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Words from Winterbilt

Happy New Year, time & I called you

Shannon Bohrer

(1/2013) Happy New Year, it is hard to believe that it is 2013 already. Of course I believe I just said that about 2012. As one grows older, and I speak from experience- the time does seem to fly. I am reminded of something I read about time; that from birth to 20 years of age is like an eternity in time, and from 20 to 40 years the time seems to be only half of the first 20 years. Then -from 40 to 60 years the time is seems only to be half again. Of course since I canít remember who said that, maybe it is an age issue. The words do seem to ring true, at least for me.

Many of my retired friends tell me that after they retired they wondered how they ever had time to go to work. Several of my curmudgeon friends believe that the lack of time has something to do with all of the personal electronic devices we have. A few believe the devices are all tracked by the government, even when they are turned off. This concept would require a connection with the metaphysical sciences; meaning it cannot be explained by me. Besides, I donít think they can track you when the device is tuned off. What does seem to have validity is that society in general seems to be attached; maybe addicted to personal electronic devices.

On occasions I have had friends and acquaintances complain that I did not return their call or respond to their email? Of course I respond that I am talking to them as they lodge their complaint. The typical response is that they called my cell number several days ago and when I did not respond they emailed me. (They canít text me as I have that blocked on my phone.) My response is that my cell phone is usually turned off unless I am working and I only work part time. As to my email, I usually check it every several days, but not always, and I tell everyone that if they need to contact me just call my home phone and if I donít answer Ė leave a message. I check that - almost every day. I am connected the internet and use email and I have a cell phone that receives email and it can even take pictures. However, having all of this does not require me to use it every day.

I donít believe that people need to be so connected that their cell phone becomes part of their anatomy. Just about everywhere you go you see people on their cell phones. I donít know if all of those conversations are important or not, but it does appear that many people spend many hours every day on cell phones. It must be like a part time job to many of them.

Recently I was traveling with a coworker and the co-worker was checking his telephone every 10 or 15 minutes. He was not talking on it and he was just looking at it and pushing buttons. I inquired if he was expecting a call and after some thought he replied no, he was just checking to see if he had received any messages. I thought that would be like going out to the mail box 30 or more times a day to see if you have any mail. Maybe, just maybe our time is being consumed by the electronic products that were created for convenience and oh, to save time.

Another perspective, while electronic devices seem to occupy our time, maybe itís just a symptom of our problem. We as a society donít seem to have any patience. We seem to have the need to know now, immediately. Could the problem of not seeming to have enough time be related to our problem of not having patience? I am old enough to remember when making instant coffee in a microwave was a joke. Now many people donít even make coffee, they pick it up in the drive through; they donít even have the time to go into the store. They also pick up lunch and dinner and pick them up in the drive through. And I am sure they are checking their phone messages while waiting in line. Maybe because we donít have patience Ė is why we donít seem to have enough time?

I believe our lack of patience is reflected in that we are, or seem to be an instant society. We want the latest news, not right after it happens Ė but as it happens. It was reported that during the Election Day people were glued to their television waiting for the results, not during the evening news, but all day. We also we read tweets and visit face pages as if they are news. Even the main stream media will report that during and after someone speaks, how many thousands of tweets were sent. Commercial Businesses and retail stores even have their own face pages, why? Of course, maybe I should not be so judgmental since I donít have face page and nor have I ever created and/or read a tweet. Not to bring up a sore topic of the recent election, but even after all the news and analysis by the experts, the tweets and face things, we have the same president, the same senate and the same congress. Just because time goes by does not mean that something always changes.

My wife and I have been married for 40 years. I remember that earlier in our marriage my wife said to me that she was looking forward to growing old with me. I recently reminded her of that, to which she just stared at me for a few moments, and then commented that she did not think it would happen that fast. Poor woman thinks she is getting old, but she is still young in my eyes.

Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for thatís the stuff life is made of. Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richardís Almanac

Read other articles by Shannon Bohrer