My Holiday Epiphany: I’m Going to Move Closer to the Mailbox. I’ve Gotta!

by Jeff Wiener on December 23, 2010

Unfortunately for me I live in an area that Canada Post has deemed not suitable door-to-door mail delivery. As a result, I usually leave my mail in my mailbox long enough that the bill collectors start calling, the kids start begging for their latest Owl magazine, and my wife starts bugging me about my husbandly responsibilities. I’m OK with the bill collectors and the kids, but when my wife enters the scene…I better get the mail.

The two mile walk to the mailbox is often a welcome treat during the summer, my regular Friday escape, a chance to take a moment to slow things down and actually see the world around me…it’s the winter time when things get a little more difficult. It’s usually during the colder months that the weekly trip turns into a rigorous once a month survival trek that I would rather leave to the Discovery Channel professionals, which unfortunately means that the mail starts piling up.

I’ve long since toyed with the notion of moving to an area of the city that has the luxury of door-to-door mail delivery, and with winter hitting us particularly hard this year, lets just say I’m now seriously thinking about it.

But in the meantime, as I stood at the door gazing out into the veritable winter wonderland, I knew the mail wouldn’t collect itself, and with that I was gone.

Now perhaps you’re wondering, “Jeff, what on earth does this have to do with Telecom?” Just wait.

The evening progressed much as it usually does in December, with me putting on my winter parka, glove, scarf and boots, grabbing my GPS, and heading out the door on the way to the mailbox. I made sure to bring a couple of Loblaw’s shopping bags with me so I could pack all the mail into separate bags, that way it doesn’t fall on the street as I make my way back home. I then usually set aside an hour to sort through the mail, which meant tossing copious amounts of junk mail into the recycling bin. But amidst all the junk I found, to my surprise, two important pieces of mail. Yes, one was an Enbridge disconnect notice, but lying there at the bottom of the bag was something I hadn’t seen in years.

A HAND-WRITTEN LETTER

You heard me right, a hand-written letter. Seriously. In 2010. In this era of instant communication someone actually took the time to write a hand-written letter. The last time I had received such a letter was in Grade 10, when my then girlfriend thought it would be an appropriate way to inform me that we were breaking up…but not this time. With a momentary joking glance at my wife, still perhaps fearing some similar bad news, I tentatively opened it and was relieved to discover it was a close friend who lives a fair distance away, someone I unfortunately hadn’t seen in years.

So, after I called the kids over to show them what a hand-written letter looked like—they simply couldn’t believe people spent so much time communicating in the “old” days—I spent a few minutes catching up on my friend’s life.

As I read the carefully written words, two important truths occurred to me: Yes, one of them was that I need to spend more time with my family and friends, making a regularly concerted effort to slow down the torrid pace of life and enjoy what I have been blessed with. The other truth was that there’s a distinct downside to living in our always connected age. The harsh reality is that living in a connected, instant, get-me-the-info-now world means that anything less than “now” is simply too long. Twitter, blogs, Facebook…the fact of the matter is that people are always on and always connected.

The irony of it all for me last night was that our company, Digitcom, sells the very technology from manufacturers like Avaya that allows people to remain permanently connected, and no one knows what that’s like more than me as I’m never more than a twinned phone call, voice mail on my iPhone, or fax to my desktop away. It’s too much sometimes, the constant connection.

So what should I do about it? Well, I could stop selling such vital communications technology, but that seems a bit overly dramatic. Instead, in the spirit of this holiday season, perhaps the answer is simply turning off the technology once in awhile, disconnecting myself from the information age, and enjoying the things that are truly important in my life.

And with those small kernels of wisdom, from everyone here at the Digitcom family, we wish you and yours the happiest of holidays!

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Written by: Jeff Wiener. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Identi.ca, or Friendfeed

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Jordan Richardson December 23, 2010 at 6:39 am

A note to readers: Please turn off the technology after reading The Telecom Blog. Happy Holidays!

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