I love the fact that legendary Strength Coach Bill Starr only had an old tv, no cable and an old VCR that played Willie Nelson in concert. His landline phone (no cell phone, of course) was a fax for his articles and then he'd call you out of the blue and invite you for soft shell crabs or to go for a walk. Old beat up car, t-shirts from where he had coached. Friendly smile, notebooks filled with notes and articles. Old centerfolds from the 1970's on his bathroom wall. He painted, wrote, lifted.
My dad is 84 and doesn't have a computer. No email. No personal cell phone. Gets the paper at the top of driveway every morning. He does watch sports on television and he was a big Seinfeld fan. And what does he have that most of us don't have? Peace of mind. He isn't not worried about social media. He (I think ) has heard of Facebook, but he definitely doesn't know what it is all about, and I swear to you, he doesn't care if he ever does, or if it exists. And when he talks to you, he doesn't look down at his cell phone, he's looking at you, interested in what you have to say. That drives me nuts, the looking down at the cell phone thing. Really? You can't wait two minutes before you check who "liked" your picture on social media? I catch myself doing it too. Makes me pissed off at myself and makes me feel weaker when I do it.
Seriously, if you are in your 40's or older, you have to think that all of this is strange, like some Jetson's era stuff. And you , if you were born in those times, yearn for the simpler days. And we thought back then that life was moving fast. It wasn't. But then in literally the last 10-15 years, this stuff has taken off to where folks heads are spinning if they remember the days of no internet and three channels of TV and the gas shortage and swimming in creeks and rivers. How about that? Is that important? Swimming in a creek? I say it is. I go out of my way to find a body of water that my son can swim in, and let me tell ya, there are not too many of them around, not a whole bunch left where I am. You jump into a wild river or creek and you feel alive, not like in a swimming pool, or maybe not even an ocean. A river, flowing , is damn special. Primal and murky and simply fun. Wild. If you find a clean river to swim in these days, you can bet that it is in a wild area, no cities have a river to swim in. So you will be out in the middle of nowhere and that's the place to be anyway, yessir. So then instead of being glued to some stuff that is sucking the life out of your brain, go find a river to swim in. DUDE! Thats worth more than 5000 likes on an Instagram post! The feeling of freedom, man. Like just parking the phone and the buzzing of it all. It buzzes, this stuff...buzzes you to look at the screen, to check the email, to check the text at at the red light, its buzzing in all of our brains, constantly and over and over.
I am so glad that in the 1970's and 1980's, that we didn't have all the crap that we have today. How did we do it? How did we survive without cell phones and video games, cable television? I guessed that we...played. And I remember being bored sometimes. Like when I used to have to do things that I didn't want to do. Like go visiting friends of my Mom and Dad's at Christmas. Please. Anyway, I'd just get in the car and I would go. And be nice and be bored out of my mind, but I didn't say a word. I was just like, ok, this is part of life. Stare at the wall. No iPad or iPhone or any damn thing. Fold your hands in your lap and smile . And then whatever is put in front of you when you got home to eat, you ate it, because what was at the table was all there was to eat, no substitutions. Or chicken fingers. What you saw was what you got. And the play. Unsupervised for hours, dawn til dusk! Can you believe it? I shot BB guns, jumped ramps, swam in the creek, crossed dangerous roads, hitchhiked, walked all over!
Damn, those were the days. Seriously, good days. Why can't it be like that now?