My friend Donna Freedman, in her blog “Surviving and Thriving,” http://www.donnafreedman.com/ mentions that “life is short, but it’s also wide”. Lately, I understand exactly what she means; I need one of those “Wide Load” truck banners at this point. And preferably, no one driving on either lane alongside me. Yup, that kind of wide.
A blog, a website, a food column, a “real” job, workouts, a house; my car, which is now moved from simple maintenance to having an auto repair guy on speed dial stage of life, family issues (two family members just diagnosed with chronic illnesses) – no wonder I am looking forward to a three-day holiday weekend.
In spite of all our modern time savers and conveniences, life is more complicated, faster-paced, and less relaxing. How did our parents and grandparents manage? They did not have all the electronics and gadgets. No iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, Bluetooth, webcam, or GPS. They got it done with left notes on the counter, the fridge, the car’s dashboard. They used paper maps and public phones. They had push pins and cork boards and legal pads. But they used a tool we forget about: simple face-to-face communication. The act of sitting or standing with another individual and telling them what’s needed from the store, or what we think of the neighbor’s new car, or sharing communal misery over the Yankees’ latest losing streak.
I’m a little put off by the fact that as busy as I’ve been, most of my “busy-ness” has not involved humans. Most of it involves solitary work around the house or at the computer, or communication by phone. I don’t argue with the technophiles that all these advances are a great leap forward for humankind. But sometimes, it’s nice to take a step backwards.