For some reason, which I don't quite understand, two of my least favorite chores are vacuuming and unloading the dishwasher. Loading it is easy -- I just put stuff in as I use it. But unloading it is such a bore. So the other day I decided to haul out my dish drainer and wash my dishes by hand, and I discovered -- much to my amazement -- that I enjoy washing dishes. There is something relaxing and almost meditative about having my hands in the hot soapy water, and putting the sparkling clean dishes into the drainer. With the wash-as-I-go method, there are never any dirty dishes, the particular bowl I might want to use is not languishing -- dirty -- in the dishwasher, and everything dries almost instantly. Et voila! I have clean dishes immediately, instead of having to wait 45 minutes. Why has it taken me so long to think of this? I do not know, but I'm glad I did. The plus side is that I may see my hydro expenses decrease as well. Am I a genius, or what?
I am one of the few people I know who has never owned a car. Ever. For many, many years I could never afford to buy one, and then when I could afford it, I found I really had no use for a car. For years I was forced to take public transit, and now I find it's a perfectly efficient, inexpensive way to get around the Lower Mainland. We have sea buses, trains, trolley buses, and even little mini-ferry boats that all interconnect with each other efficiently. For less than it costs to park a car for a month -- or keep it filled up with gas -- I can buy a transit pass and go anywhere I want to go, and let someone else do the driving. Or I can use that other tried and true method -- I can walk -- which it turns out is actually good for us. Who knew!
I don't own a cell phone -- *gasp* -- and I have had the same land-line telephone number for 30 years. People who knew me way back when the dinosaurs still roamed the earth can still call my number and reach me, and they often do. With all the upheaval I have had in my life, it's sort of comforting to have a thread of continuity that runs through it, connecting me with various milestones along the way. Everyone who knows me, or who has ever known me, can dial my number and here I am, and what's really amazing is how many people still remember it. But lately I have been considering getting a cell phone. We were chatting about this at work the other day, and one of my co-workers said, "But, Jo, what would happen if you got mugged, or you're stuck somewhere, and you can't reach anyone?" That's a good point. Today I think I will set out on a quest to buy a cell phone. I think it is necessary to have one, just don't expect me to be one of those folks walking along the sidewalk with my hand permanently glued to my ear. Who do these people talk to all day long?
Have our lives become too complicated? Do we own things, or do they own us? Do we really need so much stuff? We seem to spend so much of our time being slaves to our stuff. Maybe we should put it all in a cupboard for a while, and find out what it feels like to lead a more simple life. The stuff is always there if we need it.