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Sun, Sept. 22

Older Than Dirt: You Can Keep the Change - Well, Some of It

Is there really always room for change? Sister is very stubborn about most things. Once she makes up her mind about something, she is usually pretty much stuck!

I have tried to get her to try new things but it is never easy. We have both been slow with technology. I was the very last person in our family to get a cell phone, and still can't program any numbers in it by myself. I can, however, push the button for those phone numbers that are in it, as well as 911. I am pretty sure the only reason I got one was that my son worried when I was out and about by myself. I believe at one time he suggested I get micro-chipped in case of an emergency. (The vet said that this was not an option.)

Sister has relied on me to handle most things. Why would she need to carry a purse, as long as I have one? She doesn't need a cell phone as long as I have mine. She doesn't even answer the house phone most of the time. She does use the "old lady" voice when she is asked to do something, herself.

As we get older, it is difficult to change our longstanding habits. Keeping an open mind about things is not easy for some.

Sometimes we are just forced to move ahead whether we want to or not. I am still not sure that I would have gotten a cell phone, until I began to notice all the public telephones were disappearing. Along with the mail boxes. Recently, one of my brothers asked me to look up something in the phone book. Phone book? This is the brother who is not computer literate, of course. I had to explain to him that phone books are a thing of the past. The last one we had went directly into the recycle bin. It was only about an inch thick.

I believe that perhaps one reason why the post offices seem to be in trouble just might be because of all the alternative ways that people can communicate. Not only does hardly anyone send letters through the mail anymore, but now they can do most of their Christmas shopping online. It is really easy to buy presents and have them delivered by whomever you are buying them from. And they will wrap them and send them directly to the gift receiver, for you. Most of them do not even charge for shipping.

I think that sometimes we do wish that things could just stay the same. That way we wouldn't have to learn anything new. Learning new things can be a bit of a challenge as we age. However, the rewards can be great!

Personally, there are still a few things I can't do even if I wanted to. Texting! When your hands are the size of boxing gloves, and you add a pinch of arthritis to that - just try and hit one letter at a time. Hah! Besides, I still like to hear the voice of whomever I am talking to.

I remember when one of my relatives first told me about Facebook. I checked it out and I think I said something like, "Are you kidding? That is way too complicated for me." Now, I can't imagine myself without it.

Now that a postage stamp is about 50 cents, it is nice to be able to exchange photos, birthday wishes, etc via e-mail, Facebook and so on. You can wish your loved ones who are scattered in many states a Merry Christmas without spending more money on stamps than cards.

Thanks to the division of Ma Bell, we can now make unlimited long distance calls if we like. I remember when it cost so much to call someone long distance, we often waited for a holiday to do so. If you bundle all your services like phone, computer and television you can darn near call for free!

I have to admit there are still many things I am reluctant to change. I refuse to do my own "checking out" at the grocery store. I still like having a store person do it. I still use a desktop computer even though a lap top is probably more convenient. I still pay my bills by mail, even though my bank wants me to do it online. I still wear the same clothes that I have had for about three years. (This is the first time I have worn the same size for that long!) I have had a DVD player for more than five years (courtesy of my son) and still have not learned how to use it. I refuse to let anyone cut my hair for me, and I still insist on doing my own fingernails.

Yes, I am often the first one to reassure others that change can be good, and we should not be afraid of it. Perhaps I need to practice what I preach.

Trying new things is a lot like feeding peas to a baby for the first time. They make some pretty weird faces, but eventually they learn to like them.

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