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.
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!”
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?