...

A Nasty Hangover

I have developed a new habit of switching off my phone before I sleep.

It stays off the entire night – sitting there on my nightstand, as useful as a sewing machine on a fishing boat – then I turn it back on in the morning, after I step out of the shower.

I’m doing this because I discovered a mortifying truth about myself from my usage stats: I discovered that I spend, on average, nine hours and 54 minutes on my phone every day between Monday and Friday.

Nine hours and 54 minutes!

That’s a lot of time, dear reader.

A lot of time.

That’s the equivalent of watching six movies back to back. Or driving from Nairobi to the Busia-Uganda border, then killing another three hours when I get there. Or spending an entire workday not looking anywhere else but into my phone.

Nine hours, 54 minutes, sweet heavens. Out of all those hours, I’m told that I spend the most time on Instagram (four hours on average, every day) then on WhatsApp (an hour and a half).

I know what I do on Instagram: I sell my books. Instagram is my marketplace, my billboard, my chatting room. The Kenyan demographic I engage with most – working-class millenials in their 20s and 30s – spend as much time on Instagram as I do, if not more.

I’ve learned that this demographic doesn’t chat by email but by direct messages, where they complement their messages with little videos and voice notes, more pictures than anybody needs, it’s a riot. We step out of these direct messages then go kill hours peeking into the windows of other people’s lives.

But I’m happy to tell you that all the time I spend on Instagram is translating to steady book sales: my time there alchemises to money in my pocket. Not too shabby, aye?

Away from spending prime hours on Instagram and WhatsApp, I also discovered that I spend less than five minutes every day on phone calls, as in, speaking to people and hearing their voice.

I don’t know what to make of this.

I don’t even think it’s accurate, just yesterday Safaricom alerted me that I have only 60 minutes left on my 400-minute monthly bundle. (I call people, c’mon!)

Anyway, this suggests that I spend more time engaging with strangers on the Internet than I do talking to the people I know. And love. People who love me despite not talking to them as often as I need to. (Let’s pause here to ponder.)

Truth is, spending nine hours, 54 minutes on the phone every single day is quite taxing. It leaves you feeling drained and spent, and not in the way that you would after, I don’t know, running a 21-kilometre marathon or pumping weights at the gym. Definitely not how you would feel when you reach the final page of a Stephen King novel or watching a Leonardo DiCaprio movie.

It’s the nauseating feel of eating too much cake or imbibing way past your tolerable limits.

Basically, you feel disgusted with yourself for over-indulging. So it’s nausea, underscored with disgust, disappointment at your weakened willpower and a tinge of regret at the time squandered.

It’s my definition of a nasty hangover.

That’s why I decided to switch off my phone before I sleep, lest it pings in the middle of the night and my addicted brain rouses from its slumber to catch another seemingly life-changing update from people on the Internet that I barely know.

A friend was gravely concerned about this. She asked, ‘But Bett, what if someone is in a pickle and is trying to reach you?’

I mulled about who this ‘someone’ could be: my two children are asleep in the next room, with the nanny. If they need me, they won’t call my phone, they call my name out aloud.

My children can reach me.

GB, my lover, should be in the bed, sleeping right next to me. (Operative word: ‘should’.)

If he isn’t by my side and runs into a middle-of-the-night pickle in the crazy world out there, he’ll call his brother to bail him out, he won’t call me. He’ll call his brother in the same way his brother would call him.

GB doesn’t need to reach me.

Who else would be in a pickle and would need to reach me? Hmm. I’ve run through the names of my family and friends – these people that I spend less than five minutes talking to everyday, ha-ha – and I’ve concluded that they each have someone else they can call.

So right before I sleep, I log out of all these bothersome apps and I switch off my phone. I untether myself from the rest of the world, I sever the binds.

I’ve been sleeping better, actually, more restful, like a swan.

In the morning, I wake up when my body clock tells me to wake up.

I’ll only know what time it is when I hesitantly switch on my phone after my shower, then the sickening addictive cycle begins all over again.

An edited version of this story first ran in the Saturday Nation on February 4, 2023. It ran under my ‘Culture’ column.

Photo by Pawel Czerwinski on Unsplash

3
What the Dog Saw
Letter to my 25-year-old self

Leave a Reply

Close
Subscribe to our content

@_craftit
Florence Bett-Kinyatti

@_craftit

Columnist Saturday Nation Writer Craft It Author of best-selling ‘SHOULD I?’ and ‘HOW MUCH?’ ~ Guiding word: Overdrive Subscribe to our Newsletter👇🏾 eepurl.com/igmN8P
  • Dear God, 
It’s me again.

I don’t pray as often as I need to, You know that. I don’t kneel by my bed in child-like humility, as Muna does. I don’t whisper a prayer in the morning. Or at noon. Perhaps just in the evening. 

This going-to-church habit is a constant false start. So is reading the Word. 

I’m often guilty but I also know: You and I have a language only we can understand. 

I speak to You through this gift You bestowed upon my Kale shoulders, this gift to write in colour. It’s a gift that sometimes feels like a curse, a burden I have no choice but to pursue. 

Yet other times – most times, actually – it’s the very breath of my essence. Everyday I sit to write, when the words flow from my head and heart through my fingers to the page, I feel You next to me. 

You are here, Lord. Hovering. Lingering. Swooshing about in Your regal robes, like a character from Bridgerton.

Sometimes You get so close I can feel You breathing on my neck and I’m like, ‘Err, God, do You mind, personal space?’

And You chuckle uncomfortably. ‘He-he, of course. Of course.’

I’m here to tell You, Thanks!

I hosted my first in-person event last March, Lord, thank You to all the lovely ladies who granted me their time and full attention. 

I’ve carried them in my heart since and every day, my prayer is that You bring them closer to the life of abundance they each seek. To their own version of wealth. 

I always call them by their name: Becky. Purity. Lindsay. Wangui. Naomi. Shiqow. Mercy. Liz. Winnie. Polly. Nduta. Lynet. 

And Mike. 

Dear Lord, I’m prepping for my next in-person event in June, Inshallah. 

Walk with me as I get there. 

Love always,
Me

#craftit
  • Highlights from our first-ever in person event hosted by Craft It and @financialfitbit 
Thanks to all the lovely ladies — and gent, hehe — who honoured us with the privilege of their time and attention. And colourful energy. It’s been weeks since and it’s only now that I’m coming down from the high. 

Thank YOU!

🎥 @mikemuthaka 

#craftit #author #MakeYourMoneyMatter #personalfinance #money
  • I am a woman.

I’m strong. I’m brilliant. I’m like a comet shooting across the sky, I’m so bright you have to put on shades to see me.

I’m almost 40, I’m almost fully realising myself as a woman and the power of womanhood I possess.

I’m so powerful that if KPLC connected me to the national grid, I’d power up this country and we’d never have another blackout.

Ho! Ho! Ho!

Anyway.

To recognize and celebrate International Women’s Day today, I’d like to recognize and celebrate eight women.

I have eight things to give away to each of these women:
a) Two tickets to my upcoming event on March 18 with @financialfitbit Theme is ‘Make your money matter’
b) Three autographed copies of my book ‘Should I?’
c) Three autographed copies of my other book ‘How Much?’

To participate:
1. Like this post
2. Tag women who deserve a win of either event ticket or book (tag as many women as you like)
3. Tell us what you’d like her to win and why she deserves the win
4. Make sure your tagged women follow @_craftit and @financialfitbit 

Here are the rules for the giveaway:
— One woman, one win
— Winners will be contacted via DM
— Giveaway closes at the end of this week, Inshallah, on Sunday 12 March
— Only open to people living in Kenya

All the best!

(Swipe right to see the women I’m celebrating.)

#craftit #internationalwomensday
  • My 2022 word of the year was Wholesome. 

Wholesome meant engaging in moderation and in pursuits that didn’t leave me feeling yucky.

An example: there’re weekend nights I’d go out then have too much to drink. On the drive home, I’d tell GB to stop the car every half mile so I could throw up on the side of the road. Then I’d take three working days recovering. 

Ha-ha.

No more of that nonsense.

Now I have only two doubles of Singleton whiskey and chase it with water. I eat less food and I eat better. I take my supplements. I treat myself to an early bedtime and arise with my body clock, no alarm.

I spend a lot more time hanging with my kids, Muna and Njeeh. 

I buy fewer things. 

I play the piano. 

I created a disciplined routine for my work and take Thursdays off. 

You catch my drift…

Wholesome has become my lifestyle. 

(By the way, I was asked, ‘Where does this word-of-the-year come from, Bett?’ I don’t know about other people but for me, the words present themselves when I’m journaling. My spirit tells me what it needs; I must be still enough to listen and brave enough to obey.)

My word for 2023 is Overdrive.

My two books have unlocked new opportunities for me as a writer and creative. As an urban brand. I’d honestly not foreseen them. 

I know that if I adjust my sails to where the wind is blowing, these opportunities will translate to wealth.

Last Friday, I listed all the work I’m already doing and all the new opportunities – potential and realised – knocking at my door.

I asked myself, ‘What am I taking up here and what am I dropping?’

The response, ‘None – we go into overdrive and smartly pursue them all.’

#craftit #urbanguide
  • Years ago, my best friend said to me, ‘Bett, we’re almost 40 – forget makeup, let’s take care of our skin instead.’

I had to laugh because this was coming from Terry. Terry my Kisii pal, this fine gyal with skin the colour of honey, the only practising SDA in my circle. 

Terry had spent her 20s and early 30s sleek with Arimis. That’s right, the milking jelly with a lactating cow on its logo. 

Arimis addressed all her skin pickles back then. It was her problem fixer. Her Olivia Pope. It’s the one thing that always said, It’s handled.

Now here she was preaching to us about a consistent skincare regimen in the AM and PM.

Ha!

It wasn’t until Terry shared her selfies on our girls WhatsApp group that I stopped laughing. It wasn’t until we stood next her – and took these selfies – that I reeally stopped laughing: Terry’s skin was youthful and toned, plump. Hydrated. Moistured but not shiny. 

It looked like it had been kissed by the Greek goddess of radiance. 

So we gathered around her feet and said, ‘Forgive us, master. We are ready now. Teach us everything you know.’

She did. 

Terry and I now spend plenty of time before work and before bed squeezing out little portions of expensive skincare products from expensive tubes, we layer them on our face in a calculated measure.

This serum here is for the circles under my eyes and the fine lines around my mouth.

Turns out I’ve been giving away too much of my face: I’ve been looking too hard, laughing too easily.

I’ll have to spend the next year into my 40s with my eyes half shut and laughing little. I'll have a resting bitch face.

Don’t blame me, blame the retinol.

And age.

#craftit #urbanguide #urbangirl
  • I’m Bett. I’m the author of your favourite books about money. I’m hosting an in-person event in March, Inshallah: This is my personal invite to you.

#craftit #moneymaker #moneyinkenya
  • I am hosting my first money event this March, Inhsallah. It’s the first of quarterly events I have planned for the year. 

(Give me a moment here so I pull myself together long enough to write this. I’m smiling very hard right now, ha-ha, I look like a donkey.)

(Ahem.)

The event will be in-person. On a Saturday morning, a loose three hours which, I am certain, you’d have burned on some other pursuit you couldn’t account for later. (I’d probably be oiling the hinges of a squeaky door or decluttering my sock drawer.)

My guest host for this edition is Lynet Kyalo. 

Lynet is a personal finance coach under her brand @financialfitbit She also hosts @getyourbagrightpodcast 

Buy your tickets from our Market.

Early bird tickets are discounted until the end of this month.

Limited slots available. 

#craftit #millenialmoney #moneyevent #moneymaker
  • Sometimes I sit down and read my own book. 

Odd, huh?

Reading my own stories is like an out-of-body experience. Or getting introduced to myself again. An outward journey inward.

It’s fascinating.

I also read because I need to improve my writing for my next project.

We call them the Elements of Craft: things like sentence structure and punctuation, word placement, story length etc, they all inform your reading experience.

This is what makes the book easy to read, and has you turning the pages.

Cop your autographed copy and #betteryourmoney 

#craftit #howmuch #millenialmoney #moneymaker
Close

Close
Categories
Seraphinite AcceleratorOptimized by Seraphinite Accelerator
Turns on site high speed to be attractive for people and search engines.