We went and played with a friend at The Little Gym, bought a few groceries. And I mean a few… our budget is SUPER tight so I made a special trip to Super Target to use the 7 bucks I had on leftover gift cards. We bought strawberries, bananas, apples & yogurt. P forced me to buy bananas even though she doesn’t really like them anymore. She kept pointing at them and grunting and saying “Oouuu!” (she’s pre-verbal) So we bought 3. Anyways… it was a quick, inexpensive trip, but it should last us fruit-wise til the next paycheck.
After that we spent the day at Grandmommy’s- her Grandma. Daddy’s mom. My mother in law. About whose life and times P will wonder about someday.
In all of that excitement I didn’t have a great revelation of what to blog about tonight. But, fear not, I got home and of all things that piqued my interest, it was a conversation I had with my husband about his accounting homework. Bow-in! (as our nephew would say)
But think deep with me a moment… this guy Scott was buddies with a guy named Veblen. They were economists. Not sure what that means, but I’m assuming it has to do with the economy, which has to do with money, which ultimately leads to accounting.
I was an English major.
So, Veblen believed this gem:
Men acquired habits of thought unconsciously and the thoughts men get are shaped by their daily activities. Any change in daily activities, such as that occasioned by the Industrial Revolution, would be expected to lead to a major shift in previous habits of thought. (Lawrence and Stewart, 104)
Now, I’m not a neuroscientist OR an accountant, but this is the first time in two years that I have actually got what my husband was telling me. And I think this Veblen is onto something.
So often we sit here and wonder, “Why are things so different? What happened to the good ‘ol days? Why can’t things be simple like they were back ________?” (fill in the blank) I would probably say, “in Grandma’s day.” Grandma might have said, “before the turn of the century” or “before cars” or “before the war.” Regardless, nostalgia is in the air. Why?
Veblen believed that our daily activities shape our thoughts. I might go a step farther and dare to say that they shape the very values that we live by. Why we do what we do. What life means to us. Our worldview, if you will.
And I immediately thought about grandma.
She didn’t have to check her cell phone every few minutes to see who responded to her comment on facebook. She walked down the street and talked to her neighbor.
She didn’t get on pinterest for ideas on what to cook that night. She opened her mother’s worn, hand-scrawled recipe book… or she just knew.
She disciplined her children not through twenty books, a Mommy Group Facebook page, and weekly child-rearing emails (all of which I have, by the way… minus 18 books); but by the practices, principles and priorities that her own parents passed down to her.
I could go on and on.
The point is, grandma’s choice of daily activities were conducive to a simpler life.
C.Lawrence and J.P. Stewart, “DR Scott’s Conceptual Framework.” Accounting Historians Journal 20, no. 2 (December 1993): 104