It’s that time of the year again when you should be thinking of a new year resolution. “Getting off my mobile is mine,” says REENA SINGH
Every year at this time of the year, I make up a rudimentary list of new year resolutions with a flourish, determined to stick to them. By the first week of January, most of them vanish into the dense fog that descends at this time of the year in India’s cold northern states. Its not as if I forget them. They continue to lurk in my subconscious and do make an appearance now and then.
How do I make my resolutions stick? This year again, I have come up with a few resolutions and I am determined to stick to them.
Want to lose weight: I will set achievable targets rather than setting insane ones such as wanting to lose 20 kgs within six months. That’s not going to happen unless one gets on to some fad diets like the keto diet or hires an expensive nutritionist or diet consultant. Most diets are not good to do alone and it is important to have a consultant as medical complications can set in if you follow an extreme diet for more than two or three months.
Maintain a journal: I set that as a target last year and I am happy to report that I was busy once or twice a week duly filling in my significant thoughts and reports of special happenings till at least May. Then it kind of petered out and now I try and fill in my diary/planner on days when at least something of note happens. Still, I have stuck to journal writing and find it deeply satisfying to read it from time to time. By the way, I bought an undated journal, so, found it okay to fill it in, once in a while. I will continue with this.
Catching up on reading: At one time in my life, that was all I did – reading night and day. Then came marriage and with it, an avalanche of domestic duties and walking the tightrope between a full-time journalistic job and scheduling chores such as sabzi-buying, supervising homework of child and what not. Reading disappeared from my life, and for the next two decades, I read maybe 10 to 12 books. Not even one book a year. I froze when that insight finally hit me, and since then, I made a pledge to take up reading – at least one book a month. Most of the time I stick to it, though with diminishing eyesight as happens to everyone in their senior years, I have switched to reading on my kindle device or listening to audio books on Audible. Most doable.
Getting off my mobile: I was an early user and had my first mobile phone back in 1997. While earlier, it was a convenient tool to stay in touch with people through a call or an sms, by 2010, I had acquired an iphone 3s, and it soon took over my life with its extra-smart features. I now catch myself constantly looking at my phone, playing word games online with real people and taking it up each time I hear it ping. It’s become a compulsive habit, almost like OCD. And I can’t rid myself of it.
It’s coming in the way of everything I want to do. Then, I reason with myself. It is, after all, my handheld computer, my reader, my TV, my cookbook, my news ticker, my encyclopaedia, my reference book, my phone, my WhatsApp university, my go-to comforter to kill a lonely afternoon, my email writer, my dictionary, my games console, my market place, my provision store, and now even my food caterer. It’s got endless uses and I constantly think I will miss out on something if I am not on it.
But is the time spent on the mobile worth it? I don’t seem to use it to talk as much to others as I did earlier, for I am always busy either reading on it, surfing on Facebook or reading some bombastic comments on twitter. What the heck, I can’t even go to the loo without it.
Sometimes, when my husband speaks to me, I am usually too busy playing a turn on a word game to answer him.
So, realistically, this year, I have decided to do something concrete about it – such as making cutting down on my mobile time my new year resolution for 2022. I am now looking forward to some pointers on how this is to be done. I am hoping one of our readers or regular bloggers will step in with a rejoinder to this piece of writing. Or may be tomorrow, I will key it in google and spend the day reading everyone’s perspective on it. All on my trusted mobile, of course.
Reena Singh has more than 37 years’ experience in senior editorial positions in The Times of India (TOI) and Genpact. She was Deputy Editor with TOI’s spiritual newspaper, The Speaking Tree, where she spent nine years.