Out of Pocket, Powered Up

Seek connection, not attention. It lasts longer.

—Wesam Fawzi

This morning I woke up to a black screen on my cell phone that had been plugged in all night. I noticed yesterday that power in the phone declined rapidly even after starting the day at 100 percent. Two weeks ago I had replaced cords that had gone bad. I knew that wasn’t the issue. I sought wisdom from my in-house tech person. How fortunate I am that this person is my SL (Sweet Love).

“Hey, Hon, my phone isn’t holding a charge.”

“Your phone battery needs replaced.”

“Oh, Okay. I’ll take care of this today.”

I felt too embarrassed to admit that I didn’t know that cell phones come with batteries. I know that the smoke detectors hold those Energizer Bunny guys inside with plastic grips that sometimes make it impossible to replace with the metal Lego-like brick ones. I wondered if some angry person in another country intentionally zapped my phone with some software virus called Cootie Chocolate Cookie completely distinct from Cootie Covid19, which sadly has caused sickness, pandemonium, global pandemic, deaths, countless challenges. I quickly shifted my thoughts. I have a first-world issue. I’ll be inconvenienced for a few hours. I’m dipping my big toe in a modified “off the grid” reality. How addicted might I be to this “I kind of have my life stored in this thing!” device?

After handling several important tasks for a client, I drove to Best Buy, donned my mask, and waited to speak to a man behind the Geek Squad counter. I explained my predicament. He asked if I have backed up my cell phone. Again, not wanting to appear ignorant I said,

“Uh, I think so.”

I know what a backed-up sink looks like, a backed-up toilet smells like, and a backed-up digestive tract feels like. I have even experienced a basement sewage back-up. How was I supposed to know about the clogged passageways in a cell phone? Oh, Right!! Back up in the tech world means Save, Save, Save-have a plan B, C, D, and E!!  Ah, the language thing, again. Ack!

So, this is like my paper calendar, pens, and paper journals? I have this kind of “back up” system along with my Boom Box-thank goodness-along with actual Compact Discs I can play to hear music since my cell phone is dead and won’t stream Barbra Streisand Radio through Spotify. Thank goodness for my Back-Up Belongings!!


The man behind the counter startled me back to the moment.

I handed him my phone after entering my password.

He swiftly tapped to all the right places on the phone like the amazing being he indeed is.

“You have not backed up your phone. You need to do this first. You need to save things to I-Cloud, especially photographs. I can schedule your battery replacement two days from now. Keep in mind that when the battery is removed, it might break this other thing in your phone which means that your whole phone will need to be replaced which Apple will replace your phone if that happens.”

Wait, WHAT? How much will this cost me? Are you serious?!?! Replacing the battery may mean my entire phone could be replaced— that I might lose everything that’s stored in the phone?!?!?! WTF?!?! I thought clouds were white puffy formations of what will become precipitation coming down from the sky— cumulus, cirrus, nimbostratus, cumulonimbus. Clearly, I know much more about clouds in the sky than I do about I-Cloud. I wonder if you, young man, know all the types of clouds. Actually, yeah, you probably do. Sigh.

I calmly looked at the getting younger by the minute, man, and said, “Yes, I will save things to the Clouds and can schedule for your first opening on Thursday. Thank you so much, Sir.”

When I arrived home, I did the steps he showed me in hopes that I saved the cell phone content which I have come to rely on.

I’m currently at hour six of no cell phone. I’ve managed to go on a run in the cold, brisk air and sunshine at the lake, shower, dress, eat breakfast, meditate, listen to an entire CD on my Boom Box, type this essay, hug and kiss my Sweet Love, hang up damp, clean running gear on my dry rack, drink water, look at the Carolina blue sky and all the almost bare trees, and feel an immense appreciation for the challenge of today. My panties have not gotten bunched up or in a wad. I get to drive to meet my poet friends outside in the sunshine in our coats and masks to read poetry to one another, to stand at the intersection with a Love sign, wave, and smile at all my neighbors driving or walking by with joy in my heart.

I get to power up a human heart battery with activities that keep me connected to Mother Earth, people I love who love me. And I took a few moments to write a long letter of gratitude to my cell phone for I realize that the small computer I hold in my hand frees me to be in a larger world of people, photographs, texts, heartfelt conversations of loving kindness and laughter, FaceBook posts— all pathways to share love, humor, rapture for this beautiful, most precious life. From my heart and mind, I get to create, savor, and live connected with all people who can see those gorgeous cumulus clouds in the sky on a bright sunny day.

May you choose consciously, purposefully to stay connected to who and what inspires you to be all in for this one and only wondrous life you have to live.


Laura Staley
Laura Staley
The founder of Cherish Your World, Laura Staley passionately helps people thrive by guiding them to a holistic transformation of space, heart, mind, body, and soul. Laura knows that there’s a relationship between the conditions of our homes or workplaces and the quality of our lives. Trained and certified with the Western School of Feng Shui and seasoned by almost two decades of working with a variety of clients, Laura uses her intuition and expertise to empower her clients to produce remarkable results in their lives. Her trifecta of serving people includes speaking, writing, and compassionate listening. As a columnist, Laura writes personal essays focused on self-discovery, feng shui, emotional health, and transformations from the inside out. Laura is the published author of three books: Live Inspired, Let Go Courageously and Live with Love: Transform Your Life with Feng Shui, and the Cherish Your World Gift Book of 100 Tips to Enhance Your Home and Life. Prior to creating her company, Laura worked as a fulltime parent and an assistant professor at Ohio Wesleyan University. She earned a Ph.D. in political science from The Ohio State University. Her joys in life include laughing with loved ones, dancing, reading, meditating, running, being in nature, and listening to music she loves. She resides in Black Mountain, NC with lovable dog, Layla. Laura is a contributing author to the inspiring book Crappy to Happy: Sacred Stories of Transformational Joy

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    • Oh, I’m so happy to know this brought laugher and smiles. Technology continues to advance and sometimes I think our brains and bodies have not exactly caught up…or at least mine hasn’t completely. There’s always more to learn. Thank you so much for your kind words and for your blessings! I appreciate you, Cynthia.

  1. Oh, I’m so grateful to know this brought smiles, laughter! Yes, Fiona (I had to give her a name) had a successful battery transplant. All data remained intact. I’m incredibly grateful for it would have taken a long time to recreate that contact list…and I would not have been able to recreate any of the photos (though most of them had been uploaded to Lacy the Laptop). And Yes! How important to take tech detoxes every now and then. As best as I can I tend to set tech down on Sundays (yet, don’t look on Facebook because I’ve probably posted on some Sundays…). Right now I notice that these tools feel essential for connecting to beloved ones, colleagues, and clients. Thank you so much for all your delightful reflections-just knowing that this brought you laughter and smiles makes my day, Laura. I wish you a wonderful weekend ahead, my friend and colleague!

    • I’m relieved to know I’m not alone in the tech world Not being part of what’s in your amazing wheelhouse. Thank goodness for the tech folk because I find myself utterly grateful for their skills, talents, and their ability to occasionally translate in a language that I understand… Thank you for your reflections….really grateful to know I’m not the only person on the planet without total tech savvy—Whew! (And I actually will love the day that I can turn over certain tech tasks to an assistant-That will be a Glorious Day!!) I wish you a beautiful weekend ahead..Hugs to you, Kimberly!!

  2. Laura,
    I love this essay. You write so openly and with such candidness that it is a breath of fresh air. You made me laugh, smile, and feel such comfort with your words, and for that I thank you. Isn’t it something how reliant we’ve become on technology? I remember one day a couple years back where I forgot my phone at home on a Saturday. We were too far to turn back, and at first I was like “oh, no!” But honestly, it was so freeing to not have it with me. That’s when I realized that taking regular digital detoxes is a must.

    I do hope your phone is up and working again soon. In the meantime, it sounds like you are making the best of your situation and embracing all the moments.