Before The Internet and Cell Phones

Many of you may not remember the time before The Internet and cell phones were a regular part of our lives, but I do. Because of these wonderful inventions, life seems to have sped up and allowed us to accomplish more than we used to. That’s a good thing, right? I’m not so sure.

This holiday season, I found myself so swamped with things I needed and wanted to do, there wasn’t time to fit them all in, and since I‘m between writing projects and a retired person, I decided to go off-line for a number of days and actually enjoy the activities associated with Christmas and preparing for the new year. Friends and I exchanged cookies, I took more time writing my Christmas cards, I spent extra effort decorating and making flower arrangements and playing cherished Christmas music. I phoned some friends I hadn’t corresponded with for a while, to catch up with the happenings in their lives. A friend and I went out to lunch and to an art museum, another friend and I walked the neighborhood admiring the colorful lights. I even watched some sentimental Hallmark movies. These are things I used to do years ago when life traveled at a slower pace, and I have to say, I really enjoyed it all. I had more of the spirit of the season this year than in previous ones when I was mostly out of breath.

Several times, while waiting at the doctor’s office, I actually had conversations with fellow patients about the weather up north and how families were doing and where we were from, instead of sitting there surrounded by silent souls who were glued to their cell phone screens. I discovered I was more relaxed, more peaceful. I had kindness and love in my heart.

I found in some people, frazzled nerves, grumpy attitudes and downright nastiness, and I had the notion they were usually normal and nice, but during his time, just rushed and stressed. Why? They were trying to cram too much into too little time, were not successful and therefore miserable themselves and they unintentionally spread that attitude to others.

That revelation made me happy I had chosen to slow down this year and savor the season. While this approach isn’t necessarily possible for everyone, I encourage us all to remember life is fleeting. It’s over too soon and the quality of it is more important than the quantity if you aren’t happy and fulfilled.

So, my new year’s resolution this 2014 is to create more days like my holiday days by better prioritizing and remembering the things that are truly important. We’ve all heard the cliché “slow down and smell the roses.” How many of us have actually taken it to heart? This year, I have. Will you?

22 Comments

Filed under blogging, Coco Ihle, internet, life, musings

22 responses to “Before The Internet and Cell Phones

  1. Gede Prama

    Dear friend, Thank you very much, I was really happy to have been following your blog. I’m still a lot to figure out, and here I can only say that you are an awesome blogger, full Inspiring and hope you can inspire more readers. Thanks and greetings compassion from Gede Prama 🙂

  2. art

    Thank you Coco. Your blog was especially received this year because my family Christmas will be celebrated on January 18, 19, and 20 when thirteen family members come together here to sleep, eat, give presents, hug, and hold hands as we share nature. All of them being younger with their own families and spousal family commitments as well, they feel compelled to delay the holiday with me. Often times I tell them I would be really fine without doing it at all but I think they feel their holidays are not complete without getting together to remember and share in the long, wonderful history of it all. So I will cook the turkey and the ham and they will will pile in their cars and make the journey here with their children, loot, food, dogs, and smiles. I will love our time together but my biggest smile will come when the last group calls and says they are safely back home.
    art

    • Art, I know what you mean by saying you’d be fine without all the family get-togethers, but being fortunate enough to HAVE family is a gift of its own. Your hectic plans sound wonderful, even though they promise to be a little crazy. Have a wonderful, wonderful time! I have to say, I envy you just a little. 🙂

  3. Loved your thoughts. I often disconnect from technology, even just a few hours gives a normal pace for the important things, like hand writing a letter, reading a book that has been on the nightstand for weeks, etc. Renews the soul.

    • Oh, Susan, you know exactly what I was getting at!!! Yes, a hand written letter! How many of those do we see these days? Someone told me cursive writing isn’t even taught in schools anymore. Could that be true? And, I got on a book reading binge and read a series of four books by a favorite author and then shared them with a neighbor and we discussed how much we both enjoyed them. Just taking the time to have these experiences has made my life so much richer. You said it, “renews the soul!” It’s nice to know there’s two of us! 🙂

  4. Renee

    Hi Coco ~ You may have slowed down “a bit” but I know that YOUR Christmas card was first one we received (as it is every year)! I also sent out hand written thank you notes after Christmas this year instead of the e-mail thanks of previous years! It paid off as our “techie Granddaughter”, age 24, sent us a hand written thanks in return. I hope she keeps this thought in mind in years to come!?

    • How wonderful, Renee!!! I don’t know what it is about handwritten notes, but they really are special, aren’t they? I guess they just seem so much more personal because someone had to take the time to write them and they are addressed to only us. I’ll bet your granddaughter WILL remember! Thanks for stopping by and for leaving your comment.

  5. Pat Gordon

    Hi Coco,
    You’ve captured the Essence of Christmas, a most precious gift to yourself. Christmas has become so commercialized, hence the grumpiness because folks are running hither and yon buying gifts and ignoring the true meaning of this Special Day. Today, I am enjoying a “Coco Day”! I took a yoga class this morning and am now relaxing by perusing travel brochures and reading a novel about Catherine the Great. Will then go for a walk and listen to a book on tape. The weather is dismal and rainy but I feel contented “doing my thing”!

    All the best, Pat

    • Oh, Pat, for some reason, your comment brought tears to my eyes. I’m so happy you are enjoying today and have plans for more wonderful activities. I caught a glimpse this past spring in Russia of your appreciation of even small things through your attention to details in your photography and in the way you interact with people. You are a very talented and sensitive gal and I’m proud to know you. Thanks for your lovely comment.

  6. Periodically, I turn off the computer and go fishing for life — just seeing what life holds beyond the internet. You’re right — it is a quieter, less hectic world out there when all we deal with is the world beneath our feet, not the one beneath our fingers.

    • How right you are, Pat B.!!! You are another person who has a deep understanding of life and what it should contain. Perhaps the lessons learned through difficult times have made some of us even more aware and appreciative of the good things. I admire you greatly. Thank you for your comment. All the commenters (is that a word?) here today have made such encouraging entries. Wow!

  7. Bob Winn

    Well said, Coco. I agree about taking time to “slow” down! Smell the roses is another way of saying it. So glad to be able to call you a friend all these many years. Staying in touch with you seems to keep me grounded in all my beloved late Shalimar gave to me throughout our life together.
    Hugs,
    Bob aka “Mr. Shalimar”.

    • What a sweet thing to say, Bob. Shalimar was a special person to me, too. We both miss her so very much. Your friendship has kept me connected to HER, so you and I make good friends, I think!
      Hugs to you, too,

  8. Frances Bush

    Coco. I have been reading all of your Blogs. I would like to give you a repeat on what all the others have had to say above. You are just awesome the think up all these thing and put it into such beautiful words. You are go good. I love everything you write.
    Frances

    • Bless you, Frances. Your comment means so much to me. It’s special people like you who keep me writing. Just think, if I ever get discouraged or down in the dumps, I can come here and read all these wonderful comments and be cheered right up! Thank you!

  9. Coco,
    Loved your blog and I can identify. For the past two, three years my Christmas spirit failed to launch. This year, once I decided to do a traditional Italian Christmas Eve dinner, that all changed. I purchased a tree (little) along with ornaments and enjoyed decorating it and its festive look for the duration of the season. I didn’t even realize how much I missed it in the twenty years I went without. We invited seven guests and I served a six course dinner and did not sit down until dessert. But it was so worth it. Everyone went home happy and I went to bed, exhausted but feeling great.
    Glad we’ve caught up with each other and look forward to more. Thank you for inviting me to your blog.
    Trish

    • What a wonderful experience, Trish. I’m so glad it was so rewarding. I imagine your guests will never forget the time and effort you made for them. Things like that mean so much. You’ve made me feel all warm and fuzzy just thinking about it!!! Thanks for reading my blog post and leaving a comment. Till next month…

  10. Cynthia

    Oh, how true Coco! Getting off of FaceBook six months ago and not attending to Emails but every-so-often has made a big difference in my life! Much more time to enjoy life and my husband! : )

    • Interesting, Cynthia. So many people have emailed to tell me the same thing, plus some of the commenters here. Since Christmas is a time for reflection for many, more and more people have realized they were missing out because of technology. Hmmmm. Who’d have thunk it?

  11. Some great thoughts put into action, Coco. It’s challenging the way so many people are constantly connected to a device. We need to slow down and put perspective on life, for sure!

    • Thank you, Christine. I love the word you used, “challenging!” Such a sweet way to express a variety of feelings we experience concerning those with devices and the devices themselves. Judging from the responses I’ve gotten both here and in private emails, I think a lot of people are readjusting their habits. Rather refreshing. We need the devices, but maybe not ALL the time. 🙂

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