Singing Owl brings us the revgalblogpals 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