One of my favorite games has always been Tribond. If you don’t know it, someone would read a card with three things on them, and you’d have to guess what they have in common. The example on the box is a baby, an eagle, and a tire. I’ll put the answer at the bottom in case you don’t know the answer. It’s okay; you can think about it.
So back to the original question in the title… What do these things have in common? For one thing, they’re all things I like to do (except cooking, but since I like eating the result, it sort of qualifies). Actually, what they have in common is that they require more attention and take longer than their alternatives and are kind of inconvenient, but the results are worth it.
I was skeptical when the husband started wanting to buy records. This was early on in time when records were getting popular again. We went to FYE one day, looking for a CD and found stack and stacks of records. We flipped through them just to look, and ended up buying a bunch. Mind you, at this point, we didn’t have a record player. Luckily, Amazon is there for us day or night, and we bought one.
As a kid, I had a record player and one of those cool stereos that played tapes, records, and had a radio. I got it for a birthday or Christmas, and I thought I was the coolest thing ever. I had a few records of my own, but I liked listening to my mom’s old records. I specifically remember liking Maxwell’s Silver Hammer and Get Off My Cloud. (I always had great taste. Obviously.)
In any case, beyond the nostalgia factor, listening to records is slower. It’s something I do to relax. I have to get up every 15 minutes to turn it over, so I actually have to pay attention to it. So often when listening to music, I sort of tune it out and do what I’m doing. Records have made me more present, and I get a little exercise.
Cooking from scratch takes more time, but it tastes better. I know exactly what’s in my food. I recently read something that said that the average housewife in 1950 burned 1000 more calories per day than women today. Holy guacamole! That wasn’t just from cooking, but from other chores as well. But it made me think how many more calories I burn by having to prepare food, chopping and mixing for a half hour to an hour a day vs. opening a package and putting something in the microwave. Or worse, pulling up to a drive-through. Yes, I was that girl 7 years ago (hangs head in shame).
Gardening… where do I start? First off, it’s my meditation. Second of all, there is nothing quite as satisfying as eating food I’ve grown. It takes so long, but the pay-off is enormous. Gardening teaches patience and nurturing.
Writing is like all of the above. In order to do it well, I have to pay attention to it, turn the page sometimes. I have to use the right ingredients. Too many adverbs and junk words will spoil the mix. And I have to pamper it, feed and nurture it to get a good story.
What do we give up in the name of convenience? Is it worth it? I don’t think so. I enjoyed all the conveniences for a little while, but now I’m back to simplifying. I’ve tried to slow down my pace a little. Now, I’m not saying that I don’t listen to my iPod anymore (of course I do!) or that I never prefer convenience food. But… often things that take more time are worth it.
I’m reminding myself of that now that I have more time to write. Sometimes the editing and revisions seem endless, but much like tweaking a recipe in cooking, the end results are worth it.
What do you do that takes more time but is worth the effort?
*Answer: They can all be bald!