Technology can always be seen as a two sided sword.
On one hand, it brings the world closer by offering instant communication from one side of the globe to another. People are now able to have video calls real time, text information instantly, and have the opportunity to learn, explore and experience more of our wonderful world than ever before.
Sometimes, people feel that there is a down side to this as well. On places like Facebook, there are often posts about how the youth of today's world is spoiled and ruined because of technology. They don't leave home without their phones and devices, and are frequently seen with their faces buried in them, even when in social situations. Many feel that phones have replaced 'real' relationships and that have become an addiction, and that they have done more harm than good.
I feel like I am somewhere in the middle. While I do find it rude to be talking to someone who was constantly checking their phone, I look at all the positive things that technology has brought to our lives and it is difficult for me to not only marvel at it, but also feel very grateful and appreciative of it as well. I believe that as with anything, it is our own responsibility to self-govern our use of what is available to us, and take the responsibility of how we wish our lives to be lived.
My dear friend Cari used to have an analogy that I comes to mind when I think of excesses and over-use of things. She told me that she used to LOVE cherries jubilee. And on one date, she had a fabulous dinner that was so good she ate everything to the point where she was full. When it came time to order dessert, instead of declining like she knew she should have done, she saw that the restaurant had her absolute favorite – cherries jubilee – on the dessert menu. Going against her instincts, she ordered it, and it was so good she ate the entire serving. She said she couldn't help herself. But afterward, she was so sick from over indulging that she was never able to eat it again. She said even looking at it or hearing it mentioned brought back those feelings of overindulgence and it was ruined for her for the rest of her days.
It is hard not to overindulge sometimes. Especially when we really like something. I look at things like phones and computers in the same way. I know this may sound ridiculous to you all, but I don't even own a cell phone. I had one for a short time when my daughter lived near me and I needed to keep in touch with her but when she moved back to Chicago, the phone went and I never looked back. I am home most of the time anyway, and I felt that when I was away from my computer here, I needed and wanted the time and peace of not being 'on call'. If a dire emergency comes up, I am sure there will be someone around with a phone to put in the call for me. I just don't want to be accessible 24/7.
So far the world has gotten along without me in those hours when I drop off the grid. I expect it will continue to do so in the future. That time away is a great time to recharge my own emotional battery and think and just for me to "be". I highly recommend it to those of you who are feeling overwhelmed.
But just because I don't have a phone, doesn't mean that I dislike technology. I am fascinated by it actually, and consider myself moderately knowledgeable with computers and other devices. Without computers and technology, I think my life here in rural Nova Scotia would be quite lonely and different. I am not sure I would be able to live in a place like this. But with the wonderful devices we have, I am able to enjoy both my growing business as well as enjoy my quiet lifestyle with the touch of an on/off button. It is the best of both worlds.
Since we updated our website on Thursday, yesterday I was able to take a day "off". (Or as close as I can come to it!) I had made an appointment with a dear friend in Digby, and I left early and didn't get home until the late afternoon. It was wonderful to get away, and the weather was warm, sunny and beautiful. Everything about the day was perfect. As I was driving along the ocean, with the top down on my convertible Mustang and listening to Led Zepplin's Kashmir blasting on the wonderful sound system that Keith installed in my car last year, it was one of those times when I really appreciated how good life could be. On Thursday, we had our best day ever on our website (THANK YOU!) and I knew that all the hard work we do is beginning to pay off. It is a mighty tricky balancing act sometimes between "work" and "play". Especially when you are self-employed. But I find that taking these days for myself yields only positive results, as I am able to come back to work ready, refreshed and inspired. This took me years to learn.
When I returned home, I received a delivery of my new Wacom Intous Pen Tablet. My old one had just 'worn out', as it was not tracking correctly for the past several weeks and then it just "died". Having a tablet for over fifteen years, I have a bit of difficulty using a regular computer mouse. I was fortunate that I had picked up a small Wacom Bamboo tablet at one of the auctions for the cats in our area, and it filled in nicely for a week, but the features that I frequently used and needed were just not there.
I had ordered a new one late last week, and I realized with the holiday it would be several days until it arrived. When I returned home late in the day, I thought I would have to wait until Monday. But an hour or so after I was home, the delivery came, and I was very happy that it made it here for the weekend. I am drawing today, too, so I will be able to play with it and really give it a run.
I purchased the Wacom Intous Pro Small tablet:
I think it is a marvel of technology. You can read more about it on the link above if you are interested, but two of the main features that I love is that besides the pen (which has 2048 pressure levels – WOW!) it has a touch pad that works with your hand gestures (that you can program in as well as use the pre-programmed options). On the left side are several programmable buttons as well, which will shift you from program to program and load your keyboard options and so forth quickly.
It also comes with a variety of pen 'nibs' for different types of drawings. I can't wait to play with them and see what I like the best!
I already know I am going to have a great day!
And to end my day, I got to have a wonderful SKYPE phone call with my son and his wife and my beautiful little grand daughter, Willow!
Willow was one year old yesterday, and even though she lives over 2000 miles away, I was able to 'visit' with her and watch her open her birthday gifts that I sent her. What a joy for me!
Yes – I feel that we do live in a wonderful time. While I also sometimes find myself reminiscing about the 'good old days', I think that we tend only to remember the best things about the past and forget that there were problems then as well. There is nothing wrong with that, and it is probably a good thing for us, as the bad things are usually best forgotten.
I think that no matter when we live, the important thing is to make each day as good as we can. We have much more power to do that than we sometimes realize. By focusing on the great and positive things in our world, we usually find ourselves having a wonderfully positive day.
I wish you all a wonderful Saturday!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"