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Friday, October 5, 2012

Are We Really Better Off?


We've become a nation of maintainers. Our need to maintain our possessions has become such a time-consuming chore we’re kept too busy to enjoy the simple pleasures of our surroundings.

Case in point: We live in a country setting of seventeen acres. My retired husband enjoys the activity of keeping the land looking park-like. This requires an arsenal of equipment and tools. Yet, he spends more of his time maintaining all this equipment than he does actually using them.  If it's not the tractor needing a broken part replaced, then its the riding lawn mower that needs an engine tune-up. Or, perhaps the chain saw doesn't want to run, etc. etc.

I am a part-time writer and find myself going around in the same kind of circles. If I’m not being frustrated by a slow-acting computer, then I’m fighting with a printer that keeps jamming the paper. Instead of writing, I find myself in the car, taking the computer to a tech to have a new hard drive installed. Or making a run to town for replacement ink cartridges when the printer starts spitting out faded text.

I thought all of these modern inventions were supposed to free us up, complete our tasks more quickly, give us more free time. Instead I find myself growing more and more frustrated as I watch the minutes tick past while waiting for a site to load on the internet. Or the reception of a TV program blacks out at a crucial moment because the transmission’s been disrupted.

Maybe you think these are little annoyances but spend a couple minutes recalling just how much time you spend maintaining all these additions to our lives that are supposed to make life more care-free.
Nor certain where I am going with this other than letting off steam. But there are days when I know I've taken three steps backwards to the one step forward. How about you?

Makes me yearn for those days when we weren’t so dependent upon new-fangled contraptions. Think I’ll go fetch my gloves and do a little hand-weeding to calm down…you know, just sit myself in the green grass, warm sunshine bearing down on my shoulders, birds serenading me in the trees nearby.  

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