This post is entirely inspired by a picture of an old typewriter. When I saw it I knew I had to write about it. Or rather write about the memories it triggered.
My parents had a typewriter like that. This was in the 1970’s. Before there were computers. Well at least those that weren’t the size of a washing machine. It was when we had a TV with two channels, channel One and channel Two. With no remote. But we mostly watched channel One so there wasn’t a demand. We also had one of those huge reel to reel tape recorders. Rewinding them took 5 minutes. I believe it was one of the faster models.
Before you think I will talk about how everything was better back then, it really wasn’t. But it was different. Simpler.
There were not many choices to make. You want to watch cartoons? Wait until ‘kids club’ on channel One on Wednesday afternoon. The Lone Ranger? Friday evening. You missed an episode? Bad luck.
About missing an episode, my brother and I got very creative with that. We had a big tape recorder, so why not record the sound? Then we only had to miss half the episode. Smart thinking! (well….)
Back to the typewriter. I used it to write and publish my own little magazine. Articles in blue and black ink. Many typos. No pictures. These were my first ever posts. Long before Internet and long before blogging became a thing.
There was something romantic about it. You had to work hard. A meek keystroke would leave nothing but a faded letter. And you really had to elaborate your thoughts before you started writing. You couldn’t just backspace and rearrange the words you had typed.
Nobody read my little magazine. I had a circulation of only two. Limited edition.
I wish taking pictures with your smartphone was a thing back then. All I have now is in my head. But that is how things were. Things were in our heads. We always used our imagination to entertain ourselves. We created whole universes and had adventures in them. Outside. Rain or shine. We only stopped when mom yelled (not phoned) that it was bedtime.
I built a radio transmitter once and hosted a radio show with my brother – from our bedroom. The music we played? Our dad’s records from the 1950’s. The transmitter wasn’t very powerful. On a good day we reached the end of the street. But that was a minor detail.
What’s the link with seeking financial independence?
I don’t really know. There are many things I don’t want to go back to, but there is a part in me that longs for the lost simplicity. These days there is so much noise. There are so many possibilities and so many choices to make. There is so much news to follow.
And everything is on demand. I can have it when I want it.
That Friday evening feeling – knowing that all my friends were watching the same episode of The Lone Ranger at exactly the same time – is gone. People are no longer talking about the same thing (well except for Trump and the EU and Brexit).
Many things back then weren’t better. They were probably worse. But the modern on-demand culture can leave one passive. We’re used to being entertained. There is no need to use your imagination and be active.
Financial independence for me is about winding down. Recover some of the lost simplicity again. I know that I have the choice already today. To make things simpler I mean. I can’t quit my job just yet, but I can simplify my life. Be conscious about how I use the limited spare time I have. And use my imagination more. Create adventures. I don’t need Netflix for that. But a good book would help.
And it’s a good preparation for when I reach financial independence.
How about you?
What are your thoughts?
Are there things you miss from your childhood years?