Warning! This article contains no references to SQL Server….
And no returns!
It’s February. Already?! Where did January go? And for that matter, what happened to Christmas? It feels like only yesterday I was decking my halls with boughs of holly, and wassailing merrily away, singing carols, sipping wine, tucking into turkey, munching mince pies, making inappropriate drunken remarks about “stuffing” to the in-laws…. Soon, the Winter snows will melt and Spring flowers will be everywhere. Then Summer will follow hard upon, bringing its long evenings and punting on the river, and scarcely will the garden furniture be stowed back in the shed and the Pimms shoved to the back of the drinks cupboard before Autumn will descend – bare trees, windy days and the central heating cranked into life once more – and in the blink of an eye Christmas fairy lights will be all around… fireworks, New Year, 2011……
Centuries ago, before our lives were governed by technology, there were fewer external indicators of the years rushing past. Sure, our children grew up, and maybe a king or two came and went, perhaps even a new church popped up on the skyline here and there, but mostly the daily work of toiling in the fields, or making horse-shoes, or coopering, brewing, fishing, fletching… remained unaltered, and our lives were unremarkable, characterised by continuity and familiarity.
Now, we are surrounded on all sides by the milestones of ‘progress’. We’re constantly reminded of what is contemporary, and what is old-fashioned. That mobile phone? Last year’s model. That PC? Soooo out-of-date. That car? Only fit for the scrappage scheme. Your TV? Not even HD. Technology has accelerated our awareness of the passage of time, and – much like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz – whipped us all into its whirlwhind of constant, frenetic change. Maybe, because of this, we grow up faster, and hence, we feel old faster. Let’s face it, we do everything faster. The modern world is predicated on electrons whizzing around circuitry at the speed of light. Human existence feels sluggish in comparison.
Every now and again, it’s instructive, therapeutic even, to get away from this world of restless, relentless innovation. Working in technology, as we all do, we’re racing through our lives at break-neck speed. But, we’ll never catch up with those electrons…. Outside of work, to counterbalance its dizzy pace, maybe we need to slow right down and do something more gentle, like contemplate the passing of the seasons.
(Thanks to Jonathan Allen, for inspiring this meditative post, by reminding us of the phrase “Pinch, punch, first of the month.”)