The Stuff of Life

Is it me or is life getting more complicated?

It seems that every day there is something I must do to forestall entropy and chaos. Not just laundry, grocery shopping, meals, and personal hygiene…but THINGS!  Seems there are constant computer, phone, and program updates that require time and fussing with.


Here’s what I did yesterday:

  1. Activated updated credit card.
  2. Put new light bulb in the cabinet.
  3. Paid home insurance.
  4. Put new clapper in a toilet.
  5. Re-subscribed to theater tickets.
  6. Ordered new filter for fridge.
  7. Changed all the clocks from (or to?) Daylight Savings

That’s just one day. Not hard. Not serious. But collateral time-wasting. Like, I will have to go on every website where I use my credit card to update that information. And then put in the new filter when it arrives.  And, of course, it sounds easy to go around the house and change the clocks, but the digital clock next to my bed that I really like is old and has developed one minor flaw. It can only change hours but not minutes. So I have to set an alarm to just a minute before the hour to quickly unplug the clock, plug it back in, and then rapidly reset the hour. And so, I did and have done for years.

That’s not my only struggle with time shifting. I also had to go on YouTube and find out how to change the time on my little waterproof watch that has four mysterious buttons only the Chinese understand. I found an excellent video by a very knowledgeable little girl of single digit years. She also cleared up for me which buttons to push to get out of a 24-hour system that I had been stuck in since the last time I changed the damn thing. Ah, dealing with stuff. It’s neverending!

I try to simplify. I took the time to go on and filled out forms to eliminate catalogues that junk up my mailbox. (If anyone knows how to get Red Plum to stop sending me crap, let me know. It didn’t work.) Robo calls ring on my phone. I never answer a number I don’t recognize. And I block them assiduously. But telemarketers just get new phone numbers and keep calling and punching little holes in my peace. Do they believe that I am ever going to answer their frigging phone calls?

The problem is, I seem to have acquired so many more gadgets in my life—like the water filter in the refrigerator. It’s nice to have. The water tastes great and is probably healthier, but it has to be changed every year. Now, that’s not difficult, but it seems like there are gazillions of things that need periodic attention. No wonder there are best-selling books about decluttering. No wonder people are moving into tiny coffin-sized houses. I have certainly downsized, but I seem to have acquired more stuff in the process—like the garage door opener which I have already had to replace along with my cell phone last week.

The problem is: I love all my gadgets. It’s great having a computer and a cell phone and an air conditioner. I can’t imagine living without them. So, I guess keeping them in working order is the price I have to pay.

Uh oh. My cell phone just dinged. A reminder. Time for the yearly change of batteries in all the smoke alarms. I’d better stop complaining and get on with it.  But how am I going to replace the one way up high on my living room ceiling? I’ll have to get out a very tall ladder. Hope I don’t fall. I don’t want my obit to read that I died changing batteries in my smoke alarms.  Well. Wish me luck. Maintenance can be dangerous. And good luck to you, too, with all your stuff.