Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Countdown to Thanksgiving Day 1: Living Life at Warp Speed

Last month, 700 bloggers participated in "31 Days," writing daily posts on a single topic, like happiness, organization, or crafts.  I liked the idea, but it was a crowded bandwagon. So I decided to try a twist on the "30 days" of thankfulness I saw a lot last year on Facebook. This is the first in a daily series celebrating the blessings I'm thankful for, leading up to Thanksgiving.  While they will portray some of the many -- and random -- things I have to be thankful for, they will not be presented in any particular order by degree of thankfulness. Skewed priorities should not be implied.

HOW did we get to November already?  I think I can survive the impending winter if it goes as fast as this summer and fall have.  They FLEW!

Which leads me to my "thankful for" item of the day: technology.

It may seem an odd thing to start my series with.  What, not the kids?!  The Mr.?  I'm thankful for them too, and we'll get to them, but the calendar today has me reflecting on how fast these years are going by and how I want to just slow it all down.  I can't.  But thanks to today's technology, I can make the most of these racing, fleeting days, months, years in the moment and capture them for the future.

Remote-access technology allows me to work from home, freeing me to transport my kids, volunteer in their classrooms, be home when they are.  I get to be a full-time mom while contributing a part-time income to the household budget and maintaining my skills.

Digital photography allows me to capture moments from the everyday mundane to special occasions, giving a broader sense to what each of us is like and our life together. I'm no longer bound to record our lives in 24 frames or less.  I don't have to risk losing memories to an open camera, lost film, photo "technicians," or fingers and lens caps.  I know immediately if a shot didn't work.  I can download them when I get home and share them.

That sharing is another part of what I appreciate about technology.  My sister lives in North Carolina, my friends are all over the globe.  But I can still talk with them, share pictures and thoughts, video chat, even play games together... instantly!  I don't have to miss seeing my nephew and niece grow.  I can keep up with the treatments and progress of sick friends.  I have a group of women with whom I can share my struggles, receiving wisdom, commiseration, and encouragement (and vice versa); we're spread all over North America.

I'm inspired by creative people the world over, gathering ideas, getting instruction, and finding resources.

I can cook things in minutes that once took ten times longer.  We can eat diverse, healthier foods because of refrigeration. I can read to my kindergartener while the dishes are being washed.  I don't have to spend one or two days hand-washing and wringing laundry only to do it over because it got dirty again while drying outside.  Crumbs?  Run a vacuum instead of dragging the rug outside and beating the heck out of it. My husband can play games with the kids in his hours at home instead of chopping wood to heat the house.  I can read until (and after) midnight, not having to put it aside because the lighting is so poor.

And, of course, technology will waken me in the morning, always too early as a result of those pesky late-night reading habits.  Can't say I appreciate THAT bit of technology, though.  There are limits.

All images from http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/images.

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