Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Hitting the Reset Button

Lately, I have been having issues with my phone. It has been running slow for a while, mostly when I send texts to Mark Johnson. Our text chain dates back to when we first met in 2015. Every time I go to text him, there is a long delay in sending the text. I watch the little blue circle spin and spin until finally a date and time pops up in the corner. Over the weekend all of a sudden my texts stopped going through. I could reply to his, but if I initiated a text to him, he would not get it. All of that was extremely frustrating because I was in Michigan all weekend and texting is the only way we can communicate during the day.

I did some quick math to try and figure out how many texts were in that chain. Assuming we text each other about 20 times a day and get about 20 replies that would be 40 texts per day. We have been dating for over 2 1/2 years, so if you take 40 texts per day times the approximately 980 days we have been dating that is 39,500 texts. When you add in the photos and other stuff we send back and forth, which take up a lot more space, it is probably a huge file of texts.

After two days of not being sure if my texts went through, I was ready to go down to the Verizon store to get a new phone. But I really didn't want to spend the money. Yesterday, as I was staring at the screen waiting 60 seconds for a text to go through to Mark Johnson, it hit me. I could do a factory reset on the phone. I have never tried it before, but I've heard that when you have issues with your phone, it is one of the things Verizon tech support tells you to do. But no one ever wants to do it because they don't want to lose all of their apps and data.

I took a quick mental inventory of everything that was on my phone and backed up what I could. Then I prepared myself for the possibility that even after I backed it up, there was a chance I could still lose it. And I acknowledged that there was a lot of other stuff I would probably lose, in addition to all of my texts, that I hadn't even thought of. But none of that dissuaded me from what I knew I needed to do. So I clicked through all of the warning messages from my phone, asking me if I was really sure I wanted to do this. My inner voice told me that the answer was yes. Then I clicked the reset button.

I had no idea how long it would take to do a factory reset on my phone. I was expecting it to take at least an hour. But it didn't take long at all. Within just a few minutes, the phone rebooted and I was back at the same set up screen I had used four years ago when I got the phone. I started to go through the same basic configuration tasks of setting up my email accounts and entering the wifi password to access our network. None of it was really that hard. Then I worked on changing my ringtone and notification sounds, and turning off some annoyances like the haptic keyboard feedback.

When I got to the contacts, I tried to import all of the contacts I had uploaded onto the Verizon cloud but for some reason it was not working. At least they were stored out on the Verizon website. It just meant that I would have to enter them manually. Even though there were probably 70 contacts in my phone, when I pared it down to the bare necessities there were only a few that I needed to enter right away. Of course, I entered Mark Johnson first. Then my Mom, my sisters, my brother, the nail salon and hair salon, my best friend Kelli, and Mark's daughter Zoe. That was about it. The rest I will enter as I need them.

I woke up this morning feeling unusually clear-headed. And when I sent my good morning text to Mark Johnson at work, it went through at lightning speed. This whole experience reminds me of a topic we covered in yoga school. It is called aparigraha, which means non-clinging or non-attachment. I went back and read the blog I wrote about it back in 2015 and it was great to experience that time in my life again.

The concept of aparigraha can apply to many things, whether we find ourselves clinging to material possessions or to people, thoughts or memories. My entire relationship with Mark Johnson was documented in my phone, but I could never really access it because there was no way to scroll back that far to the beginning of the text chain. Every once in awhile I would be texting him and set my phone on the counter and somehow it would go back to the beginning. I loved reading those early texts at the most unexpected times.

My phone also had endless text chains from my family dating all the way back through my Dad's illness and his funeral. Although I never read them, I also never had the heart to delete them. And I know their energy was there, taking up space in my phone and weighing heavily on my heart.

Everything changes. We change and our life changes. By liberating myself from attachment to things, people and experiences (both positive and negative) I can truly be happy, peaceful and free.

Recently I was reading this article in the yoga journal about a woman who cut off her dreadlocks. She is a yoga teacher and she felt like they were weighing her down during her practice. She said that her inner voice told her to just cut them off. At first, she didn't want to do it, but then she realized that it was the only way. She described the amazing sense of freedom she felt after she did it.

While hitting the reset button on my phone is not the same as cutting off all of my hair, I understand what she means. It's the same reason I feel so good when I take my car through the car wash or put clean sheets on the bed. It is a fresh start.

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