I know you are wondering how things have been going for me now that I have been disconnected and not distracted for nearly two weeks. I've been clean since Tuesday, March 23rd. I'm talking about my proclamation of no cell phone use while driving
. It's been thirteen days. Let me tell you I have been tempted. Seems people on the other end of the phone don't really know when I am driving so the phone just keeps ringing while I tool on down the road. But I've been pretty good. Taking it one day at a time, as they say in the 12-step circles.
But there are some results from this change in behavior that I must report. First, I am driving my husband crazy. He is used to having access to me all day long via the cell and now he gets my voicemail quite often. As Family Chief Operating Officer/Gopher, I drive around alot executing the family strategic mission. So when I am driving, hubby can't get to me. He is a bit irritable these days, but I am sure there are other reasons than just little ol' me and my cell phone.
In the last two weeks, I have lost touch with 7 friends and 4 family members. Not fully lost touch but our communications frequency has dropped off tremendously. If you are one of those people, I miss you. But we can try other methods. Email's good. And I am generally not behind the wheel between the hours of midnight and 8 a.m.
My "to call" list has not diminished in the past two weeks. In fact, that list has grown. I clearly was doing a lot of "phone errands" whilst driving and now I have to figure out where in the day to put that phone time. If you are waiting for me to call you back, I'll get to it soon. I hope you don't have an aversion to receiving phone calls prior to 6 a.m.
On the positive side of this cell phone hiatus, I feel like I have more down time and even though I am not getting certain things done that I used to take care of in my mobile office, I am enjoying the quiet time in my car. I am catching up on my 80's music and classic rock and am also enjoying a little bit of NPR here and there. And have learned some things. Like, did you know that 47% of working, eligible Americans will NOT pay taxes for the year 2009? Yes! I got that straight from The Osgood File.
This percentage is up from previous years. There's a whole host of reasons for this. But due to more entitlements and more tax credits, a family for 4 (with 2 kids under 17) making as much as $50K can actually pay ZERO taxes for 2009. Wow. I used to be a tax accountant a long time ago, and I am sure my tax knowledge is a bit rusty, but does that mean that families of 4 that make over $50K aren't paying tax on their first $50K of income? I am sure there is some sliding scale, but I think I need to go back and review our tax return to see if something was missed. Cause I feel pretty certain that I didn't see any big subtraction from our tax base. Maybe I just overlooked that.
Anyway, another thing I learned while not talking of the phone is that there is a new
syndrome for women to subscribe to. HSDD. Actually, it's not new but newly renamed. HSDD is "hypoactive sexual desire disorder" and it used to be called ISDD (I is for Inhibited) and prior to that name, just plain old frigidity. I'm pretty sure the original name was drummed up by a man. (Oh, I forgot to tell you that this post's rating may just have been changed to PG-13.) I heard a commercial for an HSDD medication and clinical trial while I was driving from the grocery store to the dry cleaners today.
HSDD according to Wikipedia
characterized as a lack or absence of sexual fantasies and desire for sexual activity for some period of time. For this to be regarded as a disorder, it must cause marked distress or interpersonal difficulties and not be better accounted for by another mental disorder (i.e. depression), a drug (legal or illegal), or some other medical condition.
Hhhmmmm. Now, I'm not walking in the shoes of or sleeping in the bed of one who may be experiencing these "symptoms" at the moment. And this commercial may have voiced over by the Moviefone guy's sister, thus diminishing some of its credibility to my ears. And I generally don't like the word "syndrome" so I may be a bit put off by that. And I may have been in a bad mood at the time. But HSDD does not sound like a medical situation to me. It sounds like the plight of many people with jobs, kids, stress, a share in a downward spiraling economy, a cumulative lack of sleep, a barking dog next door or any other mid-life situation one might find themselves in. I apologize to those who are truly suffering. But I don't think you are suffering from HSDD. I think it is something else. What it is, I'll leave you to figure out.
And while we're on the subject of abstinence of sorts, here's one other thing about my cell phone non-use. When it rings and I am driving, I am thankfully no longer distracted by a call. But there is a different distraction now. It's my kids yelling, nay screaming..."Don't answer it! You're not supposed be on the phone when you drive! You can't talk on the phone right now!" The first time it happened I was so shaken by the sheer volume of their shrieks, I scraped the curb and nearly took out a mailbox and a little old lady. Luckily no one was injured.
Now that I have summed up all the symptoms of my no phone use, I realize that I have a syndrome. I am a smidge embarrassed to admit it but I have HCDD - hyPER
active Cellphone Desire Disorder. I can prove it. I have a pronounced and increased desire to use my cell phone, I fantasize about talking while driving, and some times my fantasies get really raunchy and there is texting involved. This increased cell phone fantasy behavior is marked by difficulties in my interpersonal relationships (note recent loss of friends) and irritability (note above rantings about taxes). It's clear to me now. I wonder if there is a clinical study for this?