This morning I woke up to a black screen on my cell phone that had been plugged in all night. I noticed yesterday that power in the phone declined rapidly even after starting the day at 100 percent. Two weeks ago I had replaced cords that had gone bad. I knew that wasn’t the issue. I sought wisdom from my in-house tech person. How fortunate I am that this person is my SL (Sweet Love).

“Hey, Hon, my phone isn’t holding a charge.”

“Your phone battery needs replaced.”

“Oh, Okay. I’ll take care of this today.”

I felt too embarrassed to admit that I didn’t know that cell phones come with batteries. I know that the smoke detectors hold those Energizer Bunny guys inside with plastic grips that sometimes make it impossible to replace with the metal Lego-like brick ones. I wondered if some angry person in another country intentionally zapped my phone with some software virus called Cootie Chocolate Cookie completely distinct from Cootie Covid19, which sadly has caused sickness, pandemonium, global pandemic, deaths, countless challenges. I quickly shifted my thoughts. I have a first world issue. I’ll be inconvenienced for a few hours. I’m dipping my big toe in a modified “off the grid” reality. How addicted might I be to this “I kind of have my life stored in this thing!” device?

After handling several important tasks for a client, I drove to Best Buy, donned my mask, and waited to speak to a man behind the Geek Squad counter. I explained my predicament. He asked if I have backed up my cell phone. Not wanting to appear ignorant I said,

“Uh, I think so.”

I know what a backed-up sink looks like, a backed-up toilet smells like, and a backed up digestive tract feels like. I have even experienced a basement sewage back-up. How was I supposed to know about the clogged passageways in a cell phone? Oh, Right!! Back up in tech world means Save, Save, Save-have a plan B, C, D, and E!! Ah, the language thing, again. Ack!

So, this is like my paper calendar, pens, and paper journals? I have this kind of “back up” system along with my Boom Box-thank goodness-along with actual Compact Discs I can play to hear music since my cell phone is dead and won’t stream Barbra Streisand Radio through Spotify. Thank goodness for my Back Up Belongings!!

“Ma’am.”

The man behind the counter startled me back to the moment.

I handed him my phone after entering in my password.

He swiftly tapped to all the right places on the phone like the amazing being he indeed is.

“You have not backed up your phone. You need to do this first. You need to save things to I-Cloud, especially photographs. I can schedule your battery replacement two days from now. Keep in mind that when the battery is removed, it might break this other thing in your phone which means that your whole phone will need to be replaced which Apple will replace your phone if that happens.”

Wait, WHAT? How much will this cost me? Are you serious?!?! Replacing the battery may mean my entire phone could be replaced— that I might lose everything that’s stored in the phone?!?!?! WTF?!?! I thought clouds were white puffy formations of what will become precipitation coming down from the sky— cumulus, cirrus, nimbostratus, cumulonimbus. Clearly, I know much more about clouds in the sky than I do about I-Cloud. I wonder if you, young man, know all the types of clouds. Actually, yeah, you probably do. Sigh.

I calmly looked at the getting younger by the minute, man, and said, “Yes, I will save things to the Clouds and can schedule for your first opening on Thursday. Thank you so much, Sir.”

When I arrived home, I did the steps he showed me in hopes that I saved the cell phone content which I have come to rely on.

I’m currently at hour six of no cell phone. I’ve managed to go on a run in the cold, brisk air and sunshine at the lake, shower, dress, eat breakfast, meditate, listen to an entire CD on my Boom Box, type this essay, hug and kiss my Sweet Love, hang up damp, clean running gear on my dry rack, drink water, look at the Carolina blue sky and all the almost bare trees, and feel immense appreciation for the challenge of today. My panties have not gotten bunched up or in a wad. I get to drive to meet my poet friends outside in the sunshine in our coats and masks to read poetry to one another, to stand at the intersection with a Love sign, wave, and smile at all my neighbors driving or walking by with joy in my heart.

I get to power up a human heart battery with activities that keep me connected to Mother Earth, people I love who love me. And I took a few moments to write a long letter of gratitude to my cell phone for I realize that small computer I hold in my hand frees me to be in a larger world of people, photographs, texts, heartfelt conversations of loving kindness and laughter, FaceBook posts— all pathways to share love, humor, rapture for this beautiful, most precious life. From my heart and mind I get to create, savor, and live connected with all people who can see those gorgeous cumulus clouds in the sky on a bright sunny day.

May you choose consciously, purposefully to stay connected to who and what inspires you to be all in for this one and only wondrous life you have to live.

“Shower the people you love with love. Tell them the way you feel. Things are gonna be alright if you only will. Do as I say. Shower the people you love with love (including yourself!).”—James Taylor

Laura Staley is the founder of Cherish Your World and the author of her inspirational book Live Inspired.

Sacred Stories