Technology Zooms and We are Getting Old

When I was a kid, we had a telephone attached to the wall in the kitchen.  It had a flexible cord on it so you could only walk so far away from the wall.  The phone also had a dial with numbers.  We would use one finger and place it in the hole that corresponded with the number we were dialing.  We then turned the dial for each number.  Somehow, we were able to communicate with the world through that phone.  Back then, we didn’t have to dial an area code.  I guess our world was a little smaller.  Just to reference what I am talking about, think of the song that says; “8675309”.  We were privileged to even have a phone.  Not everybody could afford to have this contraption on their wall.

The world has changed and so has our communication technologies.  We moved forward in the evolution of the phone by getting rid of the dial and making it a push button.  It was so exciting that we could punch those buttons so much faster than dialing.  Still, the phone was attached to a cord to limit our movement while talking.  But, the wheel was set in motion.  The telephone was taking on new qualities that blew our mind away each time something changed.  The phone was still a permanent structure in the home, either anchored to the wall or sitting on a side table.  If you weren’t home and someone called, they would have to call you back later.  There was one other way to communicate via telephone when you weren’t home and that was the telephone booth. There was a slot for dimes, pennies, nickels and quarters.  We would place a dime in the slot and dial a home telephone number.  If the dime didn’t cover the time frame that we were using the phone, an operator would interrupt and tell us to place more money in the slot.  Otherwise, we would be cut off.

Then a new revolutionary idea was introduced.  We called it the bag phone.  This phone was mobile and plugged into the lighter compartment in our car.  It was amazing.  This was considered a new safety measure.  We no longer had to find a telephone booth and get out of the car to call someone if we had an emergency.  We could make our calls from the safety of our own car.  The connections weren’t always the greatest but if you were alone and traveling within a reasonable distance, you could get help if you needed it.

From the time of the bag phone until present the telephone has morphed into an unimaginable contraption.  Our lives will never be the same.  The problem with this upsurge of fast-moving changes is that humans don’t always evolve as quickly as technology does.  The telephone is no longer a telephone.  It is a computer with a camera.  It has maps and talks to you.  You can talk to it and it answers back.  It thanks you for stopping into a McDonald’s Restaurant. How did it know I was in Mcdonald’s?

The smart-phone world is getting more crazy by the minute.  The changes move at lightning speed.  But, as we age, our minds no longer move at lightning speed.  Aging people struggle with all the new technology and get frustrated.  But, I have to say, it can be quite an entertaining experience watching us old folks traverse into the unknown.  For example, my boyfriend is 64 years old.  He has had a flip-phone up until two years ago.  Now he has graduated to a smart-phone.  He doesn’t know what to do with it.  But, he likes that he can say “ok google” and command it to text something or give him the score of the baseball game.  The smart-phone is smarter than he is.  I also have to admit that it is way smarter than myself too.  Last week, he tried to use the camera on the phone.  When he turned on the camera he could only see himself.  But he didn’t want to take a picture of himself, he wanted to snap a photo of something else.  He stared at the phone wondering how to make it flip the lens to take a picture of the outer world.  In his logical aging mind, he decided to turn the phone around and try to look through the lens from the back of the phone just like you would look through the lens using an old camera.  The fact that he even was brave enough to tell me this story had me rolling on the floor laughing.  He just couldn’t figure it out so I had to show him the little icon that switches the lens from selfie to outward camera.  I couldn’t keep this information to myself.  I had to share this hilarious story with everyone I came in contact with.  While sharing the story with my brother, who is also in his 60’s, he told me a story of his own.  My brother was at work and a customer called from overseas, needing help with a machine maintenance problem.  My brother informed him that he would take a picture of a particular machine part and send it to him and they could figure out the problem over the phone. After my brother took the picture, he sent it immediately to the customer.  He followed up and called the man to see what his thoughts were about the picture.  The customer stated that he indeed had received the picture.  He told my brother that although it was a very good photo of him, he really wanted to see the machine part.  My brother didn’t even realize that he took a selfie and sent it instead of the machine part.

My mother is 87 years old.  She has a flip phone for emergencies.  When my sister offered to get her a smartphone, she got scared and said, “No, I don’t want to learn how to use those things.”  The other thing about aging is the fact that after a certain age it is very hard to read from those tiny screens on smartphones.  That is one reason that my boyfriend liked the idea of moving from the flip phone to a smartphone.  He likes that he can talk to the phone to text or call people, simply because he can’t see the tiny numbers and letters on the phone.

My final thoughts on the subject are this:  Just because we are older, we are not stupid.  But, our minds do move at a slower pace than when we were young.  New technology is a scary thing for older people.  Most people are afraid of change but the speed at which these technological changes happen is even more frightening to those of us who are moving along where age is concerned.  If you take anything from this post, please be patient with those of us who can’t text at lightning speed like me.  One letter at a time is all I can do.  Slow and steady is the name of the game.  At least we are trying to move along with the pace of the ever-changing world.

What’s Under the Cover?

Recently, I’ve been hanging around with some awesome ladies.  Some that I have known a while and some new friends.   There are the elderly ones, those of my own age and some younger.  Once again, I become an observer of people who are not what you see visually.  You can look at a person and see an old woman and leave it at that.  But, after taking the time to listen, you find that you can never judge a book by its cover.

For example, I’ve met this wonderful woman, who I have seen before and known her only as a friend’s mother.  I assumed she’s mother material just like all mothers.  Now she’s older and that’s that.  After spending an evening with her, I found her to be spunky, strong, independent and hilarious to be around.  She has lived a hard life of sorts, raising three daughters as a single mother.  She’s worked her whole life in a time when women were considered lesser than men in the workplace.  Now wait a minute, I should say in a time when it was even worse for women in the workplace than it is now.  It still isn’t equal in my opinion. She recounted stories of her working days of how men tried to undermine her because they didn’t want a woman in her particular position.  She’s a soft-spoken woman so you would never think that she would stand up for herself.  But in her soft-spoken way, she handled these men with the might of a warrior.  She put them in their place and would not accept being looked down upon because she was female.  She’s had to be the strong one her whole life and she knows that there are times when men will take advantage of the unassuming old woman who just walked in the door of a car dealership.  They are eventually sorry for their mistaken assumptions when she tells them exactly the way it’s going to be.  They never saw that coming.  The treasures that she has lived need to be shared.  Younger people need to hear her stories because they don’t have a clue about how good they have it now.  It’s so refreshing to see the elderly and realize that were young once, they have lived a life and yes, they know about all the stuff that we think we should shelter them from.

I have a friend who just became a grandmother for the first time.  Her daughter is a hard-working young woman and is just returning to work after being out on maternity leave.  My friend shares the ‘goings on’ of the new young family.  Her son-in-law is not as prepared as he thought he was to be a parent.   The baby was born premature so it has been even more difficult these first few months than with having a full term pregnancy.  With that being said, the mamma has to go back to work and schedules have to be rearranged.  The daddy will need to take a more active role with the baby.  But, as my friend relays to me:  “I think he’s got a screw loose.  He doesn’t have a clue.”  My friend is the easiest going person with a great sense of humor.  The young family is preparing to go on a ‘vacation’ to visit daddy’s family.  As they prepare and begin packing the car, the son-in-law seems not quite up to the task and states, “I am on vacation.”  I had to laugh when my friend told me this story because her eyes got so big as she was telling me this.  Both of us were shaking our heads and almost simultaneously said, “Doesn’t he know there is no vacationing from being a parent?”  Oh My, mister, mister has a rude awakening coming.

A new friend of mine who is around my age, in her fifties, has a remarkable sense of humor and a glorious soul filled with love.  She is the true example of, “When life gives you lemons…”.  When situations get difficult and stress is riding high, her mind just grabs out of thin air the funniest responses.  She told me a story of when her mother was in the hospital after an accident.  She and her sister were in the waiting area of the hospital for several hours.  They both would go in and out of her mother’s room and check on her.  As they were sitting there, someone came out to let them know how their mother was doing and out of the blue, she said, “What are you talking about, our mother is in the room down the hall.  She’s been sleeping this whole time.  We have been checking on this woman because we heard of her troubles and thought we would just wait here and keep an eye on her.”  Of course, she was joking but the attendant didn’t understand and noted how wonderful these two women were for waiting and attending to a complete stranger. This woman makes everything fun and she makes everyone that comes in contact with her feel like family.  She is the most hilarious person to be around.  When I am around her we laugh and giggle and share off-color silliness throughout the day.  This is how she is every day.  I just love being around her.  It’s funny to watch younger women around her respond to her humor.  There’s a younger woman in her 20’s that works with her.  A young person at first doesn’t know how to react to a woman in her 50’s with such a sense of humor.  The younger ones think the 50’s crowd is old and stuffy and that we don’t know what’s what in the world because they are young and they have created everything new.  Hahaha, the joke’s on them because we are the ones who really know how to have fun.  The 20-year-old is now getting used to the silliness and is enjoying every bit of it.  Hopefully, she will realize that us old folks do know a thing or two or three.

I have friends of all different ages and each age group and individual friend has so much to offer this world.  Sometimes I think we should put blinders on when we meet people so that we can’t make a judgment by what we see.  Too many people are missing out on real, meaningful relationships because their vision is so short-sighted.  There are treasures out there but I think we have to close our eyes, open our ears and our hearts so that we can feel the abundance of love that everyone has to offer.  Love comes in all different forms.  The story of a person’s life is a gift of love, knowledge and a new way of envisioning this life.  Grab the jewels and keep them with you forever.  They will enrich your life to the fullest.

 

Hide and Seek

Tired body. Tired mind.

What makes these changes happen?

New season, new beginnings

Where did inspiration run and hide?

Drowning in exhaustive, soul-sucking flutterings of the mind.

No specific logic brings me to this berth.

My distaste for these spells cannot be construed in plausible terms.

I must ride the waves and calmly await the arrival of the moment I seek.

The moment where hidden mysteries of my body and brain become receptive to the musings of creativity and joy.

I sit here underneath the brightly blooming tree and listen for her wisdom and guidance to appear.  She has the answers that I seek and the vitality that I crave.

I know the enthusiasm will return. It will revive my soul as soon as I play hide and seek.

If one seeks, one will find.

 

Timing is Everything

 

 

Timing is a funny thing.  There’s bad timing which creates chaos and good timing which creates opportunities.  Then there is the perfect timing which can easily change the outcome of a situation from disastrous to excellent.

I’ve always taught my kids that if they are with the wrong crowd they can be guilty by association.  When friends make bad choices and you find yourself at the wrong place at the wrong time, you may end up dealing with consequences that weren’t yours to own.  I remember a young teenager who got into a schoolyard fight.  The fight began between two other kids and this teenager didn’t need to get involved.  But, he chose to take the fight to another level and turned the whole thing into a drastic mess.  He chose to be at the wrong place at the wrong time and then he chose to become a part of something that was way bigger than he was.  The fight between the first two kids was over but he created and escalated a new fight.  The victim was seriously hurt and the teenager found himself in jail.

I gave a gift certificate to a young woman for Christmas.  It was for a ceramics studio.  I thought it would be fun to do something together.  After Christmas, we finally went to the studio to enjoy the day and make our ceramics.  We had so much fun that day.  I was trying to decide what piece I wanted to paint, I have a hard time making up my mind, so the young woman was very patient and helped me.  She is very knowledgeable with ceramics and she patiently guided me through the process of picking paint colors and explained to me how the colors must be laid down in a certain order to achieve the correct result.  As we sat and painted, we were conversing with the owner of the establishment.  She took notice of the knowledge and patience that the young woman had given me.  After many hours of painting, the owner came over and handed the young woman an application for employment.  At that time, the young woman was having some struggles at her place of employment.  This opportunity showed itself to her at the right time.  The young woman was open to a new adventure and so she was hired to do a job in a field that she loves.  Surely, this is an example of very good timing.

A woman I know recently had to have surgery.  Everything was in place.  The date was set on the calendar, the pre-testing was finished and the surgery was set to occur.  The night before the surgery, her doctor called her and stated that he was reviewing her pre-testing results and he was not comfortable doing the surgery because there was a greater risk than they had first thought.  He didn’t want to jump into the surgery without further investigation.  The woman went through some additional testing and she and the doctor came up with a new game plan.  Although very serious, the surgery was done in a more non-invasive way, which led to quicker healing time.  Other unplanned things occurred in this process and led to a life-saving intervention. My friend was definitely at the right place at the right time for this situation to happen.  If she had been anywhere else when the complication occurred, she would have died.   If the doctor had not initially reviewed her case, the risk to my friend would have been catastrophic.  All of these steps placed this woman at the right place at the right time.  She had faith and everything turned out better than if she had planned it herself.  Sometimes we don’t know what’s in our best interest and things change suddenly and unexpectedly.  For my friend, this gave her a new lease on life.

When plans change suddenly, it’s best to go with the flow and see where the path takes us.  Timing is everything.

It’s Time to Play

I decided to sit down at the computer and write at this moment.  I have a craving to write something.  I just don’t know what it is yet.  I have to let it simmer for a bit.  “It”, being my writing subject.  Sometimes, I don’t need a subject at all.  Maybe some of you remember the show “Seinfeld”.  It was called the show about nothing.  The show about nothing became a cultural icon.  It seemed that everyone related to the normal daily thoughts and feelings of everyday people.  We were able to laugh out loud because the subjects covered were so familiar to us.  It’s a great feeling to know that so many others are thinking and feeling the same way we are.  It’s comforting  that we are not alone in our madness.

It’s snowing this morning here in New Jersey, United States.  It looks pretty,  but honestly, I don’t know too many people that are happy to see the snow.  It causes disruption for commuters.  Everyone gets in a frenzy when it snows.  They rush to the grocery store to buy milk, bread and eggs.  Lest we starve!  It’s 2 inches of snow, not the end of the world.  Snow silently and peacefully enters our reality, all the while, glittering and sparkling it’s freshness upon the earth’s surface.  The beauty it bestows is celestial.  Adult humans seem to have a tendency to skew reality.  Our perceptions change the actuality of everything.   A small child, on the other hand, can look out the window and see wondrous potential in the falling snow.  Bountiful creations whirl around in their mind of how they can pick up this fluffy white stuff and make anything out of it.

I will call my mother this afternoon, as I do every day.  We will talk about our day and complain about the snow.  Neither one of us has to go outside and trudge through it to get to a designated place of employment but, nonetheless, we will complain that we don’t like the snow.  Doesn’t that sound like madness to you?  I’m shaking my head at my own self.  Where has that child in me gone?  Why can’t I see the beauty that has laid itself before me?

I realize that I have allowed grown up life to skew my perceptions of pure joy.  I can’t see the purity of the falling snow anymore.  It’s time for me to shake it off and get in touch with this beautiful endowment from the heavens.  There is so much beauty here and I have allowed myself to be blinded by past conditioning, pain and suffering.  I have consensually given away my sight so that I might live in fear and anguish.

Today, this moment, I must realign myself with the universe and forget about the past.  I must get myself up and show up with full spirit.  Today, I will play in the snow and enjoy all that it has to offer and I will come out triumphant, if only for a few moments, and feel alive again with the sight of a child.

I find it amazing that I sat down to write with no thought of any subject to write about.  So, I decided to talk about the weather and look where it took me.  I think that’s pretty cool.  I love how things unfold out of our minds if we are able to sit still for a little bit and let it flow.  I’m totally loving this process.

 

 

Despair: There’s a Better Way

 

 

Complacency.

Stuck.  Wandering around aimlessly.

Routine  deadens her inside.  Lack of inspiration and imagination.

Trying to shake it off. Trying to pull herself out of this hole.

What will the catalyst be? The thing that turns it all around.  Where will she look to find it?

Drowning in same old.  Where’s the spark?  The burning desire to catapult her into energy and joy.  Where does she turn, Who does she  turn to?

Sleeping doesn’t give her joy, it only numbs her for a time. She awakens, desensitized of gratefulness to be alive.

She shouts, “Somebody, please show me the way to be happy.  Where are you?”

She’s tired of feeling this way.  She is so damn tired.

She asks, “Where will I find the change that I need?  Where does it come from?  Why don’t I know the answer? ”

Her thoughts are racing . “I cannot help myself.  I need help. I need to find myself.  I need to find love.”

She  closes her eyes,  trying to imagine one thing that makes her smile.

She recalls the feeling of the moonglow on her face and the sense of peace she felt.  Could it be?  Can she bathe in the moonlight tonight?  What will stop her? She knows she can do this.  She can find the energy in herself to do this. This is the night.

Ah, there it is, in all it’s illuminating essence, the glorious moon.  She feels blanketed  in it’s brilliance. Suddenly , she feels protected and empowered.  She has found a new friend.  As she sits and deliberates, she realizes that,  it”s always been there. She acknowledges that she’s  been too locked away inside her grief and torment to notice it.  She feels  such solace from this great ball of light.

Thoughts continue to  whirl around in her mind. “Where does it get this unimaginable power from?  Why am I so effected by it?”

She now visits with the moon each night.  She basks in the serenity it endows her with.  The limited moments that they share are becoming more frequent.

She finds herself enlivened and hopeful.  As she considers their relationship, they’ve become entwined in peace and she searches for it’s source of  power.

Her questions continue:  “What makes it radiate this compelling energy? She sits in deep contemplation and ponders the answer. Her observations show her a better way. “When I sit with it I feel this astounding sense of love.  As we visit with each other more and more and the tremendous love enlightens me, I realize that we share the same source.  Love is the source in it and in me.  The power of the universe lies within all of us.  The source is unconditional love.”

 

The spark that she’s been searching for is unconditional love and it resides within her and the moon and the stars and all things that radiate energy.

She cries, ” I am alive. I am grateful.  I feel joy for the first time in so many years.  I have the source within me.  I am powerful and courageous and full of energy.  If the moon and I share the same source than who am I to question if I am worthy of love.

I am love.  I am filled with the same incandescance as it. Here I am.  Worthy, Conscious, Alive and Grateful for this air that fills my lungs and allows me to share the most precious gift that my friend from above has shared with me.  I am awake now.”

We Actually Like Each Other

 

 

I live with my boyfriend and his 19 year old daughter.  We have a nice, small, cohesive family unit.  We are not an exciting bunch but we do know how to laugh and have fun together.  Yesterday, my boyfriend and I went to the diner for dinner.  It’s a local diner that we often go to and everybody knows everybody.  We had an early dinner, as we usually do, so the diner was empty.  We sat and ate our dinner ,as my boyfriend began to tell me stories of his first job, when he was fresh out of high school.  He described the crazy shenanigans that went on.  He worked with his father, uncle,  brother and cousin.  The young ones would torment their boss and anybody that crossed their paths just for a laugh.  As he told me story after story, I laughed my head off.  We were carrying on at the table and having a great old time.  As we were leaving the diner, we stopped at the counter to pay and the owner was asking about my step-daughter.  You know, the typical, “How is she doing?, Is she working”, and surprisingly, “Would she like a waitressing job?”

I began to give all the details of what she’s doing in her life and how proud of her we are.  After a few minutes of my bragging, I said to them, “Look at me going on about my step-daughter.”  They laughed and said that they thought it was great.  They have often seen us together and commented on their admiration of how good we get along.  As the conversation continued, they both mentioned to me that they thought that my boyfriend and I were a cute couple.  I have never considered us a “cute” couple.  We are 64 and 58 years old.  How “cute” could we be?  They went on to say that,  they observed how we laughed together and that we actually seem to like each other.  That just cracked me up.

Their statement made me think about when I was married to my first husband.  We would sit in a restaurant and I would observe other couples eating and conversing and laughing.  I always wondered what they were talking about because we never did such a thing.  I didn’t realize then that, that was the way it was supposed to be.  It’s sad to think,  at that time in my life, that I didn’t know that couples were supposed to have fun together.  Unfortunately, that marriage ended after nine years.  On the upside,  it was an educational period for me.  I am grateful for the lessons learned from that marriage.

As I left the diner last night, I was smiling.  I got in the car and told my boyfriend what our friends had to say.  It is a treasured endowment to realize that my life has changed and evolved into a healthy and satisfying experience.  Gone are the days of constant struggle and strife in a relationship.  We have been together for 14 years and have learned to communicate with one another through good and bad.  That’s why we have so much fun.  We feel free to divulge our thoughts and feelings without judgement from each other.  We’ve learned to work through the distressing times and to respect each other throughout the process.

As a family unit, we engage in silliness and laughter.  We enjoy each others’ company within the home and when the three of us go out together we always have a great time.  Life is good when a person can finally grow and learn to laugh at themselves.  Laughter is the best medicine and although it’s not always time to laugh, it’s always time to enjoy and respect each others’ presence.