On this date in 1984, Apple computers unveiled their first Macintosh personal computer. Always a little techno-challenged, it took me six years to bring home my first Mac, a “Classic,” with a 9” screen and a slot for 3.5” “floppy” disks.
I was forced into the computer age kicking and screaming and resisting all the way. I sincerely thought I’d be long retired before I “had to” learn to use the mechanical abominations that threatened to take over the world as we knew it.
But once I stopped resisting (resistance was truly futile!), I began to see just how “enhanced” my life could be with the Information Super Highway at my fingertips. Now I can’t imagine my life without a best friend named Google.
As it turns out, since the first “Jonathan A. Macintosh” entered my life, I’ve “upgraded” my computer system every seven years, and it’s always been a Mac for me. And no, I do not get any kind of kickback by saying so. They’ve served me well, and if it ain’t broke, I ain’t about to rock the boat, mixed metaphors notwithstanding!
Technology changes so fast, the first computer I brought home was nearly obsolete by the time I got it out of the box. Today I’m content to simply “know what I know,” and let the rest go. I’m just grateful I got on board when I did!
It’s been a month now since the winter solstice, and already I’m feeling a lot better. I’m just not one who handles the dark side of the seasons all that well. Combine it with illnesses and deaths of several friends and it’s enough for me to pull my head firmly back inside my shell to wait for spring.
It’s an odd juxtaposition. I’d wager that no one I know loves Christmas more than I do, and yet I often feel periods of sadness and loneliness during the holidays.
As I wrote last fall, it “could be” a bona fide case of SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder, or, as I’m admitting now, it “could be” that all my life my expectations have fallen fall short of even the lowest bar.
I’m the gal who delights in all the lights, the carols, the ribbons and wrappings. And yet throughout my adult life, despite decorating my home to the hilt and inviting everyone I know to come celebrate the season with me, I’ve never experienced the Christmas I longed to have.
I wonder why that is?
Over the years I’ve pondered quite a few possibilities, but I guess it’s destined to remain a mystery. Perhaps I was just born a few decades too late for all the joyous folderal I crave. Perhaps others have either lost or “outgrown” their ability to enjoy happy and fun “mature” play dates.
I’d really love to spend the season dressing up in sparkly duds and going from party to party, but I’m the only one I know who continues to throw lavish get-togethers. Last year was number 30 for my annual bash, and every year, while cleaning up the aftermath, I wonder if there will be another. Will I, too, give in to predominant Grinchhood?
Not likely. Already in my bones I can feel the days getting longer, and with that comes the return of my generally optimistic and sunny attitude. Perhaps we should counterbalance SAD with “HAPPY,” which could encourage us to have a “Hopeful and Particularly Positive Year,” despite the light and dark of it.
On January 9th, I wrote a blog about the passing of my friend Jack. It was a hard piece to write, and the tears flowed while I typed the story of our 37-year friendship, with a 30-year gap in the middle, and how just when we reconnected, he died.
Thanks to my tech guy Rick, my blog is automatically posted to my Facebook page at 6:30 a.m. on the first of the month and on all days that can be divided by three. The lead photo appears, along with the first few lines of the entry. To read “the rest of the story,” one must click on the link and go to my actual blog site.
Unfortunately, not a lot of people follow the link. And while I certainly understand the demands on our “free time” to read, and also the fact that our overall attention spans apparently grow shorter with each passing year, there’s a burr under my saddle here.
On Facebook, I’ve been receiving comments that have NOTHING TO DO with the point of the blog entry. “Readers” who read only the first couple lines are keying on that and posting things that are not only incongruous, but downright silly.
Case in point: To introduce the blog about Jack’s passing, I used the Latin phrase “Requiescat in pace,” and segued into the root meaning of mortal, mortuary, and remorse, before telling of my deep sense of loss.
People who scanned only the first few lines on the RSS feed made comments about learning LATIN, and not about my friend’s untimely death.
So I’m throwing out a challenge; it will be our little inside joke. If you read this far, and you got here by coming in from the Facebook link, please go back to Facebook and type in the last letter of your first name in the comment space. Nothing more, just the last letter of your first name with no explanation at all.
It’s a social experiment (Facebook does them all the time), and I’m just curious to see what will happen. Mum’s the word, though. Please don’t share or give it away. Let’s just see what kinds of crazy stuff is posted.
If you want to make other comments, feel free to write them HERE.
I’m not so much “into” the legislated (contrived) 3-day weekends. Maybe it’s because I now work for myself, and I can take a day off any time I want to. (Or four or five in a row, but let’s not get distracted here…)
Martin Luther King, an indisputably great man, was born on this date, January 15th, and the federal holiday celebrating his birth is annually “celebrated” the third Monday of the month, despite what date it lands on.
Presidents’ Day works the same way. (Note: The apostrophe goes after the “s” because it’s a day that belongs to more than one president.) This federal holiday is on the third Monday in February, giving federal workers a guaranteed three-day respite in two consecutive months.
To create Presidents’ Day, they took away both Lincoln’s and Washington’s individual birthdays and lumped them in together with the rest of the American head honchos. So now there’s a holiday, of sorts, to “honor” one guy in January and nearly 50 presidents altogether the next month.
Seems a little inconsistent.
So why not have something like a “Civil Rights Leaders’ Day” in January? (Again, the apostrophe goes after the “s” in leaders.) Then we could make a legal fuss over all the guys and gals who stand up for what’s morally and ethically right, regardless of their color or gender.
It’s just a thought, but one I’ve held for a long time, throughout my 30 years in the classroom, and today I decided to stop keeping it to myself and to go public with my opinion, although it may not be particularly popular with certain portions of the population. (Sorry, Oprah, and Happy Birthday on January 29th!)
Free at last!
It’s been a long haul, and both Rick and I are weary of the whole hospital scene; Rick certainly much more than me. Since August 12, 153 days ago, he’s spent most of 112 days as a 24/7 inpatient. In December he was transferred to a physical rehab center on a Tuesday, spent one full day there, and landed back in the hospital ICU the next day, which happened to be Christmas.
We were both hoping in September that by Christmas things would be vastly different, but you play the cards you’re dealt.
Rick tried to do the physical therapy at home, but was less than successful, and it resulted in a fall that landed him back inside OHSU after 40 days at home. He wasn’t at the rehab center long enough to do even one repetition of the exercises they planned for him.
So today at 11:30 a.m., Rick is being transferred back to the rehab center to work on his PT. His heart pump is doing very well, and he just needs to strengthen his legs so he can function at home alone, self-sufficient and ready to take on the world. (Note: I used the word “just” on purpose!)
That’s the plan, and by gosh and golly, this time we’re sticking to it!