I got a new iPad for Christmas. It is faster, lighter, leaner than my old iPad. But for some reason, I’m having trouble saying goodbye. Strange, to develop an affection for a piece of technology. But, the iPad has been so much more than a machine to me.

It was a step down the path of self-knowledge.

I recall the initial purchase decision. No one else in the family had an iPad. Do you hear that? Me, the middle-aged mother, was the first person in the family to get an iPad. The kids jumped on the MacBook train earlier than me, I was pretty slow in the iPhone race, and Andrew was as yet Apple uninitiated. He didn’t know what delights lay in store. I Therefore had to make the decision ahead of him.

Now, if that seems insignificant to you, please remember I got married at the age of nineteen. I had my first child by the time I was twenty. Money was tight. Decisions revolved around the needs of the family. There wasn’t a great deal of time or energy left over for self discovery. Until the iPad.

Andrew said: “if you want an iPad buy one.”

I saw a whole new world opening up before me – social media, books, movies, diaries, notetaking apps, image storage, dictionaries, blogging and travel apps, games, contacts, meditation, relaxation, and enhanced language learning functions.

Still, I hesitated. Did I need it? Or just want it? Was I being selfish? My guilt and self-doubt could have rivalled the seating capacity of the MCG. In the end, I purchased a refurbished model with WIFI + Cellular and 64GB of memory. I’m not addicted (cough) or dependent (goodness, quite a tickle in my throat). But I did buy a new handbag to accomodate the purchase. Causing one son to ask: ‘Do you ever go anywhere without that thing?’

‘No. Apart from the gym and library desk shifts, me and my iPad are rarely separated.’

Today is Boxing Day. I am sitting at the table with all that history. I can’t just put the old iPad in a drawer. Or, heaven forbid, throw it away. And no one carries two iPads, do they? No! that would be ridiculous. I think, in the circumstances, I might have to frame it. Underneath, the caption will simply read:

“The day Elizabeth Jane knew what she wanted.”