Sunday, February 22, 2015

Plugged in and turned off. Or on.

My daughter's iPhone 4S took a hissy fit yesterday after almost three years of faithful service. The decline happened slowly. It kept less and less of a charge over time. Finally, she had to recharge it four times a day (or keep it plugged in), and there were other difficulties that made it kind of 'high maintenance' for her. But she loved her iPhone so much that when Apple went to a more bells-and-whistles and a less reliable-and-dependable iPhone a couple of years ago, she refused to upgrade. 

"It's my baby," she said. She didn't even upgrade the operating system on it. (I envied her after I made my software upgrade - but there was no going back; the deed was done). 

So she took it in to the dealer to avail herself of the extended warranty. After two to three hours of frustrating back-and-forth, the answer came in. Water damage from humidity (last time she dropped it, it was into a snowbank and was 2 years ago, and she got it out right away and dried it off before water could enter). Water damage. One of only two things the warranty didn't cover. 


But - she needed a phone - and since Steve Jobs passed away, it appears that Apple hasn't come up with anything that even remotely compares to the 4 and 4S. So-o, she switched to a different (Android-type) phone. Some things she likes better, and she knows that she will eventually like this phone as much as the other one; others, she sits and pouts and says, "I miss my baby." 

I get that. 

But I also get when it is time to say goodbye. In electronics and with people.

When the other party needs constant recharging, constant checking, constant stroking, constant reassurances that things are okay - and punishes you when put on "standby" even for a short time ... perhaps it's not all that healthy. It's plugged in all the time - but that means you're tied down. And turned off. When only ONE person is being "fed" in a relationship, it's time to seriously take stock.

Not that relationships are anything like cell phones ... are they? Okay, SOME similarities. 

It's difficult. It's hard to let go of something that - for a while - has brought you some happiness. Even if that happiness was mixed with pain. When there is a growing sense of obligation rather than appreciation, it's time to re-evaluate. When you're constantly feeling "less than" (in other words, less important than) the other person - how is that healthy? 

Image "Low Battery" provided by
David Castillo Dominici at

Perhaps it's time to recharge your OWN battery. Perhaps that caring for that other person has kept you running on empty and it's time to take some time for yourself. You can't give away what you don't have; replenish the reserves. Getting your identity and strength from another human (who has limitations just like you) drains you in ways that you may not realize. Finding out who you are and feeding that person inside (getting plugged in and turned on) will go a long way toward figuring out where that other person fits into your life. If at all. 

Unplugging the other person from your battery might seem cruel, selfish, and un-giving - but until he or she finds out how to self-charge, that draining will keep on happening (if not with you then with the next person who pays attention). Plugging into your own energy resources will feel awkward at first - it always does - but you are the only you that you have, and it's important to look after you.

It's amazing how freeing that is. It might not feel like it at first, but there is an energy build-up that slowly makes itself known - and upon which you can rely.

I know because I've lived that. I've had to remove people from my life who were sapping me of strength. Sometimes I miss those people - but I don't miss the feeling of being constantly given the message "Low Battery." 

Food for thought, at the very least.

No comments:

Post a Comment