It started with making hazelnut milk. Or maybe it started with the "Whole30". Or maybe it started with a putrid feeling as toxic as the political season (that's a discussion best saved for another time).
So there I stood at the kitchen counter, squeezing hazelnut "milk" from a "nut bag" (I swear it's really called that. I also swear that I snicker like a ten-year-old boy whenever I say it). As the milk streamed across my yeah-I-know-I-need-a-manicure fingers I had the thought as to why the hell would anyone ever buy any kind of nut milk when it is so ridiculously simple to make, and so much better tasting?
So there I (still) am, at my kitchen counter, posing the question to myself, and the ensuing conversation (with myself) went something like this:
Me: Why the hell would anyone ever buy this stuff? It's so simple to make.
Myself: Well maybe they wouldn't buy it, and they'd make it at home, but when they went to Starbucks they'd order nut milk then.
Me: The coffee at the Starbucks down the hill sucks. Why do even buy coffee there? I have a coffee company as a client, and I can always get great beans from them, and make it at home. And it's summer now, so I can make cold brew and keep it in the fridge. (I tend to ramble when conversing with myself)
Myself: Starbucks is so convenient though.
Convenient? Thus began the Grand Prix of thought processes—this fallacy of convenience.
According to the Oracle (otherwise known as Google) convenience is defined as, "the state of being able to proceed with something with little effort or difficulty." In the case of my attempt to justify (to myself) buying nut milk, or purchasing coffee from Starbucks, I realized that proceeding to buy a coffee at Starbucks or to purchase nut milk very rarely requires little effort or difficulty—there's a car ride, lines, waiting, and the ensuing dissatisfaction that I just spent $4 on something that never tastes better than when I make it myself.
It also applies elsewhere. Take shopping for example. In my childhood stores were closed on Sunday. Being that this was also before the Internet was, you know—a THING—people were often found pursuing actual interests on a Sunday without a selfie or post to validate it. The other thing people did was spend time with other people, and I shit you not, NOT CHECKING THEIR PHONES the entire time. (Seriously, you under 30s—refer to the 80s. Wait, maybe not. The 80s—like Terminator—were the birth of Trump in all his Trumpiness).
So back to this question of convenience. It's not a stretch to presume that convenience should result in more time for other things. After all convenience implies simplicity, a removal of road blocks to get to an end result (be it a $4 cup of coffee or nut milk) quickly and simply.
From Starbucks, to Google, to Netflix, to Amazon Prime we are a society that is teeming with convenience. And to what end? What is the end result of this abundance of convenience? More time to play? To read? To take photos? To spend time with friends and loved ones? To cook? To make love? To engage in politics? To volunteer? To be still and contemplative? To sing bad 90s songs (Wallflowers. "One Headlight". #IHaveNoShame)?
Nope. We're so consumed with convenience, that we rush around for it. We're so consumed with convenience that we justify it as a means to make more time for...work.
Hear me out. Think about the last time you did something for the sake of convenience. Did you save that time for an actual experience that would enrich your life? Or did you do it to: get to work earlier? Send another email? Stay later? Work through lunch? $5 says convenience=more time to work.
Back to the Hazelnut milk. Which was AWESOME (as was the cashew milk I made the week after; and required no nut bag <snicker>)! Because I made it, and because it was so damn good, I found myself savoring that coffee (that I brewed) so I could put the hazelnut milk in it, which led me to sitting at the table and savoring that said coffee with awesome hazelnut milk, and breakfasting with said loved one, and not having heartburn because I took the time to enjoy that coffee with the awesome (cannot be expressed enough) hazelnut milk that I made. And you know what? I wasn't rushing around, nothing collapsed at work. As a matter of fact I worked out more, was more focused, and had an extremely productive week both personally and professionally.
The moral of this self-dialogue (you say rant, I say self-dialogue—potato. patato)? Convenience is a fallacy found at drive-through windows. Convenience is a flat-out lying sack of crap that is sucking your time away from your life.