It took me a while to get that LOL didn’t mean Lot’s of Love but rather Laughing Out Loud … that’s probably because I actually do qualify as a baby boomer. A late one, but one never-the-less.
Yes, I remember party lines on the phone and how I’d sneak and listen to the neighbor’s conversation. Yes, I remember getting our first TV – black and white – and watching the first moon landing on it too! I remember the intriguing old radio story programs.
It took me a while but I do have a computer, iPad, iPhone and iPod but those are along side the stack of VHS tapes that I occasionally still watch. Yep, I know how to use a pencil to rewind a cassette tape. I do have un-listened to books on tape that I’m sorrowing over because this summer I sold my old Ford Explorer that had the tape player in it.
But I have evolved. I know I have and here’s an incident to prove it and don’t laugh … this week my electric toothbrush fell and broke in half – I was distraught – how could I go to my morning appointments without brushing my teeth, when would I have time to get a new toothbrush, how inconvenient – how stressful … then it hit me, I’ve only had an electric toothbrush for the past 5 years of my life … for 45 years I brushed my teeth the old-fashioned way. I rummaged through my drawers and found a plain old toothbrush. You know what, I’m not going back to the click a button battery one.
How could I have fallen into that helpless feeling so quickly and easily when the electronic thingy broke? I had a whole lifetime of experience of living without electronic thingy’s, so at least I had some backup plans to dust off in my brain but what about the kids today? Many don’t know what it’s like to be without an artificial extension of reality. How will they cope if one day they are forced to do without?
I know a lot of people don’t practice giving things up for Lent before Easter but what if? What if we practiced developing self-reliance and resilience by giving up the internet or the cell phone or the electric toothbrush for 6 weeks? Last year I gave up using credit cards during lent and paid cash for everything I bought – whoa – you have no idea how life changing that one thing was! I particularly remember having to walk into gas stations instead of paying at the pump and having a real conversation with a real person at the cash register.
Ok, so maybe you’re not ready to give up your credit card or cell phone but how about giving yourself an experience? I vacation at a cottage that is in the middle of no-where, has an outhouse and no running water inside except for a hand-pump. The birds sing, the walks are beautiful, I hear the wind through the pines, I wash up with a sponge bath or in the lake and we cook hot dogs over a campfire at night. Besides an occasional tent camping experience, that’s about as close as I’ve gotten to a survival experience and I passed the test.
Don’t get anxious if your electric toothbrush crashes – you are tougher than that – you will survive and if you practice simplifying your life, you might actually thrive!