Which Call Are You Waiting For? (Frederick News-Post Column)

What do you think of when your phone rings?

Do you wonder who it is? Maybe you have ringtones set up so you can tell if it’s a family member, a close friend or your boss. Or maybe you’re avoiding calls because creditors are tracking you down, so when your device begins to play it’s cheerful song, alerting you that a call is coming in, you hit “decline”.  Is that what you think of when your phone rings?

For some, “The Call” is when they get amazing and wonderful too-good-to-be-true news. You know the kind…it’s the kind that if we listen really hard, it comes our way on a daily basis. Personally, when my phone rings, I grab it enthusiastically to see who is taking time out of their day to call me. Those phone calls are the ones that are most important or special; like being asked out on a first date, or catching up with an old friend. Maybe the call is to tell you that someone is engaged or even pregnant (I’m finally at an age where we get excited for those calls, unlike my early 20’s).  Those are the milestone calls that embed themselves in our hearts and our memory banks, and we give ourselves permission to fall back on them at anytime.

Then there are the other calls that travel across Ma Bell’s wires. These are the calls no one is ever ready to answer, because they deliver u sadness or bad news. It could be that someone is mourning loss such as a break-up, a sudden lay-off or it could be news of a death in the family. These calls we just happen to answer that tell us something is suddenly gone are the hardest ones to deal with. These calls cause repercussions.

Depending on which phone call you get, you are staring at two very different realities. On the one hand, if the call is filled with bubbly good news, you hang up and immediately celebrate with laughter or tears of joy, sometimes screaming with happiness. You reach out to friends and family, sharing your good news. You smile, exploding with pride or giddiness. It’s the ultimate moment of excitement, and it is all yours.

If the call is on the other side of the emotional thermometer, the scene shifts. You’re alone sifting through the news you’ve just received. Outside, the birds are still chirping, people are talking. Maybe someone knocks on your door to ask a favor, unaware that a few moments ago your world — your version of life — was just shattered. It’s surreal and poignant, because it’s a reminder that even when life shifts so dramatically, our lives, our everyday dealings and living…Well, we still go on. Yes, there’s shock, maybe regret or guilt, but one thing is certain: Life is too short and it still goes on.

Now, we have to have exceptions to the rule here, like if your stalker ex decides to call. Those calls are best when you hit “decline” or “ignore” so often that you wear out that particular button on your phone. Or it could be a relative that likes to call and chat about her Beanie Baby collection and why it’s value is low. These calls are fine going straight to voicemail. No harm. No foul.

No matter what the call, life moves forward and so do we. Answer those calls no matter what or who is on the other end. Pay no mind to what you think they are going to tell you.  Life is a series of events and opportunities, all small moments culminating into one big wonderful experience.

And sometimes the next step on your journey is just a phone call away.

 

 

 

 

 

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