Week 6: BlackBerry Magic, Podcasting Princess, Posture Shock

22 in 22? Don’t mind if I do!

#8 Learn strategies to mitigate the dopamine loop

Did I mention that my circa 2006 Blackberry finally kicked the bucket? Well, to my very very great chagrin, it did. The number one reason I have stayed faithful to that little thing (and I do mean little) is that it had those teeny tiny little keys, one for each letter. I had been putting off getting a new phone, even though it has been on the fritz for nearly a year now.

The number two reason I stayed faithful to that little thing? Accessing internet on it was impossible. Well, no, actually, not impossible. But not practical, and assuredly not for the peri-menopausal among us.

I have written in the past about how not having a smartphone has kept me above the fray and out of trouble on a few occasions. This was my great pride.

But my little baby phone went the way of all good Blackberries, apparently.

So now I have a very attractive, very sleek, really, honestly too grown-up for me smartphone. And that thing is truly an albatross. It buzzes all the time for no good reason, a thing which I am not smart enough to make stop. It has a discreet little white light on the top to tell me that I have a notification, a thing that, if you remember #8 on my 22 in 22 list–to learn how to mitigate the Dopamine loop–does not help my case.

I’ll admit it’s super practical. It takes amazing photos. I don’t know how I lived without being able to Google random facts while standing in line at the store. “How old was Priscilla Presley when she married Elvis?” or “What are the lyrics to Suspicious Minds?” or “Is Elvis buried at Graceland?” or simply enjoying the rabbit hole of “Elvis is not dead?” while the lady in front of me counts out exact change in 2 cent coins.

But I’ll be darned if it is really cramping my “above the fray” aloofness factor.

First, as I mentioned, I am not smart enough to get those notifications to go away. Second, I have no ability to moderate my behavior when it comes to anything, much less this pretty, sleek thing that fits just perfectly in my bag (but not in my hand. It’s just too big.)

While I love my new phone for how it makes googling random Elvis facts a breeze, I don’t love how it makes me feel like just another person person, staring at her phone, lost in her own world. Oh, don’t get me wrong. I’m always lost in my own world. It’s just that the aforementioned world used to be a real place.

I need to get a handle on these stupid notifications so that at least I won’t have a reason to pick up my phone so often. I just am such a radical Luddite that I tremble at the thought.

#10 Becoming Podcasting Royalty

This. There is movement in this.

First and foremost, thank you for listening to the podcast.

Second, I got an email on Sunday telling me that my podcast debuted, in its first month, at number 44 in the Mental Health Category on Apple Podcasts. Which means, apparently, it isn’t just you and me listening to it.

It means that my friend Hollywood, while he may be professionally a horror film guy, could definitely make a go at promoting podcasts, too.

Of course, this means literally nothing else as far as I can tell. But it is a little badge of honor, one that sounds rather nice to spout off to people who ask me “what do you do at home all day while your kids are at school.”

“I write, host, produce and market the #44 podcast in the Mental Health category on Apple Podcasts.” It sounds better than, “I wear petticoats, daydream chronically, write obsessively and drink vats of coffee.”

Not to mention that this week’s episode featured a lot of people I either know from my real life, who are sharing it now like madpeople, or internet strangers who also are doing their part to inform their followers of their participation. I just feel a little overwhelmed by the whole thing.

Of course, what would life be if it didn’t throw a performative gesture my way to humble the Podcasting Princess? Why yes, it is vacation again, a thing I hadn’t exactly planned for in my meticulous production schedule. While I can look up random Elvis ephemera from the skate park sidelines, I cannot write or record or edit a podcast or make or schedule visuals.

So there we have it. Yes, future podcasting royalty, who is, for this week, going incognito at a skatepark.

#16 Improve my posture

At the end of last week, I was on a roll. I was, thanks to that weird little holster-y thing actually getting used to sitting and standing up straight.

There is a deep deep trench to explore on the psychological impact of good posture that I am eager to explore in the next few weeks, when my boys are back at school. It’s one of those things that is best explored when there aren’t a million distractions.

But here is this little tidbit: On Sunday, I dropped the boys off at their respective Sunday School classes and went to go sit and listen. Okay, maybe it was the dress I was wearing, but when I sat down, I kept slipping forward on my chair. It was so annoying. I discovered if I unpeeled my back from the back of the chair, and sat, straight as an arrow, I did not slip around. Plus, after my week with the posture-perfecting uncomfortable little apparatus, it was not an uncomfortable position to hold.

Of course, there was all the psychological junk that surfaced, as it tends to. But mostly, I was pretty darn proud that for the first time in my life, I was not slumped in that chair.


Episode 32: Environment and Ecology Sing With Your Feet

Talking Points: “Not on my Green Parenting Bingo Card,” LiElla is back!; Geeking out and going out green. Episode 32 is part of our series on the Ideal Life Categories, this week's theme being "Environment and Ecology." The series began back in Episode 15: The One About Our Bodies, in case you want to get caught up! Links: Learn more about LiElla Kelly, Death Doula, on her website and blog, Leaving Well…The Blog. or on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/leaving.well.death.doula/ or Facebook https://www.facebook.com/search/top?q=leaving%20well%20end-of-life%20planning You can contact Lily by email: lily@lilyfieldschallenge.com, or find her other work here: https://linktr.ee/lilyfieldschallenge
  1. Episode 32: Environment and Ecology
  2. Episode 31: Mental Health
  3. Episode 30: Contentment
  4. Episode 29: Commitments
  5. Episode 28: Lucidly Ever After

Published by Lily Fields

I am passionate about contentment. This is a challenge, because I am equally passionate about progress. I get up at 4:00AM to chip away at a solution to this monolithic problem: how to make progress on my contentment. Born and raised in the USA, I married a French philosophy teacher in 1999. We have lived in France since 2007. We stayed young and carefree until life threw us two curveballs in the form of little humans one after another in 2015 and 2017 respectively. Now I am a slightly older, slightly more exhausted version of myself, but with mystery stains on my walls and a never-ending pile of laundry.

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