A Retrospective Look

When I look back over my life, I can’t see me  settling down. Feelings of satisfaction and completion are at war with feelings for more. My kids are grown and, by my standards, successful. My husband of these last 100 years seems content to stay with me. I enjoy my home, family, and friends. I have a lot to be thankful for and yet when I see the opportunities that exist for young people, today, I’m envious. They still have time to make their dreams a reality. I’m curious why some seem to throw their time away.

time flying

On July 4th, my niece, who works for Google, explained that some of their engineers are self-taught. They learned to code from reading books. Right away, I visualized myself coding, and I wrote a note in my iPhone to buy a coding app and get some books on coding from Amazon. One of my nephews came over from the kitchen where he’d been stuffing his face, and listened. The others seemed to not care that
this lucrative career could be had for the time it took to learn it. Were they afraid of coding? Did it seem too hard?

I am thankful, looking back, that I wasn’t afraid to learn technology. Back then, a lot of adults my age were afraid. However, teaching high school journalism and laying out the school newspaper and yearbook at the advent of desktop publishing eased that fear. R. R. Donnelley & Sons donated a ton of used equipment and software to our school and someone had to learn MS DOS and Macintosh computers to use them.

Besides editing skills, desktop publishing taught me to count picas, and learn kerning, leading, and tracking. There were other technical things I’ve forgotten over the years as I progressed along the career path. Now, with modern software, these things are done for you. I learned on my own and I miss the old Page Maker, Illustrator, and early versions of Microsoft Word that made you layout pages and solve problems on your own.

Anyway, I digress. My original topic was ignorance of what I did so much of that I can sit at home now and do nothing. I might have been a district English Coach helping Language Arts teachers strive to make “No Child Left Behind” succeed in their schools. I may have assisted principals who strove to become better instructional leaders and data analysts. Yet, I still feel like I should’ve reached higher. In my Marlon Brando voice, “I could’a been a contender!”

giphy-tumblr

Please understand that this is personal and in no way reflects anyone’s choices or outcomes except mine. Don’t be bothered by this. Know that there are men who do, or did, nothing but bounce balls and make tens of millions each year. They certainly aren’t bothered. I just wonder if anyone else, at the end of the day, is still striving for more. If so, what are you doing? If not, how did you turn it off?

 

 

 

 

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Author, blogger, gardener, great cook, and supporter of independent writers. One mystery novel, The Neon Houses, http://amzn.to/2kSqdPX.

16 thoughts on “A Retrospective Look

  1. Wonderful pondering post, Linda. The happy life is ever-expanding. Codecademy may be for you: https://www.codecademy.com/ And then there’s the Rosetta Stone language-learning app, which I am considering. To me, writing/blogging/website stuff is highly engaging and meaningful. I like the behind-the-scenes complexity and problem-solving. If I was working for a boss, I’d be fired by now… so many digital misadventures… ahhh, the freedom and the fun!

    But I don’t envy young people their technological opportunities too much, as all that could be ripped from their grasp. The climate crisis, alone, will present multi-faceted upheavals to normal living. Re-learning old technologies may be the new groove … churning butter, spinning wool, growing tomatoes… Our generation benefited from a democratic American Dream in tandem with computer technology and a free Internet. I hope all that hasn’t peaked out.

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    1. Loved your comment, JoAnn! Thanks for the tips. I’ll look into them. Your thoughts on relearning old ways is right on point. And I don’t doubt that some Trumpian somewhere is plotting to monetize access to the internet! There’s too much money going out into the cloud. Thanks, as always, for your views.

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  2. Hello Linda! Great food for thought here. I often think about what could have been if I had the opportunities that kids have today. There seems to be a myriad of young people in their late teens, early twenties who can’t seem to figure out what they want to do with their lives. When I see my niece, a straight “A” student who graduated at the top of her class, uncertain of what she wants to do, it drives me crazy. She can be anything she wants and there are so many avenues she can take. Could it be that nowadays they have too many options?
    Anyway, the only regret I have is that I didn’t figure out I was meant to be a writer until later. I wish I had known in my teens or early twenties. I guess I can’t regret my years in the medical field either. I helped many and I was able to build a good life for myself and my family. In the end, I believe everyone’s job is important and every job, if it’s lawful, is a good job. If we were all doctors, lawyers, architects and astronauts this word would be in chaos. 😉 xx

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  3. Loved this post Linda:) The take I got was to embrace your curiosity and jump in. Don’t let anything stop you no matter what. There is much to do and to learn. It doesn’t matter what age or abilities one has!

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  4. This is such a beautiful post, Linda. You should never feel that you have to apologize for wanting to reach for more in life. It doesn’t matter how old we get, there will always be something new we can learn; something that will challenge us. We are so fortunate to live in such a progressive age. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Don’t let anything hold you back. Dare to dream!

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  5. I think that with the advent of so many people living longer and the expectation that significant numbers of people will live to their 90s or to be 100, we need to rethink retirement at sixty. I retired but now I am looking to do something new, so qI am reading books and determining what I can start to do. Starting the blog was new for me, and I am still trying to determine how to get more people to read it, so still learning about blogging. I don’t think there is anything that we are too old for, as long as our bodies are okay with it, but, of course, I will not try ballet at my age. I think that the baby boomers are rewriting what it means to be old and to retire. Regina

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  6. Your post made me smile in acknowledgment and understanding, Linda. Every step of my crazy journey through this amazing thing we call life has given me an insatiable hunger for knowledge. Each new fact became an entree in my incomplete menu. The tools of this technological rainbow of a world we now live in helped push me forward into the next stage of my adventure. Not a day passes when I don’t find something new to add to my life’s dictionary. My health forces me to appreciate every small moment, every laugh shared and every start of a new day. For whatever time I am gifted I will continue to learn and hope that as a result I may grow as a human being and as a writer. Thank you for sharing with us this insight into your journey.🦋

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  7. Interesting post, Linda. In my mind, one can be whatever one puts their mind to being. Your coding example is perfect. Sure learn it. I have had three careers prior to my fourth as a writer (which I started at 71) In each, I learned entirely new skills and was fully engaged until it was clear there was no more to do. My last, I could have kept working but I had achieved every goal and it seemed pointless. I am currently trying to increase my writing skill and am trying new genres and Points of View. I don’t think I will ever accomplish all my goals so there will be no need to start over again. Thank you for the thoughtful post

    Liked by 1 person

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