Monday, December 15, 2014

Remembering Simplicity- A Fairy Tale?

Once upon a time...

A simpler life must only exist in fairy tales or in the "good old days".  Life in our modern world is the polar opposite of simple.  Our world is filled with constant noise, demand of our minds and reminders of all we aren't.  Wasn't there a time when life was at least a little simpler?

I am old enough to remember having four channels on the television: ABC, CBS, NBC and PBS.  Saturday morning was the only time we could watch cartoons.  The news was on at 6 pm.  For school delays and closings, we huddled around the radio and listened carefully for our school's name.

I can even remember when we had only one telephone in the house and it was a "party line".  A certain double ring announced the call was for us and not our neighbors.  All calls were to be kept short.  There was no such thing as call waiting or voice mail.

In that long ago time, I researched my family history by interviewing relatives and scanning microfiche at the library.  To find articles and books for research papers, I looked in the card catalog.  Then I would spend hours in the stacks looking through books.  I loved it.

Today...We have three phones for our land line.  Four of us have smartphones.  I skimp on cable and only have the basic with some 60 channels.  The internet provides instant access to almost everything and almost everyone.

I start my day by looking at my cell phone.  It is my alarm clock.  After feeding the animals and making coffee, I check my emails, Facebook and Twitter.  If I am not careful, hours are gone before I even realize it.  Worse than the time lost is the constant reminder of all the bad in the world, all the success that isn't mine and all the ways my life is less than perfect.

I have no intention of becoming "unplugged".  I love the access to information and being able to be reached by my kids.  I have learned to turn off the news after hearing the headlines once, be extremely selective in the programs I watch, and stop myself from clicking on all those tempting gossipy links.

Our modern technology is my connection to the world but I need to temper it.  Too much and I feel like I am weighted down until I can't move.  Or, I feel like I will explode from too much being shoved in my face.  I am better at tuning out the ads and "recommended links".

At times, I leave my computer.  I sit in a chair with just a paper and pen.  I let my ideas flow and they flow faster, easier and more creatively.  When I remember simplicity, I remember myself.