Lately I seem to be yo-yoing between living in today’s technological lifestyle and in so-called simpler times. I think today’s fast-pace and too swift changes are getting to me and I need the comfort of the past.
Not all past and some of it isn’t even my past. And no, I don’t want to move back into the past. I had enough of outdoor privies as a child visiting my grandfather’s and aunt and uncle’s farms, thank you very much.
This winter I’ve started to bake again (beyond the bread in the bread maker which I began doing a year ago) but cookies and crisps and soon muffins now that my son and his girlfriend gave me two muffin tins as part of their belated Christmas present (Note: we have our Christmas dinner here in January when both are back from visiting various other family members outside Ontario, over and beyond the Christmas season). Sunday I loaded up on baking and other supplies (Basmati rice) at The Bulk Barn. Now all I need is time.
Time may be a big clue why I’m “regressing” in how I live. As I posted last week time and its close relative, money, can be in short supply and when you add in the high cost and frenzy of living, something’s got to give and something’s got to change. So I bake, make soups from the proverbial scratch, and watch TV shows set during the Second World War (before my past). These shows Foyle’s War, Land Girls and Bomb Girls are set back home (Great Britain for the first two and Toronto, Canada for the third) depicting the lives of those who didn’t go off to war. Of course, the war impacts what happens and my interest here is not in glorifying war. I am also watching a couple of TV series set in the 1960s (Vegas and Heartbeat) which is my time as a child and teenager. Some of you probably watch Downtown Abbey. Not that any of those times were without difficulties and problems and some of the ways of life in the past I wouldn’t want repeated today (women stuck at home as homemakers only comes to mind). And with many fresh fruits and vegetables skyrocketing in price (grapes and lettuce, for example), I’m eating a lot of root vegetables and frozen vegetables and fruit (some from my garden and some from the Farmer’s Markets of last summer and some store bought). Fresh vegetables (outside of root vegetables) are limited to cucumbers, peppers, bananas , apples, oranges, grapefruit nd strawberries – which, except for apples, are all trucked in from warmer climates. I would prefer local, but at this time of year what do you do? You need some fresh.
However, do we really need all the excess technology – the constant tweeting, texting, and being forever stuck to our smart phones or BlackBerrys? And don’t forget the reams of passwords. Many people go to bed with these (or their laptops) and the last thing and first thing they do is check e-mail or text. Studies are also showing that this glued-to-technology is affecting our brains, including short-term memory and our ability to multi-task (for videos and “print’ stories go to http://www.thestar.com/living/health/article/1319796–your-brain-online). Hey, I thought technology was supposed to help us multi-task. Apparently not.
Confession here: I have a laptop and an e-reader but no cell phones – smart or otherwise. Just my landline. At some point I might get a very basic cell phone for safety’s sake but not before the exorbitant cell phone rates in Canada go down down down. My TV is not inherently digital – I had to get a digital adapter. I actually buy CDs rather than download music and play them on my mini stereo system, but I also have a very old turntable from my teenage days. And I’ve started having one technological-free day a week (Saturday or Sunday) – no computer stuff although I’ll read using the e-reader and watch TV but I also use the landline to phone friends and I still read books in print. Compromise.
Maybe that’s the answer. Find the happy medium between past and present. It might be better for the mind, body and spirit. See another Toronto Star story “Tips to Reduce the ‘Infobesity’ in Your Life “http://www.thestar.com/living/food/article/1321197–tips-to-reduce-the-infobesity-in-your-life
Now, excuse me, while I return to rewriting my prequel mystery novel – set in 1998. I wonder why.
Sharon A. Crawford
Only Child Writes