Please Don’t Ask Me to Put Down My Phone

by Nora McInerny

It’s a time machine to a place where my husband is still alive.


“Wherever you go, there you are.” My father quoted the words of Jon Kabat-Zinn, the famous mindfulness advocate, to me my entire life.

He said this whenever I wanted to run away from something that was too hard: the varsity basketball team, where I spent a significant amount of time on the bench, avoiding eye contact with my coach and hoping not to have to break a sweat; my Latin class in college, where I struggled with conjugations and pronunciation; a boss who once told me to be “less myself” at work.

My father—and I can say this because he’s dead and won’t read this and get all bent out of shape—was wrong. Wherever I go, I’m wherever I’d rather be. I’m a modern-day time traveler; the constraints of time and space do not apply to me.