Enjoy Not Knowing

Just another American living in Sweden


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15 days: my iphone withdrawal story

15 days, that’s one day more than two weeks. That’s how long I haven’t had a smart phone at my immediate disposal. That’s actually how long I haven’t had a phone of any kind easily at hand. 

These days there are a lot of articles about phone addiction, the dangers of extended screen time, or even this one about decreased mental capacity while in close proximity to a smart phone. I haven’t done any empirical studies on how smartphone use personally affects me, but it’s definitely safe to say I am affected. 

First, there occurred a mishap that led to my iPhone being submerged in water for an extended amount of time. No, I do not have the 7, so yes, that was the end of that. Not that I would believe it at first. My very first response was to envelop my phone in a bag of rice for over 48h. Because diligent Googling said that was the ideal amount of time. 

These first 48 hours were no walk in the park. I constantly felt like I was forgetting something whenever I was leaving home, or a friend’s place – wherever I was really. That feeling of “something is missing” was not a comfortable one. Even when I assured myself that it was my phone, and that I didn’t have it with me. 


I didn’t let the fact that my phone was drying out in a bag of rice stop me from uploading to Instagram or scrolling through Facebook. Most importantly I didn’t let it stop me from taking pictures. (I have over 6,000 pictures on my phone pretty much at all times, and yes, I back up regularly to the cloud and harddrives – don’t cry for me Argentina). My addiction to technology is deeply ingraned. I borrowed my wife’s phone often and brought my SDLR around with me in a way usually only reserved for tourists. 

Day three was test day. Finally I would find out if my phone would turn on or not. If my phone would be saved. Turn on it did not. I despaired. I cleaned it out diligently and charged it. Thinking that maybe, just maybe it was completely drained of battery, and needed a charge. 

Days four and five I wrestled with the thought of life without a phone. If it was truly gone I would need to replace it. At some point at least. But maybe – just maybe, I bargained with myself, I could make it all summer without a phone and wait it out for the 8 (or X or whatever Apple decides to name their next smartphone). Why spend the money on an old model now when I can buy the newest version in a few short months? Can I really make it three months without a phone? I could. Right? Or I could buy the 7. That one is waterproof. But why spend that money when a newer better version will soon(ish) be available? Can I make it? I can. Right? How long could I delay my reward? I was torn.

Day six, life. Much to my surprise my iPhone blinked blue on the sixth day. All the buttons were functional, and I could turn it off and on using them. However, the touchscreen was unresponsive. This meant a trip down to the nearest fast phone fix it locale to see if there was anything to be done. One tense afternoon and one phone call to aforementioned wife, lead to the news that the repair costs would equal phone replacement costs. Day six continued: contact with Apple Support, which in alignment with my recently completed survey I am highly likely to recommend to a friend, colleague or blog reader. (In the name of honesty: I added the last category). They helped me with exactly what I needed and gave me an estimate on fixing or replacing my phone, which would result in a functional phone guaranteed to be returned to me. The right decision was ade clear to me: send it in.

The weekend following day six was a three day holiday weekend in Sweden (Midsummer – see previous posts 1, 2, and 3 for more information on that). So it wasn’t until the tenth day that my phone was to be picked up. Alas, UPS could not enter our condo building so the successful pick up occurred on the eleventh day. When I kept our kitchen window ajar and listened for truck noises all morning – and promptly ran out with my decrepit phone when I saw a large brown truck from my bird’s eye view. 

Since then Apple has been assessing my phone and determining that a replacement product is to be returned to me. Bringing us to the present day: day fifteen. Mail is not delivered on weekends in Sweden, so we shall see what happens on day seventeen. 

Maybe my newfound freedom from mobile phones will mark the beginning of a less phone-dependent, more present in the moment period of my life. Or maybe like any true addict I will be back at it as before exactly when the opportunity presents itself. I’m shooting for the former. 

After my initial panic of being without a phone for an extended period of time, later bargaining with myself about how long I could make it without a phone, I’ve now been able to enjoy these past days without a phone. It’s been nice. It’s one less thing to think about. One less thing to remember to have with me. One less thing to distract me from the matter at hand. I think I’ll take a phone vacation every now and again. It’s been nice.

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t-man

On this, Tyler’s birthday, I would like to share with you his childhood nickname. T-man was the little tyke who always had a smile on his face, and did his best to keep up with his big brother. 


It took a while, but when I got over the fact that he was not the sister I had been hoping for this little guy really grew on me.

When he was in Sweden last we were reminiscing and I mentioned how I remember him just loving candy as a child. Like actually love. When you’re little (and damn pithy) you like to say “If you love it so much, why don’t you marry it?” T-man would have married candy, no questions asked. He wouldn’t even bother with whatever taunting tone you tried to have because he would have been so darn excited about the impending nuptials. 

From the perspective that comes with adulthood (we’re adults now, I think) Tyler says he still loves candy. Like love love. So I guess we’ll see what’s coming down the road (or aisle) in the future.

Happy birthday T-man! I hope it’s one for the books.


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mediwift

If I’m going to share my brothers’ childhood nicknames on their birthdays, then it’s only fair I share mine. When I was little my older cousin had a hard time saying my name. Marissa is only about a year older than I, but that did give her a leg up,in the talking thing. Trying to say Meredith, it always came out Mediwift. Which aside from being ridiculously cute, also made for an awesome, and at times still standing, nickname.

Marissa and Mediwift on my 3rd birthday


Meredith is actually pretty hard to say. Understandably seeing as there’s an R right in the middle and a -TH at the end. Just as any Swedish person who addresses me as Meredit (there is no lisping -th sound in Swedish). After recently taking a course on language learning for the preschool child I have more insight in this than ever before. Though I don’t want to get too boring technical I do want to say that the strategies Marissa used to say my name are common and work well in terms of being understood. And, again, just ridiculously cute.

So, if you’re feeling silly and want to say “Happy Birthday Mediwift!”, I will say thank you. I know you’re talking to me. Though this is a today only offer.


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ry-guy

This guy is 25 years old!

 

I can’t actually beileve it. As the big sister your little brother is always your little brother…but 25 isn’t so little. When we were in fact little, Ryan had a nickname within the family, Ry-guy. This intelligent little mischevious boy could come up with the funest tricks and adventures.

From exploring the woods in our backyard to wearing me and my friends down to finally let him into our “secret clubhouse”. Which in reality was just the inside of the house attached to the swing-set, so I’m not sure how we had the nerve to dub it secret. Ryan could talk his way into anything. I’m pretty sure to this day when he turns on the charms he still has that skill.


Though when it comes to fika I still have a way with words that leads to me getting the last cookie.

Happy birthday Ry-guy, hope it’s a great one!

Love,


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book of may

You will not find this book in stores, as I made it with my brain and a glue stick.


This is the only book I’ve read cover to cover this month, so that’s why it’s featured on the blog today. Tomorrow I’ll be using this home made log book during my very first in class exam at university in Sweden. Up until now we have had final papers, not exams, so this is certainly an exciting nerve-racking time. Now, for my Natural Science and Technology with Outdoor Pedagogy class I’ll be taking the plunge into university test taking (in Sweden). We’re allowed to bring a 200 page log book in to the exams with our notes from the class. Good thing too!

Vital information


This may be my first book of the month post that won’t conclude in a recommendation. Purely because no one else can actually read it. As I write I realize that’s not entirely true. If you come to Sweden, specifically where I reside, you may read the book. With my permission of course. Oh, and there’s the prerequisite that you can read I Swedish, as 99.6% of the book is in Swedish. So, if you know Swedish and are feeling especially motivated you can come read my log book. But this is like those library books you can’t check out and have to read while on the premises. Only in that case do I recommend you read this book. 

Until next time!


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book of april: the magic of reality

I’ve read The God Delusion by Dawkins already, so I thought I knew what I was getting into. I did not.

This book is assigned reading for my current Early Childhood Education class. As you can see there are multiple versions. The one in Swedish (on the left) is full of fun and exciting illustrations. The one on the right is in English (I mention this just in case) and lacks pictures, but is read a lot faster when English is your first language. A whole helluva lot faster if you don’t even speak Swedish. I’ll let you decide what language you read in, but you should seriously consider this book. 

It’s a fun introduction to many scientific fenomena. From evolution to space and back. Without going too deep into any one topic Dawkins presents an easy to read and engaging book. I definitely plan on getting our little one a copy in each language – with illustrations of course. I recommend this book to you or any 8-12 year olds you may know.


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book of march: harry potter and the cursed child parts one and two


I consumed this book. Consumed it in a matter of hours, one could even count the minutes. I bought it right when it became available in book stores. Snatched up the last available copy – since I was a little late to the store that day. Then I proceeded to save it. Knowing myself well enough to realize that once I started I would not put it down until fully read. Trying to savor the story by way of waiting to read it.

I’m not sure if my strategy  worked, but I loved reading every page of this all the same. As a big Harry Potter fan this was just what I needed. If you too love Harry Potter and J.K.’s wizarding world and have yet to read this, do so immediately, multiple times if necessary.

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