“Hello… Hello… Is anybody there?” I often hear this refrain from my Mom who just can’t seem to figure out ‘call waiting.’ I put it on her phone so that she would never miss an important call (from me) while chatting with her friends. I might need to tell her that I’ll be home late or that they didn’t have the library book she asked me to pick up for her and is there a second choice on her list. But if she’s going over the crossword puzzle answers or debating politics for the umpteenth time with her friends then I better just give up and come home (of course then she’ll tell me she was worried sick and why didn’t I call).
There’s been a fairly contentious TV battle going on in our home, too. We have several TVs (one in each room not including the bathrooms) so it’s not like you’re outta luck if one of them goes dark. I have repeatedly shown my mother the art of HD and explained that the HD TV does not respond as well on standard channels so just add 500 to all your favorites and the TV will be your new best friend. Simply waiting for a service call is, obviously, not an option.
I’ve long since lost the ‘computer’ war with my folks but that doesn’t mean they don’t see the good that my having one does them (in full disclosure, I don’t actually have one either because I do all my business on my phone).
“Ellen, what is 10 across and 29 down – can you look that up for me?”
“Ellen, can you deposit this check for me and check my bank balance?”
“Ellen, can you get me a digital coupon for this week’s shopping?”
And so on and so on…
The bottom line, clearly, for them is that THEY don’t need to have a computer because they have ME!
Some people are hell bent on working themselves to death. They either have no life outside of work or have chosen to make their job their first priority.
For the rest of us, we struggle to find a happy medium. We put equal time into building our careers and our lives outside the office. We live, we love and we succeed.
Sometimes, if we’re very lucky, we can have it all. And, if even luckier, we can have it without really trying. That’s how I choose to think of my time with my parents. It’s not that it’s easy – because it’s not. But, knowing how much it means to them, that makes it just a bit less hard.
I see my parents struggle on a daily basis. Sometimes even the simplest task can be so frustrating. So I step in. Willingly. And that is my greatest gift to them – that I can find the time and the patience and the humility to help them out, oftentimes, without being asked!
I grew up with a brother who was colorblind so I’m slightly accustomed to the ‘odd’ pairings of colors. It’s not a monumental faux pas to wear a blue shirt with black pants and brown shoes. It just wouldn’t necessarily be someone’s first choice of wardrobe. Hopefully.
Occasionally, an elderly person walking around this community might be spotted wearing a polka-dotted shirt with plaid pants or the dreaded knee socks with sandals. There’s simply no good reason for that. Even age doesn’t give you a free pass…
But when you start deliberately mixing colors that are so off the spectrum of what should go together, it’s like you’re trying to start a full-blown fight instead of a conversation. I’m all for new trends and ideas and I can totally accept change. But unless your ‘new color scheme’ is aesthetically pleasing to my eye (and to others), I’m going to go full-out PC on you and ask, “what color’s that?”
We all have choices to make in life. Some of us tend to blame anyone and anything else but ourselves for OUR choices. It’s the American way.
If we take a ‘short cut’ home that ends up taking twice as much time, it’s the fault of the poor schmuck who drove into the tree to avoid hitting a deer.
If we smoke cigarettes or over-eat (ignoring all health warnings), it’s the fault of the manufacturers who make the products and force them into our mouths.
If we use artificial preservatives or coloring or anything outside of nature that poisons our insides, it’s the government’s fault for making those items cheaper or more readily available than their natural counterparts.
So, in conclusion, continue to eat, drink, smoke and consume massive amounts of chemically-altered products, of your own free will, knowing full well that there will always be someone, somewhere, that you can place the blame on!
As I was swimming my daily laps in the pool this morning, I was thinking ahead to all the things I planned on doing over this holiday weekend. My first thought was of attending as many street/town/county fairs as humanly possible. I just love those – especially, as a crafter myself, enjoying seeing all the amazing crafts people create.
My second thought was about all the sales there would be in stores. I have no intention of putting myself in the middle of all that craziness – both the traffic and the people who truly believe they will be getting some kind of bargain. But, also, there’s the fact that having all those people working on the holiday kind of defeats the purpose of celebrating the holiday, doesn’t it?
So there’s the real dilemma. To work or not to work. If you need the income or don’t care one way or another then it’s your choice to work. If you feel more strongly about not working, then that is your choice as well. Either way, stores will voluntarily open or close, people will barbecue or shop or just relax and enjoy the last remnants of summer with friends and family.
For my parents, it’ll be just another day following just another weekend. They will most likely keep to their daily routine and maybe, just maybe, think back to their younger, carefree days or to their years of hard work and, hopefully, feel a sense of accomplishment for lives well lived!