Monday, January 19, 2015

When Things Were Simple

Once upon a time.....

There was one phone company, and one choice of phone. 

There was one electric company.

There was one way to watch TV.  (and, I even remember my parents getting their first TV).

There was one kind of chocolate.  (Milk)

Your employer gave you a pension.

We long for the good old days.  If you are old enough (and I am old enough) I can remember a world without the many decisions we have to make each day.  Perhaps that is what we are longing for - the freedom from the constant press of having to make choices.

Which electricity option? Fixed, variable, pay extra to have part of your electricity generated by wind energy? (Yes, my electricity carrier offers that option - of course, not for your particular house.)

Which food?  Organic, natural, gluten-free, low fat, no salt, non-GMO, no corn syrup, no artificial sweetener?

If you garden, which seed?  Hybrid, heirloom, non-GMO (I will have something to say about that in the near future), treated, non treated, organic, suitable for containers?

Music?  On air radio, CD, MP3, satellite radio, streaming, live?  And if streaming, which service?  I don't even want to list the choices.

Chocolate:  single origin, bittersweet, semi sweet, dark, milk, chili, bacon, hazelnuts, peanuts, almonds, white, organic?

Pension -now it is in our control (in the United States) but we also have to make the investment choices.  How many of us have the expertise? Small cap, medium cap, large cap, bond, index funds, and more.

Too many choices.

No choice is bad.  Not enough choice is bad. But too much choice is bad, too.  Part of it is the pressure of making the wrong decision.

I realized this one day when visiting New York City.  I was in a Manhattan neighborhood, and hungry for some lunch.  But it couldn't be just any lunch.  I visit New York City, at most, once or twice a year.. I was in a city where (it seems) there are four or five restaurants on every block.  I couldn't make up my mind.  What if the food was terrible? What if I made the wrong decision?

I was paralyzed.

Finally, my spouse had to make up my mind for me.

I think it is simplicity we crave.  We want to spend more time enjoying life, and less time having to make decisions.

Some choice is good.  Control is good. Too much of anything is a bad thing, I think.

Would you want to go back to the "good old days"?


  1. I would love to have some other choices for internet service other than our local cable company. Thanks to Google (and others), it looks like that is finally changing.

    1. Oh, Scott, how I hear you. Our cable company is bad enough for service, but they are supposed to be taken over by the cable company rated the worst in customer service in the next few months. I've had experience with that company and an elderly relative I was attempting to help,and am not looking forward to being forced to switch to their "service".

  2. In some things I would love to but others things not so. Anyhow my phone box on our house is actual an GTE "General Telephone Electric"
    Coffee is on

  3. One of the old time companies!

  4. I totally hear you! On the one hand it's great to have options... but it can get really overwhelming sometimes. I have to say, though, I prefer today over the good old days - I'd really miss my smartphone. ;)

  5. I agree. I'm not old enough to remember "the good old days" but I often wish that technology wasn't such a huge factor in our lives.

  6. I don't know Alana, can we? Can we really live without our smartphones, texting and laptop. Forget the technology - can we live without Starbucks ? :P

  7. There are even too many choices with mobility canes--now some have a gps, others have lights, the length varies, there are too many types of tips to count. If you can't see, it's a little overwhelming which choice to make in how to "see" your environment in the best way! LOL. I want a simplified life! :D

  8. A simplified life with two good eyes would be best! :D Alas, it's too late to go back to those days! :D

  9. Let's go! Bus is gassed up, and ready to roll!

  10. I totally agree with your AM and my craving for simplicity has made me abhor going to big super markets. In India we have an option of small mom and pop stores where you can buy only what you want and not decide between a rack full of toothpaste options.

    Loved your article and tweeted too as i could relate to it. Dropping in from Write Tribe.

  11. One of my colleagues who is very up on this sort of thing has told me that it would take one person of a family about 10 hours a week if that person wanted to seriously keep up on all of the offers for phone/TV/computer services, find the best deals, and so forth.

    I for one, as a sort of New Year's Resolution, have turned off many alerts on my smart phone. I am still using it regularly, of course, but at least it is my choice when to refer to it.

    It is a different age and I like most of it, but sometimes I feel the need to disconnect...

  12. I would love to lead a simple life throughout!


Thank you for visiting! Your comments mean a lot to me, and I appreciate each one. These comments are moderated, so they may not post for several hours. If you are spam, you will find your comments in my compost heap, where they will finally serve a good purpose.