Thursday, July 24, 2014

Living on the edge

Today I was sorely tempted to open my back door and yell to those hanging out in my backyard, “Hey, you guys are animals!”

There was a wild turkey at the birdbath, and running around were the usual chipmunks, rabbits, and squirrels, who, by the way, were scaring the birds from the feeder. 

The deer come out at night and nibble my plants. Occasionally, a red fox makes an appearance, and last week there was a snake. Well, evidence of a snake. I found the skin it shed – and that’s about as close as I ever want to get to a snake.

That’s a lot of wildlife for my small plot of land. It’s not like I live in the country. I can walk out my front door and be comfortably seated in a Philadelphia restaurant within a half hour.

And it’s not like I live in the city. I can walk down the street and into the fields of a neighboring orchard and pick-your-own farm market. In fact, when I had a dog to walk around those fields, I was often the “local color” families pointed to when hayrides went by.

It’s like I’m living on the edge of both city and country life. I'm at the intersection of urban and rural. Neither one nor the other, but the benefits of both. I've got proximity to nature and culture, with the convenience of major airports, railways, and highways nearby.

I’m often targeted by ads trying to lure me to a new home, an age-appropriate community, or vacation property. I might look, but I won’t budge.

I like where I am -- and the ability to be somewhere else quickly.

Living on the edge of town and country suits me just fine.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Give it a rest

Stop and smell the roses
Fourth of July. Time to kick back and relax.

My phone buzzes. Several times. In quick succession. Emails have arrived. Maybe messages from friends or family?

Nope. Updates about work topics from LinkedIn Groups.

Saturday night, out late. Coming home from a fun party with friends. Feeling good and a little tired. My phone buzzes. Did I forget something at the party? Is someone checking to make sure I got home OK?

Nope. It’s my gas and electric bill.

As long as I’m on the smartphone, I check Twitter, looking for a laugh. Most of the posts are earnest messages about industry trends or professional development.

To all of the above, I say: Give it a rest. I know, or at least I hope, most of these posts and emails are pre-scheduled for delivery. No one is really sending out bills or “5 Ways to Improve Your Presentation” in the wee hours of the weekend.

At least they shouldn’t be.

Just because digital delivery and social media have the capability for 24/7 connection doesn’t mean they have to be used 24/7.

Consider the receiver. Why not give us all a little time to unwind from the week.

If you feel compelled to post at all hours, and on off days, at least make it funny or lighthearted or otherwise appropriate for downtime.

Let’s keep the work in the workday. And help us all put a proper end to the week with work-free weekends.

That would be a more social thing to do.