I’ll be the first to admit, I’m an addict.
My phone comes with me everywhere. So when I agreed to go on a family trip to a rented cottage in the Kawarthas last month, it didn’t occur to me to ‘unplug’. My mother had rented two neighbouring cottages, one for her, myself, and my family, and one for my sister and her family. We would spend the next week building sand castles, cruising the lakes in our little fishing boat, and singing songs my sister and I remembered from Girl Guides around the campfire. For the next seven days I was in charge of cooking all the meals for our cabin, a duty I relish, but I also spent the week doing something else: obsessing. You see, my week of being ‘unplugged’ was not intentional. This cottage had no signal. No let me rephrase that, I had no signal. My mom and sister both enjoyed low, but consistent cell signal, where as my service provider left me with zero. Zilch. On discovery of this, I silently began freaking out. What about my clients? What if someone wants to ask me a question about a property, and I don’t respond for a day? This wouldn’t do. After unpacking and setting the kids up with Grandma on the beach I throttled the gas on our little tin can boat and beelined for the centre of the lake.
Look out loons, panicked Realtor coming through. I can still picture myself, standing in a wobbly boat, waving my phone around the sky searching for a signal. Had I been wearing a tinfoil hat, I’m sure the lovely dock dwellers would have called the nice men in the white coats on me. But alas, a slight signal was found in the western side of the lake and my phone proceeded to blow up. The running joke of being a Realtor is, if you want your business to pick up, leave town. Boy was that true- new leads, texts and emails from clients wanting information on homes, and an old friend wanting to connect and talk about my being a Realtor.
I regrettably decided to start by sending a mass, generic auto-response email – “I’m at a cottage “relaxing” this week, so email is best, and I’ll respond as soon as I can.” I figured that would hold them off for a moment, and I would then work through each request. But as I started to prioritize my list of who to respond to, and how, responses came back in – “Awesome! Enjoy your week Jess, we’ll wait until you’re back” “Have a great time Jessica, you work so hard, I’m glad you’re taking some time off”, “Have fun with the kids Jess, you deserve it”. I stopped.. I looked around. It was 100% the most beautiful scenic view I had enjoyed all year. I waited many long winter months for a beautiful day like this one, and it was breathtaking. As I pulled back to the dock the view only improved.
My kids were playing on the beach, my mom was laughing with her grandchildren, my overworked Husband was chatting with his brother-in-law in a lounge chair with a cold beer in hand. Life was good. I read three full novels that week, roasted marshmallows and made more s’mores than I can count, and only went in to the Apsley Bowes and Cocks Officed to work once. Okay twice, but it’s right across the road from the Apsley market, so it was right there.. I did take my phone out on the boat a few more times, but it was to take awesome pictures like this one. If I ever unplug again, I’m hoping it’s intentional, but it’ll be worth it.