The Time of the Microwave Mentality
Before having washing machines was popular, laundry was an all-day event for most. Even after the invention of the washing machine, wet clothes needed to be hung out to dry which was a timely affair. With the time-saving technology of washing machines and dryers, it seems people still lacked time to do everything wanted. The activity of hand washing clothes that took all day was replaced with some other action.
Mid 1700, the kitchen stove was invented. Its usefulness created a momentum of evolution that has put a stove in every kitchen since. Once the modern oven became popular, cooking became effortless, and meal planning was simple. Cooking supper was completed in less time and yet time felt short.
Shortly after came the microwave. For us, our primary use of a microwave is heating up our coffee in the morning. We also use it to make quick meals straight from the freezer. Instead of meals taking hours to prepare, ding, 5 minutes. Yet we can feel that time is too short, so we eat fast and go to the next activity.
We have a washing machine and dryer. Laundry gets cleaned with little intervention other than flipping the wet laundry into the dryer. (We are still waiting for the invention of the clothes folder.) Food takes about 5 minutes to cook or heat up. Our coffee stays warm. So where is all that saved time?
The Quicker We Go…
Our lives are moving quicker and quicker getting more and more done every day. When we are not creating something or running somewhere, our minds are already on the next activity. When someone asked how fast can you get that done, we can honestly say we have two speeds, fast and quick.
Unfortunately, our experience of time is affected by this lifestyle of going so fast. It seems that the faster we go, the quicker time moves as well. This speed leaves us with the feeling of having no time. Even the new fast CPU with gigabytes of speed tests patience. So how do we fix this?
When we are in a rush, we can slow down and appreciate our ability to create rapidly. As we are going too fast, we may miss all the perceptions of the moment. We miss the smells or the colors or the words. There are also so many emotions that can be missed when we just move to the next thing never embracing the brief moment of creation. If we stop for a moment, we can marvel at all the awesome creations in the world. We are humans, not microwaves. Everyone can afford to enjoy our lives a little slower now that our laundry is done and dinner is cooked.
We can be in awe, appreciating how all the fantastic advancements of technology and understanding has improved all life immensely. We can also slow down to enjoy the precious moments of our lifetime.