Is 2015 the Year of the Future?

Back when I admitted my failure at blogging wrote my first post of 2015, I claimed that 2015 is a year of minimalism for me.  Boy – is that the truth.  Since January, I quit crossfit (more to follow), only wrote four times on this blog, unsubscribed from 30+ daily email subscriptions and, in general, slimmed down my calendar invites.  This was all for the sake of reducing my stress levels.  Sounds like a novel concept – doesn’t it?

Part of my need for cutting back originated from an overwhelming surplus of data on a daily basis.  Buy this.  Take a photo of that.  Email her.  Respond to that text.  Call him back.  Follow so-and-so on twitter.  Did you like my post?  I started to feel caught in the crosswebs of driving my own life forward, and being overly involved in everyone elses.  How did we get to this point?

It’s hard to imagine that just thirty-three years ago, the CD-ROM was invented – and just three years after that – Microsoft released Windows 1.0.  In 1991, the world wide web opened to the general public, which now hosts 1 billion + websites.  In 2000, 100 million people owned a cell phone – only twenty-seven years after the first mobile-to-mobile phone call was made.

Needless to say, we’ve come a long way since the late 20th century… because now?

-4 billion, out of the 6.8 billion people on the planet, use a mobile phone.  Weird side fact: only 3.5 billion of them use a toothbrush.

-220 million tons of old computers and other technology devices are trashed in the U.S. each year.

-90% of text messages are read within three minutes of being delivered.

-The average 21-year-old has spent 5,000 hours playing video games, sent 250,000 emails, instant messages and text messages, and has spent 10,000 hours on a mobile phone alone.

and my personal favorite:

-Of the 60 billion emails that are sent on a daily basis, 97% are considered spam.

source: Website Magazine

 A couple of months ago, I read an article about whether 2015 is the year of the future.  I can’t, for the life of me, find it, but it talked about how far society has come in the past twenty years regarding the amount of data that can be processed on a tiny processing chip, and other recent technical advancements.

Remember this?  Btw. The hoverboard has already been created.

In an age when “yottabyte” is a word that doesn’t refer to a cartoon character, the average 21-year-old has spent enough hours on a cell phone to achieve mastery in a field.  By the time Bill Gates was 21, he had mastered programming.

I get that technolgy is important – particularly in the realm of safety and healthcare.  But, I’m starting to wonder if, in 2015, we’ve tipped the scales too far off balance.  When 220 million tons of technology are thrown away each year, is it time to reevaluate?  Have we made enough technical advancements at this point that we can consider ourselves ‘there,’ and can shift the scales to idolize the simpler facets of life?  I’m panicking that the next generation of kids will never know the feeling of creating donuts in the parking lot, or how to say Hi to someone without a cell phone, or a watch, or a tablet, or a computer.  Get what I’m saying?

This whole process of thinking led me to a minimalism challenge.  I think it’s the perfect way to shed the constant feeling of needing to be ‘online.’  I love technology and its ability to easily connect me to society and my loved ones, but I don’t want to be the master of it – nor let it be the master of me.  So, for the month of June, I’ll be completing the following minimalism acts for each day of the month.  Will you join me?  If you’re reading this on day 4 or day 10, it’s never too late to join in!

source: pinterest

Follow me @crossroadsheart on instagram to see what i do each day.  I know, I know… it’s technology!

I guess we can’t escape it all.

What have you learned from your mother?

In honor of Mother’s day this upcoming Sunday, my brother, sister and I wanted to share things that we have learned from our mother. My mom reads all the posts on this blog so I hope this one finds a special place in her heart. I’d love to read in the comments what you have learned from your mother!

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In response to the question, what have you learned from your mother?

Nicole, mom, me
mom and Nicole

“My mom is a superstar! I have learned so much from her, but three things really stick out:

Celebrate Today – Since the birth of her infamous “Wild & Wacky Wednesdays,” my mom has lived according to the philosophy that every day is a day to celebrate. I remember many times growing up when she would take my friends and me to Panera after school, or we would go out to eat on a Monday night “just because.” (Caitlin’s note: remember the ‘mental health days’ when we got to stay home ‘sick’ from school!) Within this practice was a very important lesson; there is only so much that can be wrong when you are at Cozumel (Ohio Mexican restaurant) eating delicious fajitas. Thus, my mom has taught me that by keeping perspective, we can choose to be happy every single day.

Change is painful – Shortly after my junior year of high school ended, I was going to a lot of graduation parties. Among the really yummy cake and fun times with friends, I got really sad at one of them and couldn’t figure out why. I looked around and saw all of these people just one year older than me, about to leave for college. I saw how much their lives were about to change, and I had the unsettling realization that, pretty soon, mine would be changing, too. When I got home, I cried. I didn’t even know why, but my mom did. “Change is painful,” she told me, “no matter what kind.”

 
Show love to everyone – My mom is a social butterfly. From her job, involvements, and social scene, she knows just about everyone in our community. She doesn’t just know them, she loves them. Everywhere we go, she offers friendly hellos, asks the person not some generic question, but something uniquely related to them, and gives her own genuine response. She sincerely cares about people and wants them to know that they are valued. By doing so, she has shown me what community is, and how to strengthen it.” -Nicole

Mom, Alex (baby bump), me, dad on our way to the hospital for Alex’s birth

mom and Alex

“She has taught me the importance of education, kindness and loyalty.  That education is the foundation to a successful life.  That kindness to others is a perpetual gift.  And that loyalty means not only being faithful to your friends, family and significant others, but to yourself; to your own goals, hopes and dreams.” – Alex

Me and mom

me and mom

There are a number of unique things that I have learned from my mother. One is a statement that I mentioned many times on this blog, which is “to celebrate every year of your life.” I think what my mom really taught me through that statement, and many of her other actions and words, is that each person has a unique journey and story in their life, and his/her  job is to go live it.  Mom – thank you for being an endless source of support as I continue to pursue my dreams and passions!

Ps. Thank you for also teaching us that even the worst fashion faux pas’ can be overcome. ;)

The fam