I was planning out the fall decorations for the house and looking at this decorating idea and this decorating idea and this fingers-crossed-if-I-can-recreate it project and somewhere around my 187,000 pin, I had a thought. Does anyone else remember life before you looked for fall decorating ideas on Pinterest?
Or you can remember a time when social and media would never even have been used in the same sentence?
It did exist.
That non-Facebook-non-Twitter-and-a-complete-and-utter-lack-of-Pinterest era.
People looked through magazines for their fall decorating ideas and went to potlucks and read books and wrote letters and baked pies for each other and met at the fence and had actual face-to-face conversations.
And all the televisions in America went off the air at 11:00 pm.
You’d be down in the family room after your mom told you to go to bed watching that super quality late-night programming.
It was always the dregs of the television schedule.
They’d play cartoons or re-runs of detective shows or old movies where people wore evening gowns and drank gin and tonics and smoked cigarettes from holders.
Right when the clock struck 11:00 an announcer would come on the air and say something like, “We have come to the end of our programming day” and a few other encouraging final phrases.
The Star Spangled Banner would start playing and there would be these beautiful pictures of the flag and the dawn’s early light and what the twilight last hailed.
A beautiful patriotic tribute before the television station signed off.
And for the rest of the night, if you turned from channel to channel there were brightly colored stripes and this super irritating buzz that made you want to cover your ears and look away.
It was amazing.
The television told you it was time to go to bed.
The television told you that you had enough screens.
“It’s 11:00” it would say.
It’s time to rest your weary eyes and stop for the day.
But somewhere along the way, the television decided it needed to stay up all night.
It started offering re-runs and news and specials and movies and binge-watching and 24-hour programming.
IT NEVER SHUTS OFF.
It never rests.
It never pushes pause.
It never really stops thinking and all that information swirls around and around and around without a stop.
Just. Like. Us.
I’m going old school today and pressing pause.
And I’m starting with putting down my phone and walking outside and taking a breath.
A wonderful, amazing, incredible breath of the promise of summer.
Today I’m turning off a television that won’t turn itself off.
Today I’m encouraging someone who needs encouraging.
Today I’m spending time with those four wonderful children of mine.
Today I’m taking my husband’s hand and going for a walk.
I don’t want to miss a minute of today.
Won’t you join me?
PS I may or may not sing the Star Spangled Banner at 11:00, too.
PPS I added a few fall decorating ideas on this post in case you were looking for fall inspiration, too.