Friday, April 25, 2008

Friday Five: Throughly Post Modern Milly

Singing Owl brings us the revgalblogpals Friday Five;

An Old Versus Modern (Postmodern?) Friday Five

"Yesterday I had two separate conversations in which people were musing about how much change is occurring. The WW II generation, of which my mom is a part, went from horse and buggy to automobiles, saw the lessening, or even the end of many diseases, went from widespread use of kerosene lamps and outhouses (in the country, and most folks were rural) to a totally electrified and plumbed society. The fastest means of communication was a telegraph. The second conversation--gulp--was about MY generation and how much change occurred in the last half of the 20th century. The person said his 13 year old had not seen a vinyl record album until a few days before, couldn't remember a time without cell phones, and on and on.

As for the questions!

1. What modern convenience/invention could you absolutely, positively not live
without? I am not so sure there are utter absolutes, because we are in such quickly changing times. However, I really like my bathroom conveniences, and electricity. I have had enough outhouses, holes in the ground, and no running water situations, including those at churches for a lifetime. That said, if I had to use one again, I would. But I am spoiled by what I have.

2. What modern convenience/invention do you wish had never seen the light of day?
Why? I like tv a lot, sometimes too much and I think it is the bane of our culture and life. My husband says this; "We let it influence us too much and especially our children." This goes with the bonus and I'll put my thoughts on the matter in the bonus section.

3. Do you own a music-playing device older than a CD player? More than one? If
so, do you use it (them)? I still own a record player, yes one of the vinyl playing machines, I also own tape players, don't know where the 8 track is. And we own a reel to reel tape deck that Bob bought in Viet Nam that I think every Viet Nam Vet owns due to the cost being so low. And it still works! We still play the record player sometimes because of some of the records we have, and because we haven't bought them in cd form yet.

4. Do you find the rapid change in our world exciting, scary, a mix...or something
else? I just want to say, "when can I get off this merry go around?" "Stop, the world is spinning too fast." And at the same time, I do find it exciting. I like new things. I like my techie toys. I like being connected with you all, which if we didn't have the changes that we have had; wouldn't be able to have. I love the global connection. It doesn't scare me into being fearful and going into a hole. I just would like sometime to catch up. I always feel behind, and then when I figure something out, we are already onto the next thing.

5. What did our forebears have that we have lost and you'd like to regain? Bonus points if you have a suggestion of how to begin that process. I am not sure exactly what we lost, did we ever have it? I listen to my mom and others who lived through the depression, it was not particularly happy times. I read about times before that, something seemed to be missing during those times too. I don't want to go backward. The 50's and 60's weren't that great either. So what is the answer?
The local paper got around to publishing a study about whether people were happy today or not. Unfortunately, I could not find the article on-line, and that paper was thrown away. It struck me because it talked about that even though we have more, have more money, more leisure time we are not happy. Why? The study seemed to point to that it is what we do with the money, the leisure time, relationships, and ourselves that makes the difference. (Sorry I can't find the study, wish I could. This is the closest I can get to it from WSJ)
I don't know all the answers and neither do the researchers, Psychologists, or Sociologist. But if it is what we do with ourselves, our money and our time, perhaps we start with our own evaluation of how we are utilizing what we have, how we spend our money, our time and ourselves? And then begin to ask what does it mean we spend more money here or there and not here? How does this effect how we feel or live our lives or our souls or our families? Keep a time line of our day or days? Ask similar questions of the data we have written? Perhaps ask our Pastor/Spiritual Director what it means, what needs to change, where to go from here? Keep some form of journal about ourselves and our relationships? Who are we spending time with? How are we spending time with them? Ask those we are in relationship with what they experience with us. Ask our souls what our souls experience and think and feel? Ask our creator ask Jesus about this. I am not saying turn off the tv totally, although I have met families who have done this. But perhaps keep a journal of the watching and what you feel or thought or experienced while watching and the same with family time spent watching and then being intentional about what you watch and how you watch.

The study's data on which activities we enjoy is enlightening. The five professors grouped activities into six clusters, based on the emotions associated with each.

The standout cluster was what the authors label "engaging leisure and spiritual activities," things like visiting friends, exercising, attending church, listening to music, fishing, reading a book, sitting in a cafe or going to a party. When we spend time on our favorite of these activities, we're typically happy, engrossed and not especially stressed.

"These are things you choose to do, rather than have to do," notes one of the study's co-authors, Prof. Schkade of the University of California, San Diego.

The obvious implication: If we devote more time to these activities, maybe we would be more satisfied with our lives. Yet the evidence suggests we've missed a huge chance to do just that -- which may help explain why Americans are little or no happier than they were four decades ago.

Did you ask for a sermon or something? I think I tend to leave out my soul, my children's souls, other people's souls, and forget the sweetness of the relationship with God in whatever I do, whatever I have, and that is what is missing. It is not just a doing it is a being. And now that I have preached to the choir, meaning me, I will now begin with the evaluation process of the above. I will also say, that part of what I have found in my relationship with my peers of rgbps is a connection with my soul and that sweetness of the relationship with God. (That is another post.)

Some useful links: The Happiness Institute's blog
The Happiness Project

Pictures: Outhouse

modern bathroom


mid-life rookie said...

Glad I'm not the only one who remembers 8 Track. Don't have mine anymore, but I remember.

Sally said...

;-) excellent sermon... this was a cause for deep thought though wasn't it... I agree with you on the TV thing...but enjoy it too much to part with it!

Auntie Knickers said...

In one of those happiness studies, the Danes were said to be the happiest, because they had "low expectations." I do think overly high expectations are often fostered by TV. (And movies.) How many times have you seen a TV show that realistically portrayed the living conditions that a person of (given occupation) would really have? I can think of maybe two -- Roseanne and that show with the Southern comedian woman who worked in an oil refinery. Oh well. Good answers and don't apologize for the sermon, I skipped church last week and need all I can get!

RevAnne said...

Great play, great sermon. This is a part of this year's theme for my life, which is basically to find contentment. Thanks for sharing.

introspectreangel said...

I think I like what you're saying in number 5 - it's not the TV, or the Internet, or the cell phones that are bad, it's whether we use them to isolate or engage. As I said in my post, I get to engage with people in a way I never would have before, and I'm very conscious of the power of all these nifty toys!

Singing Owl said...

Abi, that was such thought-provoking play. And the sermon was a good one. I agree with you about TV. I kind of hate it--but I suppose it is in my house to stay.

hip2B said...

Well said, well played and I agree.

hip2B said...

WEll played and well said

hip2B said...

well played and well said

DannyG said...

The cell phone is what I can't live without, espc. with (J)'s disability...I just don't need the text/internet, etc. I wish beepers had never been invented. Still have my old Pioneer turntable, and cassette deck. My older brother has that Reel to Reel you talked about. I don't mind the change, but I choose to opt out of some of it(txt msg 4 1). It would be nice if there was some quiet time, again. How about requiring broadcast stations to sign off mn-0600? The FCC could require it, but I doubt that that particular genie will go back into the bottle.