Remember the olden days when there were no cellphones or rather, portable “pocket” computers? When cameras took pictures and those were sparingly taken instead of cellphones, clicking pictures of everything one encounters? When phones were called “telephones’ and located only at home? Remember when the Tv was not on most of the time, when news was not being broadcast 24 hours a day, every day? When news was “good” news and not always depressing or tragic?
I wonder what it would take to stash those “things” (phone, i-pad, remotes, etc.) in a drawer, and to turn off all of the “various” audio and visual stimuli in our lives? Would it require a black-out of our power? Would it require us to just do an assessment of our lives and say, “no more?” Could we do it as a challenge?
What if we didn’t constantly hear that we don’t eat right, that our food is full of contaminants like hydrolyzed this and that, that we need to exercise regularly, that we need to take this vitamin or that supplement to improve our health?
We are being bombarded.
Look outside. There’s sun and trees and grass. People used to take walks...not just the conscientious ones...but people. People actually walked to get to destinations. The sidewalks were actually used. A street was not built without a sidewalk.
That was then.
Today, new marketed products are introduced into our lives to make life, “easier”, they say. We buy. We “gotta” have it. And like the hamsters on the wheel, running, running and getting nowhere, we increase our pace just to pay for it.
Families are stretched. The duties are overwhelming. Work, cook, clean, run to kids’ ballgames, shop, go to school and college, grab fast food...no time to cook...try to do 5 things at once. There’s no time, we say. Rush. Rush. Rush. Grab the cellphone, talk, talk. Hurry, hurry.
As a result, many are at the breaking point. They don’t know how to do it all. They self-medicate. Often the children are the ones who are ignored.
I heard about the woman who wanted more drawer space, and cupboard space, and was looking to add more cabinets in the kitchen. She needed a larger dresser as well.
Suddenly, she got an idea. Oh my gosh. The cabinets were overflowing with more dishes, pots and pans, and utensils than she needed. Her dresser drawers were full of clothes that no longer fit, and her shelves held “spare” towels just in case the 20 she already had, wore out.
She got busy. And she gained more space than she would ever fill again.
The lesson here? If we clean up our wasted time and face the fact that much of it is wasted and unnecessary, we will gain the time (space) we need to enjoy all that we have.
Make a pledge to at least try to cut back.
The garden beckons. The sidewalk is calling. The mouth needs to quiet itself.
I am going to try.
Judi Tabler lives in Pawnee County and is a guest columnist for the Great Bend Tribune. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.