One of the advantages (or not, I suppose) of long-term blogging is that you have a record stretching back of what you did, and more importantly, how you felt about it, on particular days.
Yesterday, I had an errand-crazy Saturday, up and running around from 8:30 am- Walmart shopping , kiddie birthday party, canoeing in the Arm, lunch, afternoon with one friend, supper with another. And I was reminded of another Saturday, almost exactly six years ago, which I blogged about in detail, hour by hour:
And I was struck by how the basic contours of my life had not changed, in these six years, except for the worse. There is still the frantic running around and the attempt to cram a lot in limited hours, however, back in 2008, when the Golden Boy was three and the Princess six, and we had been in Halifax only a few months, and we lived in a crappy one-bedroom rental apartment way up by Point Pleasant Park, the quality of my life was better specifically in these ways:
-I conscientiously studied throughout the day, in little bits of snatched time. Nowadays, if I don’t have a nice long stretch of time marked off for study, then I won’t do it. So yesterday, I did not study at all.
-I did not have “screen time” in those days. I did not play silly games on tablets and computers to fill in the extra gaps of time- I read. I did not watch netflix or download TV shows, I did not have a macbook connected to the TV as well as an Xbox live subscription for even easier viewing. Occasionally I would get a DVD from the library and watch it our family laptop, now long defunct.
-I cooked more. Yesterday, I picked up sushi and a rice bowl for our lunch from Superstore. 6 years ago, such a blasphemy would not have occurred to me.
-I spent far, far less money. Just over yesterday and today, I have spent close to $200 on non-essential stuff, which actually now seems essential.
Of course, I cannot pretend that I will “go back”- I cannot cancel my netflix subscription- though I did get rid of the xbox live one- yay! – I cannot get rid of the five laptops, one tablet and one ipod now lying around my place, but I can resolve to tweak my routine and the habits I have almost unthinkingly slipped into. I see myself regressing, and I will not accept it passively. I will fight, I will not let myself be crushed under this modern urban avalanche of needless consumerism and unnecessary technology.