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Decluttering digits should have happened years ago when it was logical, but if I’m honest, logic isn’t my forte.

The proof is in the park ranger pudding:

  • Choosing a low paying, high happiness career
  • Encouraging enjoyment over temporary employment
  • Visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter the morning after I married Mr. BuLL

All choices dripping with emotion just like when I delayed changing my phone number for 3 years.

I have moved fewer times than my trips around the sun. So, changing my phone number was one of the many items plastered on the evergreen to-do list when we moved a few years ago.

I’m sure there were plenty of other things on said list like finding a job, signing up for utilities, and more importantly, getting a library card.

Unfortunately, this developed momentum and the longer we stayed, the longer I delayed.

Each time I provided my number with my out-of-state area code, it was another rocky reminder that I needed to change it like a pebble in my shoe, uncomfortable but not painful enough to pull over and do something about it.

It took 1,095 days, but finally, I changed my number.

A Deep Delay

I should have changed it sooner.

There was a point when a new address was entered into banks, apps, and cards. It would have been easier to enter a set of fresh digits too.

It also would have been cheaper to change it in the before times, but with today’s inflation, it increased 3 times the original amount.

Since moving, I made more contacts, friends, and questionable acquaintances, so along with updating the adulting stuff, I had to change more versus when I was fresh, green, and lacking a social circle.

The deeper the delay, the more I would pay, from money to motivation. The mental build-up was massive and it felt like it would take days to detangle the update versus the minutes it would actually take.

Make Good Choices

I live in an area where different area codes are common, but for this situation, I don’t want to be different. I wanted to conform like tiny humans chasing an ice cream truck.

It just feels right.

Plus, there were small annoyances which included correcting people but it still being entered incorrectly. A different area code would generate automatic questions about where I’m from and with the gypsy lifestyle since birth, l don’t have a simple answer.

It was just one of those little nags that I needed to move from back-of-the-brain dread to full-speed ahead!

Motivation before Stagnation  

Before starting my 6-week furlough, I looked at the many items on my excessive to-do list and recognized that I wanted to start strong.

It’s easy to slip into stagnation and frustration by letting my days turn into weeks of doom scrolling, naps, and social media binging.

I wanted to use my time in a way that would make my 90-year-old companions proud, not compel an awkward chuckle when I mention my sweatpant routine.

I needed to do the worst first or in greener terms, eat the toad. The wartiest toad on my list was changing my phone number because there was nothing else on that list that had been delayed for years.

So on furlough day one, I woke up on time (6 am), ate a hearty breakfast, drank extra coffee, and steeled myself for the worst first.

Just Do the Thing

Once I called my carrier and initiated the change, it happened quickly.

The prior digits were disconnected, the change was set, and there was no going back.

I wrote a generic message on my notes app so I could copy, paste, and repeat the same message to all my contacts. I adjusted my banking, utilities, and apps with only a couple outliers that gave extra resistance (side eyeing USAjobs, TSP, and social security), but overall, it took less time to change my number than it does to change my rotors. Far cheaper too!

Then, a telemarketer called which is odd. I’m used to scammers, but this time it said, Telemarketers. I ignored the call, but it reminded me to get back on the Do Not Call Registry. After dialing up the 800 number and going through the prompts, I’m back on the list. Telemarketers beware, I report your insurrection if you call!

Keep Calm, Declutter On

The boon to this bust is that I decluttered contacts.

There were people I hadn’t spoken to in years and deleting was easier than updating. Another boon was for one brief evening, my phone blew up with greetings, gratitude, and gests from everyone I did include in the update.

Before this adjustment, I hadn’t thought about contact clutter. It was just a digital phone book with numbers I used. But, since I was forced to go through contacts, it felt like I was discarding relationships that passed their expiration date.

I have decluttered many digital things over the years, from folders and photos to apps and other digital mishaps, but contacts weren’t on the list. However, once I started the decluttering digits dive, I was happy to comply.

Decluttering Digits: Avoidance into Action

As I type this, it has been 24 hours since I changed my number. It feels like dinner served when I just walked in the door.

This is one of those times when I ask myself, why didn’t I do this sooner? This thought is an indicator that avoidance took a toll. I won’t dwell on lost time, effort, and discomfort because today is a new day with new digits.

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