I have been thinking a lot about how we lived pre-internet, pre-wireless connections and have decided that despite the massive time saving aspects the technology seemingly continues to bring us, I really wish the kids today were growing up more simply.
The phone was usually dirty, possibly sticky and intensely gross but it was the way we could keep in contact if you weren’t at home. They had a little bench to sit on usually and a GIANT phone book cabled so you wouldn’t steal it (really?) where you could look up phone numbers yourself. You could also call INFORMATION by dialing 0, talk to a live person (usually a woman) and ask them to help you connect with people, find addresses and phone numbers. As long as some hoodlum hadn’t taken the phone apart, it was a very dependable mode of communication.
Today, if you want to talk to a real, live person and are trying to contact a utility or mortgage company or pretty much anyone for anything, you have to go through menus of prompts and quite often you get disconnected. It is a very frustrating thing and wastes so much time just TRYING to get something accomplished using the phone. I usually go the “not a customer yet” route which can shave off a little time and get a real human, then apologize and ask to be redirected. I think the world is trying to discourage us from actually connecting to humans and prefer us to use online services to do anything. I like to shout repeatedly into the phone REPRESENTATIVE till someone comes along. This is for another blog but WHY are all the call centers seemingly in India?
I remember the summer between 5th and 6th grade living with my aunt and grandma and cousins and walking to the municipal pool several days a week. For a dollar a person we could pay admission of fifty cents and then buy greasy fries with tons of ketchup and an ice cream, frozen candy bar or a drink. We each had a towel with us and maybe some sunscreen and that was all that was required. Four quarters made for an entire day of entertainment and sustainment. There were water fountains. We stayed hydrated! Those were the days.
When I was a child, I read a LOT. This was pre-cable and we only had an old TV with a few channels. PBS was there though and I watched a burgeoning show called Sesame Street, Mister Roger’s Neighborhood, Electric Company and Zoom, but I mostly read or played with toys. I am sure it happened, but I never remember being bored without anything to do. I also played my mom’s records endlessly. Being an only child, I was by myself a lot and I guess learned to be independent. I WISH while I had that time, I learned to play guitar or something. Looking back now on all that TIME, I wouldn’t say I regret the lounging around watching clouds move across the sky, finishing reading a book and immediately starting it over again, but at almost 53, I am conscious I have less time on earth than I did. Time is getting short. Every time I start scrolling on FB, I feel a bit of guilt. I spend WAY too much time on there and for the past couple of months have made a conscious effort to NOT. I want to be more productive doing, learning, writing, cooking, hiking my dogs, planning my garden, spending quality time with my husband and “daughter” Jaya…… lots of things to do.
I want to take my husband and Jaya to the library in my hometown, the Laughlin Memorial Free library. I remember the excitement of getting my first library card and exploring all parts of this massive library. The children’s section is downstairs and when I graduated to Young Adult upstairs, I was so happy. I can sit here writing this and know exactly how that amazing building smells, how it looks, hear the echo my footsteps made as I walked.
I want to show them my old house a few blocks away where I learned to ride a bike and would ride around the block 1000 times because I couldn’t go onto the street nor cross any streets.
I remember being in my bedroom when I was five or so and there was a big box fan in the window. My mom had a harmonica and I was standing in front of the fan blowing through that harmonica and it made the most entertaining sounds. I did that for hours. It was simple fun. Those were the days.
I worry that today’s life has so many bells and whistles and shiny things that take our attention that we don’t have the ability to just sit and do one thing or nothing for long periods of time. I hear lots about ADHD and conditions where people can’t focus. I honestly don’t remember these sorts of things when I was young. We had some slow learners in special classes who needed a bit more attention and help, and a few hyper kids who may have misbehaved here and there, but those kids were definitely in the minority. Life was less complicated and different when I was a child.
For almost a year now, COVID-19 has forced people to be inside and not socialize and connect like we used to. The whole world has changed and things are definitely in upheaval. People who can are working from home and probably all that expensive office space will be open soon as companies realize employees CAN be productive from home. The face of business is and will change. Commercial real estate is going to be CHEAP soon. Or maybe, the population will get vaccinated and people will be free to roam about the world unmasked and working in towns, meeting in parks for lunches, going to bars for drinks and live music and sitting in restaurants for long, leisurely meals. It sounds nice, doesn’t it? That has now become the Good Old Days and it was only a year ago. WOW!
How are you filling all your time these days? Are you loving working from home or feeling like a caged animal? I would love to hear from you and learn about your experiences. Write me!! I am currently recovering from COVID-19 and looking forward to starting my seeds! Spring is coming!!!! #timewellspent #thesimplelife #livelife