similar rubbish bins on snow near house facade in town
Photo by Erik Mclean on

The other night my phone made a noise in the late evening. It was a notification from my calender. You know how there are tones and vibration patters you recognise.
I heard the notification and I wondered, what I might’ve forgot. Did I have an appointment in the morning or was a birthday coming up?

I looked at my phone and I see one word on the display.


I looked at it and was confused. What was my phone trying to tell me? I was extra confused, because I usually save my activities in German. And as far as I am aware, “Bins” is not a German word.
It took me a while to realise it was English and then I need one more second to see what was happening there.

The reminder wasn’t one of mine, but his.
A while back we synced our calenders. Obviously it’s not something we need for our every day life. I make my appointments and keep him informed during our chats and talks. Same is true for him. We don’t need to make sure our schedule aren’t interfering . Me going to a school meeting has as much influence on his life, as does his work call on mine.

Yet, it gives a bit of feeling of closeness and normality.
Of course in the past 10 months it didn’t really matter much, as most of my seminars and other meetings have been cancelled or moved online. But it has proven useful. For example, when I could check his flight information before he arrived in Germany in the summer or autumn, without going back into the emails and searching for it.

I’m not sure he enabled the notifications for my calender. On some days I really hope he hasn’t.
But I did enable them and so every now and then I receive an email, because he created a new appointment. Usually it’s work-related calls.
When I saw the notification and understood what actually was happening, I remembered that I got an email about him creating a recurring appointment, named “Bins”.

That was when I realised I was smiling.
Not so much at the bins and the chore. It’s a very mundane thing and I’m sure there’s a reason why he put it into his calender – something like forgetting it. What made me smile is that the notification made me part of his life. I know what he has to do and remember. I feel a bit closer to him, even with kilometers apart.

It’s these little, mundane things that make it possible for us to keep this LDR going. Especially in times like this.

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