Welp…….SPENT THE MORNING POURING CONCRETE!
How’s your morning going?! 😂
No, but really: if you ever want to see an author become completely useless, take her to the old fair grounds and put her in the chicken coop and give her a wheelbarrow full of concrete and tell her to use a “bull float.”
Shit, I could hardly turn the hose on.
Which is precisely why I NEEDED TO GO. You can’t live inside your brain forever. You need to go outside, be barefoot in the grass, plant daisies, drive pickup trucks through fields. Fortunately, I happen to be very good at the latter. Parking inside of lines, not so much, but not everyone can be an achiever, okay???
I can’t tell you how good this feels, this…outdoors business. Am I having a midlife crisis? A psychotic break? DID I DEVELOP MULTIPLE IDENTITIES FROM STARING AT THE SCREEN TOO LONG??? Because suddenly I’m finding myself with the strangest urge to raise chickens, wear overalls and bake cupcakes for 15 little girls in the yard—which is definitely the most pedophile-ish thing I’ve ever said. At least, it would be if I were a guy. But because I’m a chick, everyone’s like “awwwwww.” Little do they know, I’m probably going to end up poisoning them all or letting them get too close to the concrete mixer. Whoops! There goes an arm.
What are we even talking about.
Reel it in.
ANYWAY—something I’ve been thinking a lot about, since I’ve been here, is how often we want to do things, but…don’t do them. How long have you wanted to write a book? Plant a garden? Learn photography? Press flowers into a collage? Life just seems to suck up every single free minute we’ve got, and the next thing you know, you’re a sixty-four year old khaki-wearing bingo player, and you never got around to doing any of it. Not a single fucking thing. All you did was take the trash back and forth to the end of the driveway and check off a bunch of tasks that other people needed you to do. Thrilling! You win an award for being the most reliable task master on earth. Congratulations, your soul’s officially dead—but man, were you efficient.
What actually matters?
I can promise you this: it’s not efficiency.
Not unless the year is 1965 and you’re working in a rubber factory operating a mixer on the night shift.
And yet, we act like it’s the only thing that does matter. We rush, run, and to-do list our way through life as if any of it’s getting us any closer to the life we want to live. But boy, how pissed you’re going to be someday that you answered all of those emails on time. All those emails—all those requests on your time from other people and their emergencies—were the reason you never went outside. Never put a fishing pole into a pond. Never hiked that mountain trail. Never sat on the porch at dawn and watched the fog float over the hills.
WHAT ARE WE DOING WITH OUR LIVES???
Our quality of life should be the best it’s ever been, thanks to technology—and yet, it’s the worst. Technology should have saved us. Technology should have freed us up to do smarter work, rather than harder work, so we could enjoy more leisure time than ever. That’s what computers were built for: so we didn’t have to spend all our days in a factory, manually producing output.
But, what did we do instead?
We took computers and we got addicted to them. Look around the restaurant the next time you’re in one: how many people are scrolling on a phone? How many people are doing so while they’re with OTHER ACTUAL HUMANS? How many people look at their phone the minute they open their eyes???
We aren’t using technology. Technology is using us.
And, I think it’s time we pushed back on that.
I think it’s time we start using technology to better our quality of life, not wreck it.
I think it’s time we start using technology to better our careers. To earn a damn good living. To make a modern income stream that would make your mother weep.
And, I think it’s time we start using technology as a force of good: for ourselves, for our future, for our ability to go the f*ck outside on a Thursday morning and pour some concrete at the old fair grounds with friends you’ll know forever, wearing faded cut-off jeans and a smirk the size of Texas, singing along to hits from 1999, and remembering that sometimes, it’s not about working more.
It’s about living better.
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