I've always heard of the phrase, "You don't know what you got till it's gone," but until this week, I never truly understood the full meaning of the phrase.
I lost something this week that has been so important in my life that I didn't know how to operate anymore. I felt like I needed to completely reform my way of life to cope with this loss. And, still, five days later, I'm still wondering how I'll be able to survive.
Readers, fans, general people who have stumbled upon these words - I lost my TV remote control.
I'm freaking out. I have torn apart my bedroom, which is where it is supposed to be. Still living at the parents' residence, I've asked my mom numerous times if she has seen it, but to no avail.
I've looked under my bed. In the closet. In the bathroom. The laundry basket. The pile of clothes growing by the day in the middle of my floor. No dice.
After speaking to a few of my friends, we've come up with a consensus - there is a ghost in my room. He, or she, stole my remote, along with my silver earrings, my flash drive and my pink flip flops.
If it's not a ghost, then I've turned into Chris on "Family Guy" and there is an evil monkey living in my closet. Either one is obviously the answer, because the remote is nowhere to be found.
But going on six days without it, I have found that there is a true void in my life. I'm a creature of habit, and when it comes to my ritual when I get off work at 1:30 in the morning, I have a very specific schedule.
I get home. Put on my pajamas and do the brush teeth / wash face / get ready for bed rituals. Then I head to my bed, pick up my trusty remote control and find a rerun of "Law & Order" to soothe me to sleep. Because, you know, there's nothing better to fall asleep to then a fictional story about a serial killer.
But if there isn't a "Law & Order" on, I like to have my options open. This is where my remote comes in handy. I can channel surf, I can adjust volumes, I can bypass commercials so I don't have to listen to Billy Mays' voice at 2 a.m., all from the comfort of my bed, without moving more than a finger.
Without my remote, I'm left without options. I can either find something on TV, manually, or just not watch at all. That's no fun. I tried the manual thing Thursday night, but it didn't go so well. It ended up that I tried to turn the TV off at about 4 a.m. after I fell asleep, and fell out of bed reaching for my TV, which is about four feet away from my bed.
I realize there were days when remote controls didn't exist and people operated on a fully-functional level. But this is where I came to my realization of the week - I am a child of the 1980s who is now completely spoiled by technology.
Those of you in "The Zone" age range know exactly what I'm talking about. If someone asked me what were five physical things I couldn't live without, four of them would be products that were not available 20 years ago.
My top five are Diet Pepsi (founded in 1964), my cell phone, my iPod, my ATM card and my remote control.
I honestly have come to rely so much on these, and many other products, that I know I'm spoiled in the technology department. Just writing this column on a computer, I know I have it good. I can't imagine doing it on a typewriter, let alone writing it by hand.
In my other world of being a dance teacher, I can't imagine my life without CDs. I remember when I first started dancing and my teachers were putting on records. My kids today don't even know what a record is.
Just knowing how much I rely on these things, makes me wonder what it's going to be like 20 years from now when my children won't know what a CD is.
Maybe then, 20 years from now, I'll finally find my remote.
Sulonen is a sports writer at the Tribune Chronicle. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org