Stepping Forward..

It was a decision I was avoiding… I did everything I could to keep it going, and at the last minute, I thought things were going well… it had all smoothed out, or so I thought… In the end, I was given my options, and after careful consideration, I gave in…

I got a new phone…

Haha, I got some of you… you were thinking of all the other transitions in my life, weren’t you? 😉 . That’s ok… it applies to them too…

When I first got my phone a year ago, I had no complaints… it served me well, garnered the attention of many an onlooker, and even inspired a few people to follow suit and get the same model. It was rare that you would see me without my phone in hand… tweeting, posting, selfie-ing (if there is such a thing)… doing whatever I could on my device…

I guess it was too much for my phone to handle…

Lately, my phone and I were not seeing eye to eye… It became more trouble to get anything done and, frankly, it just wasn’t fun anymore. I stayed loyal though… I figured I paid my money, I should be able to keep it for at least 2 years before upgrading… not so, in this instance.

When I got the new phone and was spending time setting it up, I started thinking about the whole subject of transition… I’ve been through a lot of it lately, and all of it seems to have the same components:

  • Tension between Ideal and Reality – When my old phone came out, it was top of the line, had more features than I could even figure out and was, on paper, the best phone on the market. That was the “showroom gloss” that I was living under, all the while the phone was freezing, rebooting and basically losing its mind. My ideal was that I still had the best of the best, but in reality, it wasn’t any better than a paperweight (actually worse, cuz it was too light to hold anything down)
  • Fear of Loss – Fear is such a powerful thing. When it came to the phone, I looked at my options for upgrading and changing, and “none of them were as good as my phone”… yes, the phone that I cursed every day because it wouldn’t work right, would decide to reboot in the middle of conversations, or would take 5 minutes to eek out a simple text cuz it couldn’t figure out when it wanted to show the actual characters on the screen. But I wanted, or so I thought I wanted the particular options my phone had… It seemed like I wanted them more than the basic reason I needed the phone in the first place – to communicate with friends and loved ones… I was so afraid (subconsciously, I might add) of losing the non essential things that I put up with the problems and even justified them… for months. Battery died too quickly – I bought a second battery to carry around with me. Phone would freeze –  clear the cache and reboot, even up to 10 times a day. That didn’t help? start chucking apps… apps that I use, mind you, but maybe not as often as others. The bad part of all of this is it kept me from addressing the real problem, and the “loss” I was fearing, I was really experiencing every day.
  • Unfair Comparisons – When I got my new phone, I didn’t immediately focus on the fact that 1) it worked, 2) it worked well, 3) it was much more reliable than my old phone. I focused on what I didn’t like about it. I compared it with the “good times” I had with my old phone (mind you, over the past couple months, I had no good times with my old phone). “This doesn’t sync right”… “I don’t like this feature”… “yeah, but on my old phone…” It really didn’t help that I got to take my old phone home… it sat there, taunting me with its empty promises of days gone by.

Transitions are hard because they carry with them the cycle of grief

Whenever we experience a major, or even a minor change, we go through these stages to some degree

The hardest part of this is processing these feelings alone, even before the transition actually happens. Last night I was talking with my best friend about my computer, which I just got a couple weeks ago… I guess I don’t learn – it really wasn’t good. As I complained about what it wouldn’t do, she offered some simple advice – take it back and get what you need. Brilliant! Why didn’t I consider that? Cuz I didn’t want to deal with another transition. Yet, when I did, it was the best thing I could have done.

The good thing is I am on the upswing with my new phone. Somewhere between bargaining and acceptance (yes, I admit it, I do swing back into depression every now and then too). I am focusing on the good things it has to offer, learning about its unique features, and moving forward with what I have. I am also learning about myself in the process. I am learning how procrastination plays a role in the transition process, how it feeds on fear, and how you sometimes have to just accept reality for what it is. When Jesus was about to be arrested, Peter, in an attempt to ward off the reality of everything Jesus said, tried to take out one of the guys who came for Jesus. Jesus replied, “Peter, do you think for a minute I am not going to drink the cup the Father gave me?” As hard a reality as it was, Jesus was ready to face it. In the same way with the transitions in our lives, whether jobs, or locations, or yes, even cell phones, we should be courageous enough to face them, knowing they really won’t kill us… in fact, we may find some elements of real life in them.

Notable Notables

I found this funny post about life before technology. Some of you will remember this, and others will just be glad that you didn’t have to live through it 😉 .

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