Recently I shared with readers that I survived the first 60 hours of life without cable television. Thanks to issues with my internet service provider, I’m getting a crash course in life without the internet as well. Oh, how easily we become addicted to anything that provides instant results!
Life with TV antennas sort of reminds me of the movie “Groundhog Day.” Each day I wake up and reset in hopes of getting a different outcome, aka more channels, but I love the documentaries featuring old black and white film clips and I’ve watched more than a few lately given my limited options. For all you stock market watchers out there who have the exchanges at your fingertips, you may think you are a risk taker, but to paraphrase Jack Nicholson “You don’t know risk!” Our country was built on ambition, guts, hope and prayer, without benefit of the internet, The Weather Channel, a 24-hours news cycle or social media.
For example, how about having to trust a stranger on horseback with a lantern yelling “The British are coming!” Or just enough warning to save your children from an Indian attack by sneaking them out of your home through loose floorboards? Or stepping out on faith, squeezing your family and a few worldly possessions in the old Ford headed for California leaving Oklahoma, literally, in the dust? What a wuss I am!
I’m not facing life and death decisions and even though change tends to make me want to curl up in the fetal position, I am adapting. I’m enjoying the “new” television fare, which in some cases, is the resurrection of really old television fare. I’m letting my “fingers do the walking” again by looking up telephone numbers in what’s left of local telephone books. And I contemplated using a real dictionary but it’s copyrighted 1981 and most of today’s language isn’t in it!
I have, pardon the pun, more “face time” with the Examiner staff now because I actually email them my copy while in their office. I’m also getting more things done around my house now which proves what I’ve known all along - the computer enabled by the internet is a time-stealer. No, I won’t go back to a manual typewriter and carbon paper, but the situation is a reminder not to let the basic skills get rusty.
Taking a page from the 80s and 90s, I worked in Human Resources at a psychiatric and substance abuse facility with lots of educated folks with lots of letters after their name. One day a masters level therapist brought me some paperwork she had typed herself rather than giving it to the unit secretary to do. I must have commented about it, and with what sounded like the voice of experience, Michelle said she makes a point to keep up her typing skills “because in this business, you never know.” She was ready to adapt backward if need be and that’s what I’m trying to do.
I have decided while I may not be able to chase the Frisbee anymore, this is one time when it’s actually good to be an old dog – because the old tricks can come in handy!
Connie Clements is a freelance reporter and award-winning columnist. She writes feature news articles on a weekly basis and an opinion column as the mood strikes her.