A couple of weeks ago, I lost the use of my right arm.  I was unable to do so much as text or dial a number without so much as a yelp of frustration or a carefully chosen word of distress turning the air blue.  It was painful, taxing and damn right annoying.

The right arm I am talking about is my smart phone, which went in for repair, and I am ashamed to admit, I was in agony.

Since the social network revolution I have embraced it.  I enjoy sharing my life with others through Facebook and Twitter, and with the invention of the smart phone this has become easier by being able to share photo’s, check emails, check the weather and even (gasp, shock,) RING people!  The smart phone has enabled me to work more efficiently, but by the same token it has also distracted me from my work.

I never really, truly understood how much I relied on my phone until I was without it.  I embarked on a digital diet, but one which was enforced, not chosen.  Here is my diary:

Day 1

Having established that my smart phone really has died on me, the decision is made to pop it in for repair as soon as possible.  I say a tearful goodbye at the counter whilst popping my little SIM into my old phone. It had been charged and ready for action, but the only action I can get from this phone is an old fashioned vibrate when a text comes through.  I scream in dispair desperately trying to tap a reply in, only to give up and ring my contacts. I don’t think I have spoken to so many of my contacts so much in my life….

My husband and work colleagues look on sympathetically.

Day 2

I have tried with the phone.  I really have.  I even pop a little case onto it to make the silver bulk of the phone look more attractive.  But I admit the love just isn’t there.  The ONLY benefit is that it takes just one charge over night and that will be it for the day, where it sits on my desk at work reminding me of what I have lost.

Day 3

Having endured two whole days of agony I ring the shop to find out the status of repair.  They refer me online where my status is “received for repair”. I cry.

Day 4

I miss Twitter. I miss Facebook. I miss the notifications that it’s my turn to play Words with Friends. I miss the pictures on Instagram but most of all I miss my phone.

Day 5

Having tried to use the social networks on my lap top I have since given up. It’s painfully slow, takes ages to log on and its just not familiar enough.  I have decided to give up until my phone is back and I can go back to normal.

I got told off for not even bothering to take my phone with me today when I left the house. I mean what’s the point?

Day 6

It’s the weekend and normally getting up early with the boys is no trouble at all.  I can happily endure the cartoons because I have my friends to chat to on the social networks, or emails to reply to. My phone isn’t even in reach. It sits there like a brick on the dining room table whilst I try and get the gist of Handy Manny, again.

Day 7

Sunday. Not a chance in hell of receiving my phone back today. I stomp, and sulk, and shoot daggers at my husband sat there happily tweeting. Smug git.

Day 8

I feel bad for calling the husband smug. He has kindly offered me use of his phone as he can see the agony I am in.  I politely decline; it wouldn’t be fair to put him through the pain. That’s love….

Day 9

I hate to say it but I feel rather liberated.  It’s been well over a week now since I had a functional 21st Century phone and dare I say it? I’m actually getting used to it.  My kids are getting used to having conversations with me which do not end in “in a minute” and I am no longer losing hours of my day playing Scrambled with Friends.  I no longer feel the urge to call the shop every day harassing them for an update. THis is just as well as I am sure they are on the verge of a restraining order...

Day 10

My phone is back!!

What I can conclude from this experience is that it really does us good to have a break from our digital lives once in a while.  I know mine was enforced, but this did make me realise how much I relied on my phone and since its return, I have used it less.  To the point where I am seriously considering choosing a few weeks in a year to take my digital diet, much in the same way I abstain from certain foods in Lent.

Who is joining me?

I have never been particularly academic.  That's not to say I wasn't smart.  I firmly believe there are different levels of "smart".

I know someone for example who is an extremely bright and academic Lecturer yet it took her seven attempts to pass her driving test.  Something that I proudly did first time (just..!).

I guess in life I have been lucky to have been able to climb the career ladder from a combination of drive, and people I know.

Let me take you back to my first "proper" job.  This was working for 12 hours on a Saturday for a large chain of bakers.  This job was offered to me by an old friend of the family who managed the shop at the time.  Before long I was Head Saturday Girl (this is the drive I was talking about) but also gazing wistfully across the road at another large chain of cafes who I knew paid slightly more than the £1.45 per hour I was on.  I was friends with a girl who worked there, who put a word in for me and before long I was waiting tables and sweeping carpets for 10p an hour more than I was used to.

Back to the "drive" that I have.  It was becoming apparent that I had no interest in making waiting tables a long term career path for me.  With my late teens became a sense of vanity and before long the smell of grease and burgers seemed to seep from every pore.

A friend of my Mum's told her at this time that as soon as I was 16, I was able to start working at a Call Centre with her. This Call Centre were crying out for flexible staff so I found myself happily hanging up my apron, and donning some rather swanky (but second hand) office wear.  It was from working at this Call Centre on and off for the following 4 years, that I was able to make the contacts I did to start working for a Global Pharmacuetical Company as an Adminsitrator, which lead to working as an Account Manager and subsequent Business Development Manager (there's that drive again!) and now onto doing a job that I love as a Marketing Manager.

I could (if I'd had the brains) lead a very different career path.  If I had managed to scrape higher than 3 GCSE passes I would have gone onto do A-Levels rather than a basic business course at college.  If I had passed the A-Levels I would have perhaps gone onto University and got myself into masses of debt and permanent liver damage.  But this would have meant I would not have had to oppurtunity to work aboard and thus broaden my horizons.

No, I am happy with the brains I was born with.  And ever happier with the friends and family I have been blessed with! Its them I have to thank to be leading the life I am today.  Thankfully, because its not like I could have relied on brains alone!

I blogged recently on my exposure to hormonal pregnant women.  These pregnant women are now starting to pop the babies out left, right and centre and it really has confirmed things for me good and proper - I. DONT. WANT. ANY. MORE. KIDS.

This is not a decision I have just made.  I knew from the minute I held my youngest son in my arms that I was NEVER going through that again.  It was such a relief to finally come to the end of my pregnancy and meet my little bundle that I swore there and then I would have no more.

This revelation may upset the PM's (Proper Mummy's) out there.  Yes I was extremely lucky to have fallen pregnant in record time with my two children (much to my husband's dismay there wasn't much "practising"), and up until I had children I had always wanted three children (having experienced the cost of having just two I have no idea how normal people survive financially with more than that).  But pregnancy to me was a means to an end.

I make it sound like I had a rotten time and wanted the pregnancies over and done with.  This is not the case.  Apart from a mild case of SPD (Symphasis Pubic Dysfunction) I sailed through my pregnancies.  Of course I had all the usual ailments, but I did not suffer from morning sickness, nor did I go off any food (I wish, it was the opposite!), nor did I have any major back pain.  Both of my children were born exactly a week early, with very simple and quick births where I did not require any stitches or medical intervention (including pain relief....this I may add was not a choice, I was SCREAMING for some but I was "too far gone" apparently - what do they know?)

I just wanted to see my babies, and lived for every scan so I could get a glimpse at the little bundles.

I breast fed for the minimal amount of time (I had wine to drink, it had been a while) and a body to get back into shape.  I was looking forward to getting back to work and more importantly, was looking forward to living my life with my two beautiful children, knowing that I had so much to look forward to.

So now they are pretty self sufficient.  My youngest starts school in September and things are FINALLY starting to get easier.  So when I held my friends new born baby in my arms last week I cooed, mmmm'd and arrrr'd.  I stroked his little cheek and rubbed his little nose. I fell in love instantly with the little bundle.  But when he started to squirm and produce something very sticky and smelly down below I happily passed him back to my friend (who has 3 other children I may add) and thanked my lucky stars that I didnt have to go through all that again.

I had another reminder of my firm decision at a picnic at the weekend.  I was happily sat back with a glass of wine in my hand watching my two gorgeous boys running around the park together, whilst my friend battled with her toddler.  He knocked glasses over, he picked up mud, he tried eating the mud, he cried, he filled his nappy, he toddled off everywhere he shouldn't do and my friend looked exhausted.  I carried on drinking, and smiled smugly.

Oh but I'm not a rotten person. I certainly do not want this blog post to come across as me being a selfish Mum.  That is SO not the case.  I think I'm a pretty good Mum.  My children are my world and I want to give my two children everything that I can.  But I also want to have a little piece of my life back and this is just starting to happen.

So to all the parents out there, are you done? Or are you looking to bake some more lovelys to add to your brood?

I think you know my take on the matter......!