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The Way of Wellness - Butt Dials




I grew up in a home with one (not a typo, one) rotary phone mounted on the side of the kitchen cabinet. It was yellow and had a remarkable six-foot curly cord. Our durable multitask cord allowed us to talk while moving around in the kitchen. We could stroll into the den to catch a news or sports clip on TV, or sit at the dining room table and chat in privacy. It was a modern-day mobile phone if the user was mobile!


Our phone number was Summer 6-2756. That number is part of my DNA. It’s embedded in my memory like my birthday and Social Security number. In those days, phone service was mostly on a “party line.” This meant that at any time, day or night, you could pick up your phone’s handset to make a call and hear another person’s conversation. The polite response was to hang up. The nosey response was to listen in. The crisis response was to yell, “Please, can you hang up? I have an emergency!” And the “not-love-thy-neighbor” reaction went something like this: “Hey, you’ve been on this dang phone for over an hour! Get off this line!” Click.


That old phone kept our family connected. Times have surely changed. Smart. Convenient. Wi-Fi. Texts. FaceTime. Robocalls. 5G. Spammers. Browser. Selfies. These terms describe today’s mobile phones. Wait, I forgot one…butt-dials. We’ve all made them and received them. Those random, inadvertent calls are made by pressing or sitting on your phone buttons.


What does all of this have to do with The Way of Wellness? First, the Way is personal. It encompasses all the small nuances of our day that cause us to pause, be still, and let our thoughts unfold. Second, The Way of Wellness is a healthy way to laugh at one's own mistakes. If only for a moment, you see the humor around you, replay your day’s not-so-random coincidences, and embrace the pleasant memories clamoring for your attention. It can all be mentally refreshing - a reset.


One of my dearest friends is several years older. Without fail, in the mid-morning of any day, I can receive a butt dial from her. I know it's her by caller ID. After a “Hello, hello, are you okay” in a loud voice, she answers with the usual, “Oh, I didn’t mean to call you, but I guess my butt did!” We laugh, share, & reminisce and an hour later we close our convo with goodbyes & I love you. My friend can talk! I love talking to my old friends. And with her nextbutt dial, we'll be able to pick up where we left off. A butt dial has provided my daily dose of wellness & grace!


Butt dials aren’t so annoying. At least they know the phone numbers of those dear to me. I can remember Summer 6-2756, but I don’t even know my two daughters' phone numbers by heart! I’m smiling and momentarily envisioning our yellow rotary phone with its amazing cord. Treasured memories of that phone and my childhood growing up in that home flood my soul, and bring much needed joy to my day.


The way of wellness is about connections in life...and on the phone.


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