Time

It seems to me that time is where the war of the 21stcentury is being waged.

There is (and always has been) a finite number of hours to be spent by humans every day. I think we can all agree that the increase in the number of ads, blogs, TV shows, sporting events, restaurants, friends, websites, networks, and gadgets over the past 10-15 years has made those hours more valuable than they used to be. Supply (the hours you have) has stayed the same while demand (the number of things demanding your attention) has increased. In economics that means what is being demanded (your time) becomes more valuable.

But this is not an economics class.

We simply want to thank you for spending your valuable minutes and seconds reading what we have to say on this blog.

We don’t always know what we’re talking about but we always try to put thought and effort into what we’re saying so that you (the reader) might walk away changed in some small way…even if that means your day is happier because you’re giggling at something idiotic I did. Especially then.

This blog has helped shape who we are and who we are becoming because it creates a sort of real-world accountability. For example, when we see people now they might ask “hey, how’s that minimalism thing going?”

What we say: “Ohhh…yeah, it’s going pretty well”
What we’re thinking: “Wait, you actually read that, oh, crap….wow, we really do have to get rid of some of our stuff, people are calling us out on it”

It’s sometimes bizarre, always challenging, and mostly, it’s real. So thank you, more than you know, you guys are changing us even as you’re reading about us. Ironic, I know.

And just for fun (and because you’re awesome) we’re giving away a $25 gift card to Amazon so you can read something other than us.

All you have to do is leave your name and favorite blog (other than ours) below. Giveaway lasts until 11:59 EST on Tuesday, November 2

iMarriage

I was listening to NPR yesterday (I warned you that would become a recurring theme) and they were discussing doctors and how they interact with their patients. My mind wandered from “ I wonder what the status is on medical integration of the iPad?” to “Man, I really want an iPad!” to “Hmm…I need to get my mom a birthday present in the next week or so…” to “Jen’s A/C just went out, I wonder if my mom will sell us one of her cars.” And then I was at work and the segment was over. So you can see what Jen is dealing with on a day-to-day basis. Thankfully, I did catch this (and I paraphrase because clearly I did not hear the actual quote):

“Doctors are being criticized for the amount of time they spend punching formulas and diagnoses into a computer compared to how much time they spend touching their patients.”

That sounded a LOT less creepy in my head.

Now you have no idea where this post is going.

And I might not either.

Here was my thought though: I spend so much time instant messaging Jen, texting Jen, and writing blog posts for Jen to check over that it takes away from my actual, real-people interaction with Jen. It’s a wonder we don’t text each other at the dinner table. Actually, I have a semi-confession…we do text each other from the other room sometimes (yes, our apartment is 600-ish sq. ft.)…I like to think it’s because we don’t want to interrupt each other but at least 35% of the time it’s just because we don’t want to get up and don’t feel like yelling back and forth between rooms.

Seriously though, I spend so much time with digital Jen that when we’re actually together in person my mind seems to say “wait, we already caught up with her, we already know what she did today” and tends to shut down, even if just a little bit. One solution could be fewer texts/emails/instant messages (one I should probably implement) but I think the bigger issue is sitting her down, sitting myself down and just staring at each other and talking.

Ayn Rand once said, “you can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.”

I’d like to think the consequences of avoiding the reality of having good, solid conversation with my wife are trivial at best, but I know better. I know that my marriage should not be an iMarriage, lest I forget the deep, purposeful eyes of the woman I wed.

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T Free

I love technology. The things you can do with a phone or a computer remain relatively unfathomable to me. I actually probably love technology a little bit too much (when a person can conference call/stare at another person halfway around the world on a device no bigger than a brownie, how can I be blamed?) so Jen has to reel me in sometimes. Of course, she wishes we still lived in the 1920s and churned our own butter…but that’s a different post for a different day.

Anyway, yesterday we went to the lake with a small mixture of old and new friends. We played on the jet skis, went tubing, got sunburned, ate a ton of food, and sat around in hammocks and chatted about our lives. Basically if you could create the ideal day at the lake, this was it. At some point late in the afternoon we headed in from having our bodies flung about the water on a giant raft Chuck Noland would have killed a man for. My friend and I were chatting back and forth and he said “isn’t it like the best thing ever to not have your phone with you and not have anything to do or worry about?” “Yeah,” I exclaimed, “it feels pretty good.” It did too, it was the perfect end to our summer (I know Summer isn’t technically over until the end of September but for me it’s over next Saturday because I measure seasons by sporting events…and college football starts next Saturday…judge me).

I could go on and on about technology and its pitfalls and how it sucks our souls clean of every good thing, but I would just like to encourage you to do this: take a technology-free day, or at least half-day. No phones, no computers, no iPads, Kindles, anything. Just you, some friends, some family, some good food…and just enjoy being alive.

We used to do fast from technology on Sundays (though writing on this blog has temporarily killed that) and we enjoyed it to the point that we looked forward to that day more than any other day of the week. It was refreshing. So stop reading this and go get some sunshine! We encourage you to do something similar. Your iPhone won’t break up with you while you’re gone. Promise.

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