How Much More Is EnoughEssays, Featured — By Linda Brendle on May 25, 2012 at 8:57 am
One of the disadvantages of country living is the lack of services. We have city water and electricity, but we have a septic tank instead of city sewer service. We don’t have cable, so the only way we can get TV reception is with a satellite dish. And then there’s Internet service, or rather, there’s not. The choices are dial-up, which for anyone who spends any time on-line is no choice at all, or satellite, which everyone we know who has tried it, hates. So we’re left with going to the library to use their WiFi or using a wireless card.
We got our first wireless card when we got our motorhome. Most RV parks offer free WiFi, but if you’re on the road or staying in a state or national park, you’re unconnected unless you have one. Since we already had our card, we were all set with Internt access when we left the big city. There’s always a catch, though. When air cards were first introduced, certain providers offered unlimited usage. But either users were abusing the privilege, or demand exceeded supply, and limits were imposed. The limit on our card is 5 GB a month of downloaded information. That’s usually enough for both of us if we’re careful not to watch every YouTube video on Facebook. Sometimes we even have half our quota left at the end of the month. But not this month. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve opened a Twitter account or because we have a new 4G card, but this month we’re nearing our limit way too soon.
“We’ve already used up 90% of our 5 gigs,” David said yesterday morning, “and it’s over a week until the end of the billing period.”
“So what does that mean?” I said. “Do I need to leave my computer off until the 5th?”
“Well, I wouldn’t do much more than check your e-mail.”
“Can’t you call Verizon and see if we can get another gig to last us until the end of the month? When we were buying this property and used up our cell phone minutes, they gave us another 200 minutes at no cost.”
“Maybe I’ll call them this evening,” he said as he went outside to work in the yard.
But what about today, I thought. What will I do today? I don’t consider myself an addictive person, but I wrote a post around the first of the year about being addicted to caregiving, and I may have to write another one about being addicted to the Internet.
After David’s announcement, I panicked. But what about Facebook and Twitter and my blog? My friends will unfriend me, my followers will unfollow me, my readers will forget me!
Then I pouted. If he really loved me, he’d get me some more air time now. He’d know how important my writing is to me and how important growing my platform is to my writing.
But pouting is boring, especially when you don’t have an audience and you know he really does care. So I changed into my work clothes and went outside to do battle with errant saplings and uninvited weeds and briars.
It’s hard to worry about things like the Internet access when you’re wielding clippers and loppers, dumping brush on the burn pile, and trying to remember what poison ivy looks like. In fact, at my age it’s hard to do much of anything while doing that much physical labor except sweat and try to catch your breath. But your breathing returns to normal and your thoughts catch up with you later when you’re taking a shower. That’s when I started giving some serious thought to limits.
It seems to me like it’s human nature to push the limits, to want more. Children don’t have to be taught to want Grandma to push the swing higher, to allow one more turn on the slide, to sing ALL the verses of “Itsy Bitsy Spider” just one more time. By the time they’re teens, they want their curfew extended just 30 more minutes, and as adults we drive just 5 miles an hour more than the limit. The desire for more isn’t limited to those on the lower economic rungs of the ladder. It’s said that John D. Rockefeller, when asked how much money was enough, said Just a little bit more.
I want to blame our infinite capacity for want on a society that encourages us to add a few more ounces to that soda and a few more fries to that order, but even Adam and Eve wanted just one more source of fruit. Solomon, in his search for meaning in life, wrote about this human trait in Ecclesiastes:
Whoever loves money never has money enough. Ecclesiastes 5:10
All man’s efforts are for his mouth, yet his appetite is never satisfied. Ecclesiastes 6:7
If our capacity for want is infinite, it stands to reason that only something of infinite proportions can satisfy it. Like most kids, Solomon probably didn’t pay a lot of attention to what his father said. If he had, he might have found the answer he was looking for in one of David’s songs that has come to be known as the 23rd Psalm.
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. Psalm 23:1
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Psalms 23: 5
Unfortunately, my capacity for deep thought, unlike my wants, is very finite, usually limited to the length of time it takes to finish a shower. Once I’m dried and dressed, I’m thinking But I really need to check my Facebook page just ONE more time!
Linda Brendle writes about caregiving, faith, and family at http://www.LifeAfterCaregiving.WordPress.com. Follow her on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1434615186) and Twitter@LindaBrendle.