing exercise. Some people I need to stop fooling myself that it is.
  13. Journaling penmanship can be different than regular penmanship. (Or is this just me?) My grocery list is an upright mix that falls between printing and cursive. My journaling cursive leans so far to the right it’s almost falling over. It’s as though the words are running a race and are leaning into the wind. Sometimes it’s so messy it’s indecipherable the next day.
  14. I’m curious: is anyone else a cursive chameleon? My cursive has changed over the years. In high school it was upright, rounded, painfully neat. In university it shrank: minuscule writing, crammed on the page, a shrinking violet, just like its creator.
  15. Is journaling in cursive a different experience than journaling on a keyboard? Is the physicality of filling a line, a page, a book necessary to the experience?
  16. If so, has the Ontario school curriculum robbed a generation of journaling?
  17. The Ontario school curriculum has — for sure — robbed a generation of a third-grade right-of-passage.
  18. A certain mean mother who shall not be named forced her youngest child to learn cursive after school.
  19. This was not actually torture, as the child claimed.
  20. Journaling is self-reflection. Contrary to what your mother told you, self-reflection is a good thing.
  21. Journaling is trying words on, taking them down from the shelf, pulling them over your head, turning from side to side. Do my thoughts look too FILL IN THE BLANK in this? Words can lie. Just sayin’.
  22. Journaling is a privileged activity. I’m sitting in a safe place. I’m drinking coffee that’s been shipped halfway around the world. It’s been trucked on asphalt roads to my fully-stocked grocery store. My husband made it without having to chop wood and build a fire. I didn’t have to walk hours to fetch the water. I have a pen and a book, both (likely) made in China, shipped and trucked using cheap fossil fuels. If these run out — the pens and the book, I mean — I can buy replacements.
  23. Journaling is the thing I could have done twenty years ago if I hadn’t done other things, like cross-stitching pictures I no longer own and watching Mad About You and Friends.
  24. If I hadn’t spent time watching Friends I wouldn’t be able to laugh with my coffee-bringing husband as he exits the bedroom dressed in running tights, demonstrating how he’ll try not to run like Phoebe.
  25. We all have the same 24 hours in a day. That’s technically true, but for all intents and purposes it’s actually a lie. (See Kate’s eloquent comment below.) So I’ll rephrase: We can all spend whatever truly free time we have in the manner of our choosing. Some of us don’t have the privilege of having any truly free time. Some of us have free time but don’t have the privilege of freedom to use it as we might want.
  26. I want my time on this earth to matter, even if it’s only in a way that matters to me or to the people I love.
  27. I no longer want to lose hours to mindless and useless activities. I want to be fully awake.
  28. It’s now Day 35: Yes, scrawling can beat scrolling.
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30 thoughts on “Scrawling Versus Scrolling: Can Journaling Break a Mindless Phone Habit?

  1. I love this! Especially as I’ve been journaling quite a bit since I started using my bullet journal (which isn’t really a bullet journal as it is a collection of calendars, lists I can cross off, and my journaling but it mostly follows the idea of one book for everything so I call it that!) In regards to privacy, my sister has been told she needs to find and destroy mine when I die.

    Couple of unrelated thoughts. I don’t think we all have the same 24 hours. I used to use that argument to beat myself up when I didn’t accomplish everything I wanted and then I started to think about it…I have friends who have cleaning ladies. There are people who have people to shop and prepare and cook their food. Or pay their bills. Or help with their children. Or whatever. I know some people find that quote motivating, and if you are I hope you’ll just tell me to fly a kite and keep using it. I just know I was beating myself up for it but the truth is – I *don’t* have as many hours as Beyoncé.

    Violet and Abram’s elementary school taught cursive and I really appreciate it. I used to practice mine during church and it’s changed so much. When I was younger I wanted the bubbly round kind that was everywhere in the late 80’s, but mine now is often tight and without flourish. Hurried. More so when I’m writing just for myself. I love how you describe your journal handwriting.

    I love that your husband brings you coffee! Mine does too. Though Abram makes it because he makes the best coffee of anyone in the house (though he doesn’t even drink it).

    And FINALLY, good for you for not reaching for the phone. That’s my last step in this whole process. I need to get out of the habit of grabbing and reading the news first thing in the morning. I’m tempted to put my phone in a different room.

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    1. I LOVE that Abram makes the coffee in your house! My youngest is 13 — this is *totally* something that could be his job 😉 . I also love that your sister is under orders to seek and destroy your journal if the need arises. I need a plan like that.

      My older two learned cursive when we lived in Minnesota. And my daughter also learned keyboarding, but my older son just missed out on that as we moved just prior to him taking it. These are SUCH important things, and I was very unhappy to learn my youngest wouldn’t get either at his new school. They do a great job with all the other stuff, but I’d love to know what was so important that it took the place of these two things. Argh.

      On the “we all have the same 24 hours” — I actually TOTALLY agree with you, Kate. That’s a point I put in right at the very end of my writing, and I must have been channeling The Minimalists, who often say it (and whose podcast I listened to during this morning’s walk), and whenever I hear them say it, I think, “Yes, but…” and yet SOMEHOW I put it in! All I can say is THIS is what happens when I decide I need to work on overcoming my paralyzing perfectionism and I press publish without allowing myself to agonize over my posts for weeks… Once I post this comment, I’m going to add an edit to that point. Thank you for calling me out on it.

      xo Marian

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      1. Oh jeez. I feel so terrible!! I by no means wanted to call you out by pointing out the 24 hour thing. I’m so sorry, Marian. I love seeing posts for you and hope you won’t agonize in the future!!

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      2. No, no, no! You are NOT to feel terrible, Kate! This is actually a good thing. Perfectionism and conflict-avoidance are the things I do best, and neither are healthy. In my editing courses I’ve heard time and again: we’re all human and mistakes are unavoidable. And I’ll think, Yes, that’s all well and good but I don’t want to be the one to make mistakes. I had a niggling sense over that 24-hour point and in my self-imposed rush to get the post published chose to ignore that feeling. There’s a balance between agonizing over words for hoursdaysweeksmonths and rushing headlong and pressing publish or submit without due diligence. I either need to learn to find that balance, or I need to give up on everything — my courses, this blog, speaking out loud anywhere any time ever… I also need to learn that when I make mistakes with words or ideas or apostrophes it’s not the end of the world! The only way I will push past perfectionism and conflict-avoidance is by making mistakes and putting myself into situations where conflict is a possibility.
        And — on the “calling out”: I’m a polite Canadian and I believe in civility, but I think that the thing the world desperately needs right now is more “calling out.” We’ve run out of time for pussy-footing around and waiting patiently for people to open their eyes. Ironically (speaking of perfectionism and agonizing over posts and wanting to avoid conflict), I have a post about just that, one in which I call out some pure bullshit that my son learned in one of his classes a few weeks ago. I’ve worked on it for hours. And it’ll likely never get published, but will sit in my drafts folder, alongside the 70 or so others…

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    2. I’m glad to hear that my “calling out” was appreciated rather than something that caused hurt feelings. This is a hard and hectic time of year and I tend to be extra prickly so I 1) try to take care in case others are feeling a sense of the prickles but 2) don’t always remember because I’m prickly.

      And Rita is absolutely correct when she talks about your writing having such humor. It’s one of my favorite things about your blog posts.

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      1. I’m honestly so relieved to see this comment from you, Kate. I felt so bad that I had made YOU feel bad!

        On prickliness…I understand completely — I am the master of that! This is, without a doubt, my least favourite time of the year. And it gets worse for me with every passing year…

        It means a lot to me to hear you say you find humour in my posts. I need to try to find more of that, both here and IRL. I feel like most of my posts are a mix of thinly veiled panic and outright panic, and I seem to be continually clobbering my friends/readers with less-than-happy stuff. This has been a brutal year for me, and I’m SO grateful to have friends here who have been willing to virtually walk alongside me.

        Merry Christmas, Kate.
        xo Marian

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      2. I think you do a very good job sharing in a way that is honest, tender, and funny. Not giddy funny, but wry (because if we don’t laugh, we’d just weep). You never, ever clobber. But maybe I just understand and share the thinly veiled and outright panic at times.

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  2. Oh how lovely to see you again Marian! And yes I’m absolutely with you on the mindless scrolling. Especially with all the scary, horrible things happening in the world, it’s all too easy to drown in the awfulness of it all, and thus lose the ability to do the (maybe small, but still…) things we actually can do to counter it.
    So now, I limit myself to blogs of people who inspire me but keep it real (often, they inspire me precisely because they keep it real); to reading The Guardian online (but never, ever, the below-the-line comments – they are usually hate-filled, envy-filled invective, and take no-one anywhere good); and Twitter (but I’m really, really picky about who I follow – only those who I trust, are intelligent, or who inspire me).
    And yes, I do feel better for it. And I do more as a result. I don’t write much (though on second thoughts I love my physical diary, and use it to plan and list rather than to remind me of appointments).
    I have to confess though that I use my phone a lot through the night – but NEVER to read stuff, only to listen to (positive) podcasts that soothe my mind and help me drift back to sleep.
    Anyhow, good luck with your continuing recasting of unhelpful habits. I found my 100 day challenge earlier this year to be an invaluable discipline. I will post about it shortly, but in essence, I promised myself to do something I knew to be good for me, I kept my promise, and I felt good about myself as a result (and I had the good benefits of doing the challenge itself).
    But we each have to come to our own solutions, that work for us regardless of whether or not they work for others. Again, good luck to you and well done for sticking to it for so long. xxxx

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    1. Yes, you’re so right — it’s so easy to feel as though you’re drowning in all the awfulness. And it is so important for us to be able to keep going, to continue to do all the things we can, even if they’re small.

      There are so many positives to having and continuing to use our screens. I use my phone to listen to podcasts and music. And I love being able to look things up and immediately know the answers — I grew up in a home without encyclopedias and without easy access to a library; so many questions were simply left hanging. I think the important thing is balance, and to be deliberate about how we use these tools, but unfortunately, they’re designed to reel us in and they truly are addictive. I’m going to take a page from your book and be even more deliberate about where I go online, and what I read. I’ve kicked the morning habit, but I still will occasionally just pick up my phone and scroll during the day. I tell myself I need a break, but then end up spending far too much time bouncing from thing to thing, and when I finally come up for a breath I feel even worse than when I began. I used to be SO GOOD at filling in the small moments of my days: knitting, doing a crossword, reading a chapter in a book, ironing a shirt or sewing a seam, and I LOVED those small productive moments. So now that I’ve got the mornings solved, I’m going to work on the rest of my day too 🙂 .

      I’m looking forward to reading about your 100 day challenge. It’s funny that I seem to have tremendous willpower over some things — before we left for our vacation this summer I had walked on the treadmill for 420 straight days! I guess that goes to show well-established habits (both good and bad) are hard to break.

      And — many thanks for your kind reply to my comment a few days ago on your blog. It’s been a tough year, and your words are much appreciated.
      xo Marian

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  3. Hello. My name is TD, and I’m a mindless phone-scrolling-aholic APPARENTLY! Yes, I can so relate.

    I admit that I have been doing a bit of catch up!! My summer into fall project had my full attention. I downsized. It coming up on almost a year that I don’t have TVs or computers anymore, only one screen, a cell phone.
    Ha! Instead of bar hopping; it’s been a blog hopping sort of day. Never jumped into Facebook. But it seems to be trending more unhappiness than feelings of good. Been trying to comprehend twitter which seems to be a self promotion tool. Yet some endings of my day, I love reading ♡ Thoughts of Dog@dog_feelings on Twitter. doggo stories and all those doggo contributor conversations! Doggo has his own vocabulary!! I go to sleep feeling good and happy; it brightens my day.

    “Of Trains and Small Coincidences”

    Beginning with that photo of what I could see and what I couldn’t grabbed my curiosity into a wonderful visual of that moment. Funny coincidence indeed! Perfect ending. “But I didn’t.” I just loved it all! Encouragement!!

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    1. Ha! Yes, I can definitely see the irony 🙂 . (The other day I sent my daughter a link to an article on JOMO — the Joy Of Missing Out (missing out on things online because you’re too busy enjoying real life) and she said, How ironic, that you’re telling me to go out and enjoy life and you’re doing it by sending me a blog post.)

      I came to Facebook very late, and in a very lukewarm way, and I think my brief stint with it is over. You were wise to never begin. It does sound as though you’ve found some lovely things online, though, things that bring you joy — and that’s wonderful. There IS so much positive that we can find. I suppose the trick is to listen to how we feel inside and steer clear of the negative. (I have to add I’m impressed you’re almost one year into having no screens except for a cell phone!)

      I really appreciate your kind words on my posts, and will happily take your encouragement. Thank you, TD 🙂 .

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      1. Yes, the irony! Balance of what our unique individual mind, body and spirit needs to grow, adapt and survive.
        As far as computers when they died I debated on replacement costs and my needs. That was three years ago. I still have no need, so good financial decision for me.
        As far as the TVs, two died and I disposed of them, not replacing. I still have one that is 12 years old. It’s an extra large hd beautiful screen tv which still works. I disconnected it’s service to save the $100 monthly expense. I tested myself 2 months not turning it on. Then I discontinued service! Ironically that $100 is now available to take care of the cost of medicine to help my oldest dog get through pain. My dog is also 12 years old. So I traded an expense of something that I didn’t need to survive to put towards comforting my dog whom I love so very much. I don’t miss tv. And information that I need, I can get from using my phone. My dog is doing much better with his new medication treatment and that’s definitely better than anything on tv!
        Today I started listening to the audio book reading “The Death of Mrs. Westaway” by Ruth Ware. I read her book “The Woman in Cabin 10” last year. So far the first CD is good! It’s got me going in my mind on other thoughts outside of everyday stress and I can rest my body in the middle of my day.
        Keep writing and do whatever it is that comforts your mind, body and spirit! 🎁❤️

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      2. It’s crazy how much money we spend each month on things like TV! And yes, SO much better to put that money towards your dog. I’m glad to hear he’s doing better. I don’t know what your situation is, but I think for many people TV provides a voice — a human being talking in their space — which is a way, as you say, of getting other thoughts going in one’s mind. I think I could probably live without a TV, but I’d find it very hard to live without radio. And podcasts! There’s a few of those I listen to regularly, and absolutely love because they take me out of my own churning thoughts. I’m impressed you’re able to do audio books! I’ve tried them, but I seem to continually find myself getting lost in another thought and then coming back to it and saying, Wait. What?
        Balance: exactly 🙂 . Take care, TD, and thank you again for your encouragement.

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  4. I know this is entirely NOT the take-away I should be getting from this, but what excited me most was realizing that you actually do have a Facebook accountg! Friend request sent! 🙂

    I read this days ago and wanted to respond, and I woke up a few minutes early and thought: I can finally respond to Marian. But the little birds that are my alarm sound just went off, and–AGAIN–I don’t have time to really write the way I want to. (Can I tell you how much I appreciate #25? YES.)

    What I want to say most is: I love the humor in this. It’s not the only thing I love, but it’s the thing I’m wondering if you even know is there. You’ve got a dry, wicked little sense of humor. I’m always interested in WHAT you have to say, but more and more the HOW of your writing is as compelling as the what. #23 made me snort-laugh out loud. 🙂

    In response to your questions about the value of writing by hand, I’m wondering if you’ve read Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. What you are doing sounds very much like what she calls Morning Pages. If you haven’t read it, might be worth checking out.

    OK, I’ve really got to run! I love this and hope you keep writing more than scrolling. (But I’d love to connect with you on FB.)

    xoxo

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    1. Ah Rita — your FB comment made me snort with laughter this morning 🙂 . I will most definitely friend you, but I have to warn you that I have the most pathetic page in the history of FB. I have never (not once) posted a status update, and the only thing I do on it is share environmental news items (in a completely shameless passive aggressive way — the PTO treasurer is one of my “friends”).

      #25 is completely due to Kate — I don’t know if you’ve had time to read her comment and my response to her. I feel like this is an example of the Internet working well — words matter, and it’s important that we get them right, and I’m so grateful to have friends who take the time to think about all these things with me.

      I’ve spent the last month feeling like I’m nothing more than a painfully exacting BOTHER…so your words about the humour that came through in this piece mean the world to me, Rita. I love dry and dark humour, and while I can sometimes manage to pull it off in person (i.e., speaking), it’s only a very small number of people who ever get to see that side of me. I love humour in writing — it’s timing and cadence, which means it’s poetry for me — and I absolutely love that my words made you laugh.

      I’ve not read The Artist’s Way, but I’m going to put it on my Christmas wish list. (It’s the only item there; my husband and kids can fight over it.) “Morning Pages” — that’s a great term. Years ago, when I was writing my (non-published) novels, I wrote in the morning. It was a wonderful way to start the day. While I can’t claim to have kicked my anxiety to the curb, I can say that I feel better these days. (When I’m not berating myself for being an exacting bother, that is.) Only time will tell if my morning writing will ever become something other than reflective journaling, but one thing is certain: I will never go back to early morning scrolling.

      Now, off to FB…

      xo Marian

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      1. You DO have the most pathetic page in the history of FB. 🙂 I thought your 8 friends was hyperbole, but I should have known better. I am so glad that you are feeling better and that anxiety has let up on you a bit. You are absolutely not a Bother. Well, I suppose maybe you are to people in your real life, but you certainly aren’t to me! I find you delightful and I’m always glad when I see a new post from you. I hope you keep hitting publish more often!

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      2. 🙂
        I will give serious thought to upping my FB game…or at least posting a recent photo.
        I did pop onto yours, and came *this close* to leaving a few comments. FB feels somewhat like a party to me, and I suck at parties. I hang around the periphery and try to work up the courage to speak, but rarely do. (Extreme introvert problems.) One day, I’m sure, I’ll chime in on your FB, but in the meantime: YES, the self care industry IS an industry! EVERYTHING is about money, and it’s so disheartening to see that. I love seeing your fireplace put to use (it looks like you’ve made the house your home, and I couldn’t be happier for you). And floor-washing?! I hate to say it, but you’re an over-achiever who is making the rest of us look bad. (I cannot remember when I last washed my floors. Swept? Yes. Vacuumed? Yes. But washed? Sadly, like my 8 friends, this is not hyperbole.)

        Thanks for saying I’m not a Bother 🙂 .
        xo

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  5. Hi Marian, Ah yes, an audio book is a completely different experience than reading. But it is totally all in your head! Your own thoughts creates the imagery of the reader’s presentation, the voice, the tone, that certain pause. It’s a practice of listening! A practice of focus! A practice of mind visual imaging! (Unlike TV / film or radio / podcast)
    And than there’s that wit…getting lost in one’s self into many personal thoughts and feelings (emotions – egads!) and then coming back to it and saying, —Wait. What?!?

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    1. Oh, absolutely — audio books require focus and that takes practice! I may have to try one again sometime — focus would be a good thing for me to try to cultivate 🙂 .

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    1. Oh, please chime in on Facebook! I would love to talk with you there. I do tend to go in and out a bit. I’ve spent far more time there tonight than I should have but that’s because the last two days at work have been wretched (wretched!) and it has replaced mindless TV as my balm for bad days. When things are busy in a good way, I don’t interact as much.

      As for the floors, well…I have two little dogs. I only do a real washing about every 6 months. They needed it. I mop the wood floors every few months. The house is feeling more and more like home. The move was the right thing to do, given all the givens. I’m still working through things, but it’s better.

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      1. I’m sorry to hear you’ve been having a wretched time at work, Rita. I completely get the need for a mindless balm for days like that.
        I promise I will work up the courage for FB, and will make it a point to log on occasionally. I recently took the app off my phone and shut off all notifications — I was getting emails 2-3 times a day letting me know that friends had posted things, and it was just getting to be too much. I’m one of those contrarians who doesn’t actually want to go out and do things with a bunch of other people…but who still feels just a bit of a sting at the fact that I’m not being given the option.
        I do hope you know I was being a bit tongue-in-cheek about over-achieving floor washers 🙂 . Every time I wash my floors I think, Wow, it feels great to have a clean house and it didn’t even take all that long! and yet months go by… I’ll be very glad to have a “reason” to clean soon: our two older kids and their BF/GF are coming for Christmas.
        I’m so glad to hear you say your move was the right thing to do, and that things are better. May your work be better soon, too…

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      1. I’m thinking about doing a 10 day challenge: stop scrolling and clicking on my cell phone for 10 days. My plan is to keep my phone ringer on to accept phone calls or text conversations. I just received a notification that I have 10% left of data or I will be charged another $15 for an additional 1GB for data. On the 25th, it resets to 4GB. I’m wondering am I really pecking around on my usage of data THAT MUCH! I start tomorrow for the 10 day challenge. I’m going to scrawl a note of what all I do different with my time!!

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  6. Well, it sounded like a good idea this morning. But I’m not sure that’s actually something that I am capable of doing once I stepped back. I do like to keep informed of the local, national and world news! So maybe that’s worth $15 for 10 days.
    I don’t have family. I am solo, so just getting through all holidays are a bit rough.
    On another line of thought $15 might just be “self-care” as Rita mentioned above. I just might need the scrolling distraction. Time will tell. 😉

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    1. Yes, the holidays can be rough, especially if you’re solo. I think if you find value in keeping up with the news, then that’s money well spent, especially during a time when the pressure is on to be happy and festive — it seems to me that the very last thing that’s needed is a feeling of deprivation. You can call it self-care or you can call it a gift to yourself 🙂 . Take care, TD.

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      1. Marian,
        Thought you might get a good laugh at what came next. So, I pulled out my cell phone bills for a year and studied to draw a conclusion of what was causing my bill to increase drastically at such a rapid pace. I noticed 17% gaming and thought but I don’t do any gaming! Off to the cell phone store, I go a couple of days before Xmas. Salesman is listening to me and we discuss new available plans to avoid $15 overage continual notification. I told the sales man that I don’t do any “gaming” unless that is my DOG doing the gaming!
        So as he is setting me up with a new plan for unlimited data at lower costs than all the overage charges, he is also working with another customer. She is explaining to the salesman that she using her phone mostly for gaming, but her phone got stuck because her CAT started pawing the phone to play the games.
        The salesman man cracks up laughing and and shifts his eyes between his two customers. He says that she is saying that her CAT is gaming and you just said unless it’s your DOG doing the gaming! We all three laugh 😂.
        I’m set up on unlimited data now as a self-care gift to myself (for me and my dog).
        I’m encouraging you to press that publish button because I enjoy your words.

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      2. Oh my gosh, thank you for this ACTUAL laugh out loud this morning, TD! And I think that’s a great gift you’ve given yourself.
        Your words of encouragement are much appreciated 🙂 .

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