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The Midlife Sage: My 50-Pound Speed Bump


Do you run out of the door while texting and juggling a loaded alligator bag the size of a real alligator?

Do you leave on a relaxing vacation and take a laptop computer, an IPad, and a cell phone and all the necessary electronic chargers that are more important than a change of underwear?

Are you so distracted that you haven’t noticed that it’s not July anymore?

Then you’ll understand why I finally decided to (temporarily) pull the multiple plugs on my electronic taskmasters.

My first clue was when I realized the hairs on my chin were long enough to braid because I hadn’t found the time to pluck them.

I couldn’t go an hour without checking in on the various email and social media sites, sometimes at stop lights.

I desperately need some kind of therapy, and I found the perfect distraction. I unplugged with the help of a 50-pound, six-year-old speed bump: my darling granddaughter I’ll call Pumpkin.

Pumpkin was born in Hawaii and the native term for grandmother is Tutu, so that is what all my grandchildren call me. Pumpkin and I were dashing about on one of our play dates when she stopped short, put her hands on her hips, and loudly proclaimed: “Tutu. Slow down!”

And so I did.

I looked at this darling little wonder who all too soon would be off to explore the world and not have time for a disheveled grandmother. Then I turned off the cell phone and announced that we were off the clock. Suddenly, the pace was less frantic and my eye stopped twitching.

We were close to a craft store so we decided to go inside and explore.

Pumpkin wanted to create a flower arrangement for her mother, my daughter. I watched as she took thirty minutes to select the flowers, a purple vase, put back the flowers and select different flowers, choose just the right ribbon, return and pick her original selection of flowers and arrange them gently in the order of the colors in a rainbow. Finally, she was satisfied with her creation.

By then, I was about to suggest that we just get a generic gift card, but I noticed her happy expression as she clutched her creative mommy bouquet. This delightful speed bump caused me to slow down, and I’m grateful.

I survived many decades without a computer, cell phone, or Ipad. My new goal is to limit their use to a few hours in the morning, unless I’m writing. My 50-pound therapist taught me that it’s time to unplug and hug.

Read more posts by Elaine Ambrose, award winning author. Elaine is a blogger for JenningsWire.


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