On Slipping the Leash, part one

Monday morning, I slept in.

Not by choice, of course.  Rather than hit "Snooze" on my ersatz alarm clock (my old iPhone 3g), I accidentally turned it off.  When I finally woke up, the clock read 5:55am... I'd have just enough time to get dressed, make myself semi-presentable, pack a lunch, and bolt out the door to catch my bus at 6:21.

While I made it to the bus stop with seconds to spare (and thus to work on time), it threw off my morning routine.  I didn't have time to shower, take the garbage/recycling out, make coffee, or ensure that I had everything I needed for the day.

Such as my cellphone.

I had the presence of mind to throw the aforementioned iPhone 3g (also my music player) into my laptop bag along with my Grundig M400 pocket radio, but I forgot my main cellphone (an iPhone SE).  Thankfully, I have an international SIM card in the 3g for when I travel, but texting is expensive when you and your wife exchange dozens of texts per day, and you're not subscribed to an unlimited texting plan...

So, I was largely without my smartphone for the day, and it felt wonderful!

Jill and I still managed to communicate throughout the day.  We used up my remaining minutes on my international plan, after which we went back to good ol' fashioned email on my work PC.  But I was unable to check Google+, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, my bank account, or even the Winnipeg Transit bus times online.

I found I didn't miss it.  At all.  In fact, it felt quite liberating.

I didn't grow up with a smartphone.  In fact, I didn't get my first smartphone until 2011, at age 38.  I guess I just never felt a need!  My friends all knew where I hung out, and knew if they left a message on my answering machine, I'd return the call in the next week or so.  I could check my MTS voice mailbox from any payphone for free, so getting ahold of me was never a problem if I wanted to be gotten ahold of!

After living my life without a cellphone for so long, going without one for a day was easy.  In fact, I found it caused me to rely on my wits... something I miss.

Jill emailed me to ask if I'd mind busing home from work, as they were running late.  No problem.  I know that my bus to Polo Park comes at 5:18pm.  I also knew that it was snowing somewhat, that traffic was really backed up (because people in Winnipeg forget how to drive when it snows), and therefore that my 5:18 bus was going to be late.

Did I take my time getting to the bus stop?  Hell no, I sprinted!

Why?  Because I know this bus route like the back of my hand.  I knew that the previous bus would be running just as late, and would likely be showing up at the stop in short order.  I don't need an app to tell me that!

Sure enough, the 5pm bus showed up at 5:12.  And I caught it.

I got to Polo Park a little earlier than I normally would, and sure enough, my connecting bus was right behind us when we arrived.

I noticed the unusually long line of people getting on the bus (which was already packed), which told me they'd been waiting a long time.  So I walked back to the shelter, figuring this was a prior bus running late.

I was right, as another #67 arrived two minutes later, and I ended up having a nearly empty bus to myself.  Experience, yo.  Didn't need an app to figure out the situation!

I got home earlier than I normally would, had a warm comfortable ride home on an uncrowded bus, and was not encumbered by a mobile device that constantly demanded my attention... and I got to be smug about it, which is the most important part!

Unlike some of my more recent entries, the preceding story actually happened as told, without embellishment.  Last Monday was a hectic day that started with my oversleeping and rapidly went downhill from there.  Smugness aside, the fact that I'd forgotten my cellphone (or as I call it, slipping my leash) is largely irrelevant.  Most of us, even those of us born during the days of smartphone entrenchment, can do what I did.  It's not hard, it just takes a little deductive reasoning.  But how many people would make the effort?

While I originally wrote this to be a smug little bastard (as is my mandate), I started to think about why things worked out the way they did.  This post is the first in a series of several posts where I look at my life experience and how it relates to the modern day, in advance of my 45th birthday in February 2018.

On another note, after careful reflection, I've decided to re-enable comments (for those with Google accounts) on the blog.  I'll keep them open so long as people act like adults and keep the partisan politics to themselves.  Comments are still moderated so I can weed out the spam.


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