My phone was viciously and anonymously attacked and is now in intensive care. Who knows when I’ll have it back, safe, in one piece – in its loving environment where it belongs? Why did this happen? I don’t know and I suffer the question. Here’s what happened: While at the baby park, a rogue sprinkler burst, sending a jet of water worthy of a fire hydrant putting out one of our infamous mountain fires – RIGHT at my phone. My child was drenched, and my right side was soaked, but we are waterproof – my phone is not. Poor thing spluttered a few times, flashed the horizontal lines of sure death, and yielded itself unconscious. CPR was administered in the way of un-cooked rice, and then when I felt able to move the life-less device again I took it to the iFix store who assured me they would do all they can.

(Thank you to all those who sent loving messages, the flowers and the sweet poem about moving on)

Living without a phone in this day and age is pretty hard. Firstly there’s the obvious – people can’t get hold of me. Doorbell stolen, people can’t phone, husband stuck in traffic, can’t call me, dinner is ruined, babysitter not coming, can’t let friend know, friend is stranded, students can’t confirm, doctors can’t call with results, vet can’t call to say cat is ready to be collected…Even the iFix technicians can’t call to say if the phone will make it or not. Having a phone is a HUGE part of our instant-lives.

Then there are the psychological factors: Misplaced morning rituals (check weather, check email, check Facebook, check that the rand has not pulled another shoot-free jump and plummeted to its death. Now that I don’t have that, no cup of coffee or sun salutation can settle this feeling of un-ease, this not-knowing that eats away at me from my waking moment.) Separation anxiety. Blankie-syndrome. (I’d call it cigarette syndrome, but I’ve never smoked. But you know the one – the need to be holding on to something to feel comforted and protected from the big bad world.) Google withdrawal. (Now how will I know what that strange mole on my babies head is…oh wait…never mind. It was a piece of Fling.)

Don’t talk to me about the importance of cell-phone detox when there is a courier waiting with very important documents to deliver to me as soon as they are ready. And all they have is my cell phone number. And I don’t remember who I used – I stored it on my ever faithful memory bank aka cell phone. Don’t say how nice it is to be off the grid when I have a 20 month old finally napping at home, and I’ve left the monitor with our domestic so I can get to the bank and back without a high-energy toddler destroying everything the light touches, and a 20 min trip turns into a 2 hour escapade and I can’t call Betty to let her know I’ll be home when they release the double doors. And what about my grocery list – all diligently inputted and stored on my phone? Now how will I remember if the ALL GOLD and PediaSure are finished?

There are all the things I usually pay with via my phone. Who carries cash in the streets anymore? Not me! That’s a mugging waiting to happen. (Yes, I know that cell phones get stolen too, but I’m trying to whine here) How will I survive my usual walk on the promenade to the park with the little one, without my latte I get at the street stall that takes Snapscan? And how will I pay for my parking? And how will I know if it’s time to leave yet. And how will I remember that I switched places with my husband for the first aid course and I have to be ready to leave as soon as he gets home?

How will I instagram that MovePretty moment? How will I capture the adorable thing my kid is doing? Who’s going to believe me when I tell them about the hilarious guy with the blue-dyed hipster beard if I don’t have photographic evidence? How will I show my husband the shoes I saw in the shop window? And that sunset! Oh my word, BREATHTAKING! But if it is not posted, did it happen? So go ahead and add existential crisis to the list of problems one faces when one loses a phone.

And what about the Whatsapp group chats? HOW MUCH AM I GOING TO MISS THAT I MIGHT NEVER CATCH UP ON? Like a thousand messages? Probably. And my UK bff – how do I voice note her now? How do I listen to her voice notes? Will I forget the sound of her lovely voice??? Probably.

I’m not even going to mention the word ‘selfie’ because, well, it’s too soon and I’m not strong enough to talk about it yet.

But after ALL the first-world frustration and irritation and WHY ME’s of not having a phone for a few days, I had a glorious moment today. Stuck in the bank, waiting in line for 45 min’s, I got to pull a book out of my handbag and read. One of those short story, chapter essay books. It was amaseballs! (do people still say that? Wait – I’ll do a quick #urbandictionary check on my phone………AAARGH!)

But anyway. It was great. To just sit and read and not feel guilty. To sit and read and not feel as though I should be somewhere doing something or wiping something from somebody small. To just sit and read and not feel like I have to reply to those pressing emails, or friend requests, or scan the newsfeed to make sure I didn’t miss anything important…. To just sit and read and know that all I have to do is just sit and read till my ticket number is called. To just sit and read.

And the world is right again.