Here’s a thought for a Friday.* How many reminder or warning bells are in your daily life? And, how many MORE reminders or warning bells are in your life than were, say, 10 years ago? Here is typical morning in my world, with warning bells and reminders marked with a star.
At 5:30 my clock gives a buzz* to warn me that the loud alarms will be starting soon. This is a gentle warning that the real warnings will be jarring. At 6:00 my alarm rings* for the first time as a strong suggestion that I should walk the dog. At the same time, my calendar dings* to let me know that 100 days are passing (long story, will share later). At 6:15 comes the stronger alarm bell* with the more overt reminder that it is time to get up and walk the dog. Between 6:15 and 7:00 the snooze alarms ring,* and at 7:00 the big alarm goes off* that lets me know I am now borderline late and a bad dog-owner for not walking the dog. When I start the dryer to finish dryer my clothes from last nights laundry, the dryer beeps* to let me know it started to dry. At 7:05 the buttons on the microwave beep* to let me know I am pressing buttons to heat up my dog’s food (a new trick to pretend it’s fancy food). At 7:06 the refrigerator beeps* to let me know I’ve left the door open. At 7:06 the microwave gives a long beep* to let me know the food is heated. When I don’t get it out right away (as I am making coffee) it beeps again* a minute later, and another beep* a minute after that. At 7:10 the dryer ding-dongs* to let me know the dryer will stop soon. At 7:15 the coffee maker gives a long tone* to tell me the coffee is brewed.
When I come back downstairs to pack my lunch and head out the door (late–my calendar has buzzed twice** to let me know I have a meeting at 8:00), the coffee maker rings* to say it will turn off soon. The dryer dings* to remind me I didn’t take my clothes out. The refrigerator beeps* because the door didn’t shut all the way again.
In my car the warning bell* goes off until I put my seat belt on. The cross walk light beep-bops* to let the visually impaired street crosses know to cross. My car bell* rings again as I forget to turn my headlights off when I arrive at the Rite Aid. The entryway at Rite-Aid ding-dongs* to let the employees know there is an early-morning customer. The sign directs me to “Ring the Bell”* at the pharmacy counter for service, so I do.
And that, my friends, is before 8:00 each day. What does it say about our lives that this many machines need to ring at us, and that, in my case, I need to add rings and bells from my own phone and clocks in order to get my day started? I think it says something deep and important about the world. I just don’t know what it is yet… Oh. And I just got a text message*. No joke. I really did. Ring-ring.