1920 vs. 2016

My husband and I finally caught up on the final season of Downton Abbey. Like the rest of the world today, TV is no longer live unless it’s sports for him. And since he is a Villanova grad, I’m sure you can imagine what our home was like this past month. Other than that, we rely on feeds as our source of news and entertainment. We never watch the news and even our toddlers expect everything to be “on-demand.” It often makes we wonder what the world will be like in even 5 years and truthfully, it scares me. When I compare our lives against the simplicity reflected in Downton Abbey, there are things from both eras that I appreciate and desire. Here’s what I would take from each time period to make it the best of times.

1920:

1. Respect. From attire to language — people presented themselves in a very respectful manner. We have really lost something here in 2016. I’m all for free speech and self expression, but I believe we have gone too far in the opposite direction. Even the most prestigious and highest honor for our country has turned into an embarrassment frankly. As an American, I am absolutely embarrassed about our Presidential elections.

2. Socialization: No one was staring at screens. They were gathered around the table engaged in conversation. Although heated at times, at least they were present.

3. Relationships: There are things I agree with and things I don’t. But I will say there is absolutely something to be said for the male/female roles from back in the day. As a woman who made the decision to leave the position of breadwinner for many years — I choose my words carefully. What I simply mean is a man is built in a certain way and a woman is built in a certain way. When you naturally fall into those rolls, there is little need to oil the parts for maintenance. All systems go and there is a certain hum to the family machine.

2016:

1. Technology’s Impact on Flexibility and Opportunity: As a mom and an entrepreneur, this is the ultimate win for 2016. I’m lucky to be a little a head of the curve on this because “offices and 9–5” are still very much a reality of today. But for me, I can take my kids to visit their grandparents and bring my laptop to whip out a proposal while they are catching up over Oreos. I can answer a text on my phone from the top of a mountain. I can write a marketing plan at 9pm when my juices are flowing. This is my absolute favorite part about 2016. While I noted the value of socialization above, in the same sentence the lack of physical presence needed to have a successful career creates so much opportunity. Two clients of mine are in California and others are in New York — while I’m tucked away in the suburbs of Philadelphia hugged by farms. It doesn’t matter! I can do business in Denmark today and never step foot in the country. The potential for business is extremely exciting and unlimited.

2. Accessibility to Information: The amount of information and content we have at our fingertips shouldn’t be taken for granted. For those of you who remember microfiche at the library — you know what I mean. If I decided today that I want to make Blanquette de Veau, view the birth certificates of my ancestors, take a virtual walk in a neighborhood in Houston — I can.

3. Convenience: I can place an order through an app, pull up to Target and they bring my items out to me. I have a personal Mr. Carson that lives in my pocket called Siri. A valet? We call that Uber. No time for grocery shopping? Get your groceries online with freshdirect.com. Need a wardrobe refresh? Have a personal stylist send you some recommendations from stitchfix.com. Ready for a new book? Download instantly. Stamps? Who needs stamps, pay online.

The amount of time we used to spend doing these little life chores has diminished. I challenge all of us to recognize that truth and use that time to love more, create more, dream more, do more. Because we can.


Originally published at www.sundae-creative.com.