We live in a digital world, that’s for sure. And though I love the speed and convenience of technology, I often find myself grasping for those mediums of the past – handwritten letters, dropping off a roll of film to be developed, picking up physical books from the library. There’s a slowness in these efforts that I think we could all do with a whole lot more of (in fact, I hand wrote this post before typing it up to share).
We think we’ve made our lives easier, simpler. Of course, I don’t want to wait until our one phone line dials up to use the internet, but because of this convenience, I now waste more time consistently checking social media and browsing the internet because “mom doesn’t have to use the phone”. Instead of keeping up with friends through one phone call, I’m piecing together their lives through six different social media channels and losing that human connection all together.
We’ve over-complicated life in an effort to simplify, to be more “relevant”, and I’ve noticed this spread to all corners of my day to day.
Developing a brand and curating an internet presence comes with a lot of “guidelines”. I’m not likely to post a photo taken in artificial light (because – aesthetics), and I surely don’t want to be snapped carrying less than beautiful accessories. And while style and impractical objects have a place in our lives (they’re wonderful channels to celebrate creativity and beauty), sometimes they – simply put – complicate things.
Last spring I desperately wanted to invest in a leather tote bag. I’d seen the gorgeous leather bags popping up all over Instagram, and I convinced myself I needed one to carry all of my things – what with lugging all of my food (breakfast, lunch, snacks), workout gear, books for the train, etc. every day to work and around town. So, I justified the purchase.
I loved the bag when it arrived. It was so pretty (with a coral inside!), trendy, and could fit more than an average purse.
But, not enough.
On days I carried it, I still found myself wearing a backpack, toting an additional canvas sack of food, and enduring the pain the thin straps caused in my shoulder. I had reached certifiable Bag Lady status.
Then, a couple weeks ago, I did something revolutionary. I threw all of my things in an old duffel bag I found at the bottom of our closet, and my life changed forever.
I’m only kind of kidding.
But guys! I could fit everything. I could zip it up, so nothing would fall out as I walked from home to train to work to fitness studio and back again. The strap is padded and made to carry weight, and that shoulder pain? Gone.
To be honest, I won’t be modeling the bag any time soon or taking it with me to dinner, but my problems were solved with one easy fix. Because sometimes, we don’t have to complicate things.
The solution is simple.
Photos by Tony Castle Photography, edited by me.