Alexa keeps the time for my blog. She ticks through ten minutes quietly and at the end she hums a sweet lullaby to coax me away from the page. I used to write on pages. I used to read. I used to do a great number of things that formed the rituals of my youth. As I watch my young sprout into adulthood I find my rituals changing and theirs to be entirely foreign to me.
I built my first computer in my senior year of high school. We were a version of poor, so I couldn’t keep what I built. The school claimed the work and took it apart almost as fast as I built it, so the next kid who came along with empty pockets would also have a chance to learn. I did learn, and then I learned to never look back. I later built a string of computers in college, each more progressively powerful and conversely less complicated than the last. Desktop technology gave birth to laptop technology and I became hooked. Now I listen to more books in a month than I will read by eye in a year. I type almost everything, each iteration made simpler by the cut and paste technology so prevalent in our word processing platforms. I save things in the cloud. I collaborate on multiple screens. I blog.
I don’t journal. I struggle to maintain a physical calendar. 95 out of 100 meals I’ll prepare come out of a freezer bag. All of this is very different from how I was raised. All of this is, in some way, called progress. It is not my time to decide whether or not any or all of this is good. I am in a more reflective space about these things now. I’m considering how much of the old ways I really want to hold on to, how much of those ways can be integrated into the modern times, and how much of the old actually mattered in a lasting and fundamental way. Not all new is good and not all old is bad. Deciding the percentage breakdown is a highly personal endeavor.