text me when I’m flying.

Hi. Sorry it’s been so long. I’m a bad blogger. I’ve been busy doing all of the things. Literally. All of the things. As of September 1, I moved down the road and out of the Boston zip code and am officially an Allston dweller. Or perhaps I wasn’t an official Allston dweller until last week when I saw my first mouse in my new apartment. Either way, it’s official now.

The mouse is named Jill after one of my former* roommates. Since our first Jill sighting, my current roommates and I have been doing all that we can to trap and kill her. Or at least, we’ve been doing all that we feel like doing to make that happen, which is not very much. We’ve mostly been relying on others to do the dirty work. And those others have been completely unsuccessful.

Since none of us are willing to get anywhere near a dead mouse, I’m not sure what we’ll do if we catch Jill. Actually, I do know what I will do. I will scream. After that, I’m at a loss. Anyway, we haven’t had to worry about that yet. I’ve only seen her one time. Jill has been very cooperative about hiding from us, and I’m thankful for that.

In addition to moving and mouse hunting, I’ve also been traveling quite bit over the last month. I’ve visited New Hampshire and Maine—bringing my total number of U.S. states visited up to 45—I’ve been to Canada’s maritime provinces, and I’ve traveled to New York for a couple of weekends. And all of this traveling naturally means that I have been spending a lot of time at airports.

Flying can be both relaxing and anxiety inducing for me. And by “flying” I am referring to the actual process of being in flight, not the checking in, going through security, waiting around the terminal, or any of that business that you do on the ground.

As everyone knows, when you fly you’re asked to turn off your cell phone for the duration of the flight. In general, I would not consider myself one of those people who is attached to her phone. Admittedly, I have become more and more attached since getting an iPhone and thus since having the ability to check my email and Facebook no matter where I am. But, I would not say that I have a problem.

At the beginning of the flight, I find turning my phone off to be relaxing. It’s not as if I am constantly being bombarded with phone calls and texts and in desperate need of a technology detox, but there is something almost empowering about disconnecting myself from the world. Want to get a hold of me? Too bad. I’m busy. I’m watching reruns of Gossip Girl on my iPod 36,000 miles in the air. You’ll have to try again later.

The length of this relaxation period varies based on the flight length (and how mentally prepared I am for that length) and my stress level that day. Typically, if the flight creeps up on the three-hour mark, that’s when the anxiety starts to set in. That’s when I realize that I don’t deal well with being disconnected for extended periods of time.

I become convinced that I need to read my text messages immediately. I have no idea who it’s from or what it says, but I am sure that I have received the most important text message that I will ever receive and that it will self destruct if I don’t read it immediately. Or maybe one of my friends is making a life changing decision and is counting on me to offer an opinion. I need to give an opinion. I need to be back on the ground with the people so I can read my text messages.

When the plane lands and I can finally turn on my phone, I get a slight rush as it powers on and I wait to see who and how many people have been in desperate need of some Anna time while I’ve been unavailable. I find it incredibly disappointing to turn my phone back on after a flight of any length and find that no new text messages or voicemails are waiting for me. Did nobody notice I was gone? Didn’t anyone miss me?

To avoid this scenario, I used to text several people right before I turned my phone, thereby insisting that I had messages when I landed, but I have since stopped doing this. Now, I simply try to tell myself to be less of a nut.

I guess having no one notice that I’ve fallen off of the grid for a few hours is not such a big deal. I guess a textless flight from Nova Scotia to New York is no reason to reconsider the strength of my relationships or my value to my friends. But if no one texted me during a longer flight—say, if I ever travel to Australia or China—that, of course, would be a different story.

*Ignore the former, Jill. We’ll always be roommates. That was a sick joke.


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