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Archive for January 2012

Are You a Tech-Savvy Grandparent? Not…

 

<Hi nammer this is Mitch>

 

Be still my beating heart!

 

I read the message twice. Oh my goodness, my nine year old grandson just texted me from his mom’s phone. (That phrase “texted me” still “sounds” funny when I say it out loud. I’ll get used to it I’m sure!)

 

I touched letters on my phone trying to compose a readable answer. My fingers refused to cooperate. Why was I hurrying, making mistakes, backspace, backspace,….what should I say?

 

I’ve had unsuccessful, well, more like embarrassing, forays into the “texting” world in the past. One day a young employee of mine was late. I admonished him for not letting me know he wasn’t going to be on time. Sorrowful big brown eyes looked up at me, and he said, “But I did. I texted you.” Oh geez.

 

“Honey, I don’t text! You’re gonna have to call me.” I hated to admit I wasn’t savvy. I didn’t understand the latest technology. Now he knew….the truth….I didn’t even know how to retrieve a text from my phone, let alone send one.

 

Since then, I’ve learned a little and practiced a bit.

 

One, lingering, nagging problem begging for a solution, though, is, how do I remember to keep my phone with me every moment of the day? That silly phone seems quite content to stay buried in the deep dark recesses of my purse where it never makes a peep.

 

And then, when I do think to retrieve it and set it out on the counter, I find myself walking by it several times a day, glancing sideways…checking it….just in case I have a text. BTW (that’s text message code for “by the way”….in case you didn’t know), I learned the “walk by and glance” trick observing expert texters! You can learn a lot by watching people. Of course, some of what you see, you wouldn’t want to imitate.

 

Anyway…..

 

Now, once out in the open, the problem becomes, remembering to find the thing before I leave the house on an errand. My poor phone is like a neglected lover, habitually ignored!

 

I text back…….

<Hi Mitch. How are you? Did you have

basketball practice tonight.>

 

<Yes I had practice>

I’ve read articles warning grandparents if “you want to stay in touch with grandchildren these days, you have to become tech-literate: texting, ichatting, and of course, you must have a Facebook page.” Email is passé.

 

I assumed the article referred to junior high grandchildren, not fourth graders!

 

<Hi nammer Its hay. I love you>

 

And, certainly not first graders…..my seven year old granddaughter Hayley sent me a message! Oh joyous day! Instantly in touch with my grandchildren….even if it’s just a one-line text…. is pure pleasure, especially when we live three hours apart.

 

<Hi Hay. Grandpa and I love you too. What

did you do today>

 

Impressed with my recent texting conversations, I underestimated the shock, the fear that gripped my heart, when my mind wandered off into the land of “curiosity,” and I anticipated the next wave of technology.

 

Oh no, could I possibly successfully negotiate more than Skype, iChat, FaceTime, texting, Facebook, Twitter….is tele-transport on the horizon? Help…who’s gonna help me?

Are your parents or grandparents technologically challenged? How have you been able to help them?

 

I like these websites offering assistance:

 

http://www.teachparentstech.org/

 

(I sent myself a few of these helpful videos…. It’s really a clever format, I just wish they had a “large print” edition..LOL)

 

http://www.webopedia.com/quick_ref/textmessageabbreviations.asp

 

(Very helpful in translating text messages)

 

http://www.aarp.org/technology/social-media/

 

(This site has a section devoted to technology!)

Once in a Blue Moon….A Paradigm Shift.

 

 

 

It has been my tradition since I was in high school to list my goals and resolutions every January first.

 

During the next year, on occasion, I sneak a peek at The List. Pulling it from an obscure hiding place, tucked haphazardly in a drawer, incorporated with miscellaneous receipts, business cards, notes to self, and outdated coupons, I steal a glance at the numbered contents.

 

Yep.

Yep.

Still working on this….

Nope.

Yikes….what made me think this was something I wanted to do?

Oops, forgot about that one.

Should I revise this one?

Ha, ha…

Yep.

Yep.

 

I stuff The List back in the drawer and forget it, but in a few months I retrieve it again for another review.

 

At the end of the year, I fetch The List for the final assessment. With pen in hand, I judiciously, and joyfully cross off those goals and resolutions accomplished.

 

I study the unmarked enumerated intentions.

 

Sometimes I experience remorse. Regret. Wishing I’d had more resolve to complete a task or commit more fully to a resolution.

 

Sometimes I chuckle. I am amused at my own naïveté.

 

I evaluate whether to add the unfulfilled ones to The New List, or trash them.

 

And, on January first, early in the morning, I find a lovely piece of paper, a nice pen, pour myself a cup of tea, and sit down to meditate on the coming year and write out The List.

 

 

I have repeated this process for over fifty years.

 

However, on occasion, Once in a Blue Moon (meaning “rarely”)…..but enough times in my life to recognize it now….I experience a “paradigm shift” creeping, crawling into my mind. Infiltrating my thinking when I am agitated or reflective.

 

Perhaps, because I am in the habit of striving and brawling like a thug to change my circumstances, I am not responsive to a knock upside the head, or a slap in the face.

 

Explosive revelation doesn’t seem to be part of my journey. No burning bushes, or parting of the sea.

 

A “paradigm shift” disclosure that I am able to embrace has come like a caterpillar….in an unhurried, nonchalant but determined forward stride.

 

I realize, in time, but reluctantly, that I must admit my attitude and my thinking need to adjust to a reality I had previously been unwilling to identify as unchangeable.

I was not raised to believe “it is what it is.” I was raised to believe that what “is” can be changed with prayer and hard work. And, while I wholeheartedly subscribe to this view, I have experienced circumstances that are NOT alterable:

 

The responsibility of caring for someone 24/7.

 

The death of an unborn baby.

 

The death of a son.

 

The theft of a trust.

 

The betrayal of a friend.

 

The ravishes of a disease.

 

 

Once I capitulate, once I surrender, once I yield to the understanding of “it is what it is” I am free to let go of the fight to change something outside my ability to alter.

 

2012 is a Once in a Blue Moon kind of year for me.

 

The List is ready. I’ve written down my goals and resolutions, but on this New Years Day, I have no strategies, no plans, no ideas of how to accomplish what I want to do.

 

The List is ready to be superimposed on the “it is what it is” reality page.

 

I will have to adjust, tweak, and rearrange this overlay to accommodate pursuing my intentions on The List.

Of course, the process doesn’t happen in a day. It may take the first six months of a New Year…..but, just as the caterpillar emerges from the cocoon a butterfly, I believe my adjusted reality will allow me to achieve my goals and resolutions.

 

Do you have a List of goals and resolutions for the New Year? Have you experienced a “paradigm shift” recently?

 

Wishing all of you a blessed, joyful, prosperous New Year!

 

Kathryn

http://tea4kate.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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