How many phones for a good connection?

I know I need to cut back.

This is just like any other situation in my life where I know I’ve overdone it.

This time, it involves the phone.

I’m not talking about the time spent on the phone, but the number of phones.

Have you done your own phone math, Dear Reader?

Seems like yesterday, I had a home phone, a business phone and a cell phone.

And shoot — just to be honest and retro — I’ll mention a FAX line, as well.

If you’re under 40, you can Google, “FAX machine.”

I’ve known for sometime it’s time to simplify.

The business line and FAX are long gone

My husband and I talk about unplugging even more — a lot.

One unplug leads to another.

The home phone is tied into internet service and the dreaded cable box, which we really need to dump.

But that’s a big project.

So, we do what other over-busy adults do.

We put it off.

We simply unplug the home phone and let everything go to voicemail.

Sloppy? Yes.

This was a big mistake I realized this week. It was even a wake-up call, you could say.

“You have 32 voicemail messages,” the robot lady voice announced Tuesday. “First message, sent, Tuesday, Sept. 22nd, 2015.”

Gulp.

So began the tedious process of listening to and deleting so many useless messages.

The politicians I won’t be voting for simply because they robo-called my house.

The charities I won’t be donating to simply because they called my house.

At dinner time, the wrong number.

No, Velma doesn’t live here and I have no idea if she’s sleeping with your husband.

Delete.

Delete.

Delete.

Just as I was hoping for a “Delete All” button, I heard a message begin with a familiar voice.

Very familiar.

“Hey, this is your brother,” the voice said as I stopped in my deleting tracks.

My brother.

My first hero.

The one I miss who lives on the other side of the country.

The one who I recently assumed had gotten too busy to think of me.

“Don’t hear from him much,” was the message I had been running through my head.

And yet, here he was.

My brother left me multiple messages.

He wished me a happy birthday in January.

He wished me well on my new book in February.

Laughing about thinking who would play our family members if my book were made into a movie — that was March.

My brother.

The one who I felt disconnected from.

Ah, the power of assumptions and the messages we feed ourselves.

He was there all the time on the other end of the line — a line I stopped checking months ago.

Is it possible, Dear Reader, that we’ve fooled ourselves?

Between multiple phones, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, we think we’re overly connected.

And yet, the truth might be that despite all that equipment and all of those layers, we may actually be headed toward the abyss of disconnection.

It’s time to slim down.

It’s time to call my brother.

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