First off, thank you for the lovely ‘cheer up’ comments. It was rather silly of me to post an ‘I’m blue’ post, but I am glad I did. Because it was an almost experiment within the day for me. You see, I was feeling rather blah and blue and not really for any one particular thing. However, the result by the end of the day certainly has shown me that I have made a positive change in my life.
Let me explain: Yesterday I felt rather down, and this made me focus on things, such as my ideas on how to move out of this year into the next, in an odd light. I sat down, and moped a bit. The old me, the pre-1955 me, would have moments like this fairly often and my answer was usually, “I need some shop thereapy, I deserve it”. This would be followed by a mad rush to get ready hop in the car or go out the door (when living in the city) and the adrenalin would kick in. There would be some wasteful shopping for things I didn’t need with money I really didn’t have, followed by the requisite stop at a coffee house for a 5 dollar coffee, a 3 dollar muffin and a moment of ‘rest’. Yet, once home, this was always followed by a new type of sadness and realization that I had just spent more money and wasted more time.
Another pre-1955 option for me was to pop on the Tele or pop in a video. This movie or show will make me feel better. And, off I would go into a dream world for two hours, only then finding myself not having done anything for the day and then feeling bad about that.
Now, one would think living in a ‘dream world’ of make-believe 1950’s could be bad on the psyche, but quite honestly, all it has done has taught me to be a better person. I feel better in that I deal with my emotions on an entirely different level and often, at the end of my day, look back and feel proud of my accomplishments.
So, yesterday I felt a little blue and made my post. But, I still had to make an apple pie to take for dinner at my MIL. Normally I would have done that the day before or early that morning, but feeling blue. I therefore had to throw myself into it. I went into the kitchen and prepared to make my traditional crust. I sometimes use the easy make in the pan crust I have shared with you before, but for a good old fashioned pie, I make my traditional lard crust. It was an odd sensation. I really take most of my vintage life in stride now, but having been rather blue and than needing to push myself through it, I felt a change. I was happy and actually beaming when I was done. The act of getting my lard and butter from the freezer (keeping it cold is one of the tricks to a flaky crust), measuring, mixing, rolling out, paring apples and so on. I was lost in what I was doing, enjoying it and really forgetting about myself for a moment.
That little lesson learned was so priceless to me at that moment. That shinning pie (I forgot my camera at my MIL but I used her camera and will get a picture for you later)full of apples and ready for the oven, it made me feel good. Here I had made something to be enjoyed by others with my own hands. There was an artistry to it and a great feeling of accomplishment. And it gave back to me again when we ate it after our dinner of Beef Borgenionne by MIL prepared for us. It was flaky and wonderful and I felt proud of that pie.
It really just drove home what I have been continually discovering here on my journey. That to not overly focus on ones ‘emotions of the moment’ but to get on with it really makes a difference. I am kept in mind of the UK WWII poster Keep calm and carry on, and really what sound advice. I don’t mean to ignore your emotional state, but when one begins to wallow in them, as I once did, really there is no solution to it, only a revisit of the sadness.
We modern people are given so many opportunities to really wallow in our sadness or blues. It is easy to feel bad for a moment, a normal human reaction and then to immediately go to that place where we say, “Oh, I will just play on the computer, pop on the TV, pop in that video, grab that magazine until I feel better” and sometimes it might help. But, for me at least, Action seems to be the best cure for melancholy. To go about and do things, things which we all know we must do, honestly does help to ‘clear those blues away’.
When I think of my state of mind pre 1955, I am sometimes amazed at how often I was depressed. And, I don't want it to sound phony or seem disingenuous when I say, since starting my project I am less depressed. Because it honestly is true. Sure, I feel blue or have blah days, but usually my dealing with them is to continue on through it and then I find the result of a simple task or chore is actually enjoyed MORE because it has both alleviated the blues AND made me feel all the more proud of having done it. As the song says, “We gotta accentuate the positive”
This is the lesson that I am now trying to apply to my over all lifestyle as I move out of 1956. I am certainly not going to give up the majority of my 1950’s life. I don’t think I nor my husband would want to. It has become such a part of who we really are now, that it would be like unplugging ourselves somehow. I find it interesting that the changes from the modern to the past, though sometimes trying or harder than expected, always seemed to somehow result in a happier symmetry for the pair of us.
Now, as the new year approaches part of my project will surely be, how will I bring in more ‘modern things’ into my life and then how they evolve into our vintage life. I think the aspect of still following along the year with the history of 1957 will be important, though, as I have begun to feel I want to really learn each year through a year. However, with that, I have been learning, as this year is ending, to do more modern things with a website and so on. I have even found that with a thing like Facebook, my approach to it now is much better than it would have been pre 1955. The old me would have spent hours on there updating things, searching about for others and so on. How I approach it now is simply log on, cut and paste my latest post, look who has joined up, maybe give a thumbs up to someone and I am off. Yet, I feel these things, these digital moments are very much a part of the modern world. But, I have learned to not be owned by them.
In fact, my computer use couldn’t be more like office work. I am never spending hours playing games on it, nor endlessly searching for clothes or things to buy, nor even chatting or ‘i-m-ing’ or what have you. In a way, my project has allowed me to face modern technology with a more detached and, I feel, healthier approach. For me at least, it is healthier.
This is the same with TV. I don’t think we will be re-installing modern tv into our lives. Hubby and I are too accustomed to the quiet of the house where one is more inclined to read books, listen to a radio program, write/type, play the piano or simply visit. When friends come to our house, we sit and play cards, laugh and visit. It can be very vintage in that. When we go to others house, if they have the TV on, then I simply adapt to it.
However, with the computer, one could easily use it as a TV. As I said, I recently watched part of a show a fellow Apronite was kind enough to share with us. It is a UK show about a food critic and a comic who spend a week in a time period through food. I thought I would enjoy it more, but found that I really could not. It wasn’t that the actors were necessarily bad, but the way modern TV is edited, so short choppy , I find it hard to follow. I realized this has changed about me in the past two years. Modern TV and media seems to be almost what one would use for a toddler with little attention: Bright colors, loud noise, funny sounds. For someone who, other than the computer and honestly it is a glorified typewriter and set of encyclopedias to me, it is almost annoying. So, TV, I am afraid, may need to stay in the modern out of reach world for me. I am curious about Mad Men, a show I watched before 1955, but now I understand they are even further into the 1960’s so not sure I want to watch it. It might make me sad and then I will have to bake TWO apple pies.
So, again, thank you all. I am glad to have said I was sad, only so I can share how I dealt with it now compared to the ‘old me’. My continual use of this blog and the site will always be vintage inspired. And in fact my forays into the modern world are almost primarily to make it better and more accessible to more people. Because, I honestly feel as if I have discovered the elixir vital, if you will, that drink of life that is secreted away from all. To really look back and then look forward from that vantage point honestly does help you to get a better perspective on your present.
As for next year, it might be fun to do a month of 1940’s say, with clothes and food and so on. As to the 1930’s as well, to better flesh out the life I would have lead in the 1950’s having come from those places. But, the technology and the ability to use it as a tool and not be used by it will also continue to become a process a lesson and part of my project. What better way to share one’s happiness with others than by using the technology available to one at the time.
Thank you for coming along with my on this odd journey. And I hope you continue to do so, as I feel we have so much to learn and share together. I think this will be as ‘modern’ as I get.