The weekend just been my boyfriend surprised me with a weekend away for our fourth anniversary and it was perfect. He drove us to our secret location using old school navigation techniques (a list of handwritten motorway names) and we spent two nights in paradise. We did no work, or exercise and we had no commitments, instead we lay in bed and read our books and took long walks and napped and it was AWESOME. I realised a lot of things this weekend, as one does when they find themselves with nothing to do, but it was only when I lost my phone for the fourteenth time in an hour, that the epiphany hit.
Day to day, I know where my phone is at all times. It's in my bag or in my pocket, it's at the other end of the headphones around my neck, next to me on my desk or held to my ear. Every night it is plugged in next to me and even when I'm on the loo it's normally clutched in between both hands as if my life depended on it. From time to time, in the evenings normally, or on the weekends, I'll lose it down the side of the sofa, or leave it in the car or somewhere in my duvet, but normally, normally I know where it is at all times. Wouldn't want to miss a text coming in would I? Or find myself in the park with nothing to do but, I don't know, actually enjoy being outdoors. No no, I wouldn't want that.
Despite this however, despite seemingly always knowing where my phone is, I am renowned in my family for my completely hopelessness with it. I am renowned for losing it. Perhaps not unfairly either, there was a day that springs to mind back in April when, whilst on holiday with my family, I lost it no fewer than four times. And not just down the side of the sofa losing it, more like, leaving it in restaurants and down on the beach and in the hotel loo. They still laugh at me when they remember this day and it was most recently brought up by an amused Alex as I ripped the sheets off the bed like a maniac on Saturday looking, once again, for the device: 'you're so crap with your phone' he said, I laughed, it's true.
But then I started thinking: is it true? Am I really bad with my phone? No not really, I've only forgotten to leave the house with it a handful of times, it never dies since I always remember to charge it and the fact that I am a slave to my Twitter account implies that I am on it enough. So how come whenever I leave the safety of my own house do I lose it then? What is it about leaving London that makes this thing run away from me as if I had the plague? Why am I incapable of completing one day of a holiday without crying out, at least once: 'guys has anyone seen my phone?'? Could it be, maybe, that I only lose my phone when I'm really happy?
I am very happy in relationship and know how incredibly lucky I am to have found a man who adores me and spoils me and makes me laugh and makes me smile but, as happens in long term relationships, from time to time we get a little complacent. It is not an uncommon sight to see both of us sitting cross legged in front of the telly eating our dinner with one eye on our phones. Nor is it an uncommon occurrence for us to lie next to each other in the dark in bed with only the glare from our screens lighting our faces, we're millennials, it's what we do. But then this weekend I think we subconsciously both made the effort to be less dependent on our phones; we'd leave them in the room when we went out for dinner or in the car if we were popping to the shop. In the mornings we would roll over and talk to each other rather than instinctively searching for the reassurance that lies at the other end of that long white cable. Which is probably why I lost it so much; I was so busy living my life that I inadvertently let my safety blanket drift away.
My mum loses her phone ALL the time. When I'm staying with her, the words 'guys has anyone seen my...' are the ones that we hear the most of all, and I think it's because she was lucky enough to have been exempt from the clutches that my generation are in. The 'yes I know I'm sitting alone at a cafe but I won't look up at you and make eye contact because I'm so embarrassed so I'll just send yet more snapchats', the 'I feel awkward af right now so I'm going to pretend that my phone is ringing and back out slowly', the 'I'm bored. Let me check Instagram just one more time' clutches. Try as we might, we can't get out. Until, we relax.
Any Potter-Heads out there (Harry Potter fans not weed smokers) will maybe remember a scene in the first film when Harry, Ron and Hermione fall into a room full of Devil's Snare. Hermione tells them to relax and it will set them free, she does and, as she predicted, it does. Why not imagine the hold that your phone has on you to be something like that? Something that eases when you don't even notice it happening. When you're tired in front of the TV or having a lazy Sunday or on holiday, that's when you misplace your phone because that's when you don't need it. You're too busy relaxing to even need it.
So sorry for bringing Harry Potter into it, sometimes I just can't help myself. But I basically just wanted to say that if you, like me, lost your phone over the weekend, it was probably because you were happy and relaxed, and that's great. How's about this, next time you notice that it is missing, instead of beginning the frantic hunt, sit back, look around you and celebrate in the fact that for a short minute there, you were so chilled that you were living without your life support. Then bottle that feeling and cling on to it for dear life.