This week I am linking up with Jen and the Soli Deo Gloria sisters.
Is it just me, or is there a conspiracy out there?
Our society keeps gaining more and more advanced technology, which was supposed to make our work easier and give us more free time. Instead, it just allows us to squeeze more and more work into the same 24 hours. Well…. work, AND Facebook, AND Words with Friends, which I persistently lose to my friend Jen but which I enjoy anyway. Most of us are plugged in every second, surrounded by nonstop noise, and by even more visual noise.
So we decide to fight back. “I will simplify my life,” we say.
Then what do we do? We have no idea how to live simply, so we turn to our electronic devices to tell us. We use search engines, prepare spreadsheets of solutions, take polls, read all the ads…
“You must buy ‘shabby’ home furnishings,” the ads say. “‘Shabby’ is simple. Order now.”
“You must fill your home with antique-replica ‘country’ stuff. ‘Country stuff’ is simple. Order now for free shipping.”
“You must cook all your food from scratch, using only whole-grain bell peppers and organic salt. Order our cookbook now for free shipping and a DVD showing you how to fix this stuff.” Okay, I’m honestly not making fun of raw / natural foods, because they really are healthy and delicious. The question remains, how does cooking from scratch save time over opening a few cans and drop-kicking the contents into the Crock Pot with a chicken breast?
But I digress. It just seems ironic to me that we have multi-billion-dollar industries growing up around our desire to simplify our lives. Is it possible we are being… played?
Case in point: Brent and I found a cookbook advertising “Seasonal, sustainable, simple, pure” recipes. It offered an appealing premise: meals can be flavorful and good for you. So we bought a copy and plunged into the entree section, looking for tasty, simple dinner ideas. Imagine our surprise when we found…
Many of the recipes actually consisted of three or four separate recipes.
Some of the sub-recipes called for one or more ingredients that you had to make from a recipe in a different part of the book. At least it gave page-number references…
We followed a couple of the remote sub-ingredient references, only to find that the sub-ingredient recipe referred us to yet another page, to make a sub-sub-ingredient.
Even the recipes that allowed us to stay on one page called for a daunting list of ingredients, many of which I have never heard of and cannot pronounce.
Footnotes eased our worry about those strange ingredients… They are available at exotic markets, probably only a 45-minute drive from our home, or we can simply order them online. (Really?)
Whew! We would flat-out starve to death.
As near as I can figure, we would all be less stressed if we quit listening to the “experts,” and just…
* spend less money than we make.
* eat real food.
* spend our time with the people we value most.
* spend the rest of our time on the things we value most.
And if an expensive designer “shabby” sofa pillow or a 47-ingredient recipe floats your boat, then go for it.
Thanks for reading,