While hanging out with other smart women with smart women problems (anxiety, rage, misshapen molars from grinding), my friend Sarah concluded that we’re miserable because we used to milk cows and plant food gardens and build houses. “We wouldn’t have time to freak out,” she pointed out. “We’d be dropping into bed exhausted at sundown.”
And we three enjoyed a few seconds of imagining a prairie front blowing the hair from our unadorned faces as we walked out to the well, no phone’s insistent blurping with text messages; no anxieties about whether to Tweet, Facebook, blog, or fart the idea we just had; and no agonizing whenever someone showed up on Tumblr doing the thing we swore we were just about to do.
Of course, frontier life had its disadvantages, such as miniscule life spans, chronic dry skin, and—oh, yes—being forced into a sow-like state of constant breeding and suckling for as many times as your husband could put it to you. (Which some people would be very happy to see return!) But our collective longing for simpler times is part of why pickling, DIY, knitting, and all that is making a huge comeback. Men, too. We’ve all had it with this stupid Information Age. What do we do with all this information, anyway?
I copied a few Moleskine journals’ worth the ideas into Evernote thinking it would create action, but I ended up just forgetting I even had the stupid program. (Still, I highly recommend Evernote as a great place to see all your ideas and inspiration and sketches and to-do items in one clean place.) I love Pinterest, but can see how it would get terribly out of hand if I decided to have whole boards dedicated just to the color yellow or interesting oil slicks or other random reasons to avoid doing anything of substance.
Is anyone actually using Evernote and Pinterest to enrich and facilitate their creative endeavors? If so, fuck you. (Just kidding, please let me eat your still-beating heart.) I’d like to know how people are getting things done, or if they are just better and better and putting things between them and getting things done.
I can’t imagine that particular ability would help you win Frontier House.
For you, from my favorite essay in Mr. Vonnegut’s Man Without a Country:
Oh, she says, well, you’re not a poor man. You know, why don’t you go online and buy a hundred envelopes and put them in the closet? And so I pretend not to hear her. And go out to get an envelope because I’m going to have a hell of a good time in the process of buying one envelope. I meet a lot of people. And, see some great looking babes. And a fire engine goes by. And I give them the thumbs up. And, and ask a woman what kind of dog that is. And, and I don’t know. The moral of the story is, is we’re here on Earth to fart around. And, of course, the computers will do us out of that.