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Talking It Over: Life in an instant

It sometimes feels like life just flies along with us on board. The days, weeks, months and years seem to be in fast mode and nothing we do can slow them down.

I think I understand why life has taken the fast lane. Everything we do today is at high speed.

For those of us who have been on this earth for more than two decades you just have to think back to how we did things in the past. In most cases the time spent on one task has been cut dramatically. Most of this time is saved through the use of computers but other technology has also helped move things along.

When you look at the changes in farming and how much faster it goes today you can understand why and how farms can get so much larger. The equipment is bigger and can cover more ground.

The genetics in seeds have brought about shorter growing periods and less weed problems. Larger facilities for raising animals contain computerized feeding systems and clean-up methods. New fertilizers, chemicals, feed and seed have made farming faster and more streamlined.

If you consider the work done within a home you can also see a lot more speed to the process. Microwaves have made cooking, re-heating and defrosting fast and efficient. The food we prepare is often ready to eat directly from the store or just needs a minimal of time to complete. Even clean-up is quicker with dishwashers and disposable products.

Research for school or personal use is vastly improved. Doing a school paper used to mean looking through encyclopedias, browsing library shelves and interviewing many different people. Today we just need to turn on the computer and Google what we need. All types of information is there at the click of a button.

I could supply an endless list of examples of how our lives have moved into a faster mode but I think we realize it in everything we do. You just have to remember how it was done 30 or 40 years ago to know that change has made life easier and faster.

I like it when work gets easier but there may be one drawback to such instant results. We fail to learn patience. While we once waited patiently for our food to cook, water to heat, letters and phone calls to be answered or returned and Mother Nature to water our crops, we have now taken things into our own hands and moved them along. There is less waiting and more busy-ness. Less time spent communicating face to face and more time typing, texting and calling.

I would hate to give up any of our modern conveniences that make life easier, but sometimes I think that if we could slow down the process, it would feel like life is slowing down. I guess that is what retirement is all about. Taking life slower, easier and avoiding some of the things that try our patience.