A View I’ve Missed

I’m flying to MSP right now and the flight attendant gave me the “variety pack.” In reality she gave me all three choices of snack being offered. Score! As I jerked myself awake to give my order I looked out the window back toward the east. There God smiled back at me in the form on the sunrise. I tell you what, 35,000 feet above sea level is one of the best seats in the house for experiencing a sunrise. The colour is simply amazing. Some of the deepest reds, oranges, yellows and blues I’ve ever seen. It reminded me of the view I used to enjoy a lot.

I’m from the Prairies. That’s a term most familiar to Canadians so for all of you USers, the Midwest is similar. The West has the Rockies, the East has the Appalachia and the the coasts have their oceans. What do we have? A relaxed, slower paced life with sunrises and sunsets as close to a 35,000 foot view as you can get. Don’t believe me? Visit Manitoba or Saskatchewan in late June or early July and then time a flight during the perfect time and weather conditions and compare. I don’t think I’m exaggerating.

It reminded me of how much I don’t slow down and enjoy the little things in life. I just had a conversation with a father yesterday who I really enjoy and respect and we talked about how busy we are. The greater D.C. area worships busyness. Drive and productivity are important but they aren’t the reason for living and they most certainly don’t encourage us to appreciate the little and beautiful things in life. I’ll finish this post with a challenge.

Take time in the next two days to enjoy a sunrise, sunset, good book, or stillness. It’ll do your soul good.

Simple is better, Part 1

I sold my iPhone 4. Yep, I did. Of course I still have that nagging data plan that I have to deal with. So what did I do? Got the cheapest data plan possible and the second cheapest (by $20) smartphone replacement I could find. Then I took the money I made off my iPhone and paid off my second last debt in Canada. So now, I’m debt free in the USA and only a student loan left in Canada. Now THAT is exciting! Some of you may be wondering, “But Mike, you’re a big tech guy. How are you faring having moved down to another smartphone from that amazing iPhone 4?” The answer? I’m doing really well actually. First off the iPhone 4 is amazing. No really, for those BB or Android fanboys out there you’re living in complete delusion to think that it isn’t. That said, amazing can have a lot of different faces. Amazing really should be about what works for the individual. After all these devices are made for a person so our individual preferences should be the final word. I didn’t use my iPhone much except when I thought to use it. Sure it has tons of apps and other neat features but I rarely use them. What do I use my smartphone for? Keep things organized and keep me connected, that’s pretty much it. I looked at Android, BlackBerry, Nokia, and just about all others and I settled on Palm. Again, you read that right. First of all it was the cheapest smartphone (part of me simplifying) but it was also my first choice.

webOS has the features (that I won’t get into) that bring all of my information together. One thing that drove me insane about iPhone was that no matter what I did the notifications would always be crazy inconsistent. I would either never get notifications from my apps or get them when I thought I had set them to not come. And while we’re on notifications I really think iOS has one of the worst ways to notify you while webOS has the best way that I’ve seen so far.

So why the change? Simple is better. It isn’t easier, it’s just less complex. My Palm Pre has helped me to take a step in simplifying my life and I’m loving it. I have clearly taken a step backwards as far as the advanced technology I use but I have taken a step forward in how I’ve simplified my life and used technology in a better way.

Ah the paradox that we call the simple life.