Roxanne Tellier: Loving and Hating Change

 

january roxanne

angry_old_ladyI’m still hating my computer ‘upgrade’ from XP to Windows 7, and it’s attendant insanities. I’ve gone from feeling reasonably fluent with computing, to screaming “Get off my lawn!” type statements at the monitor screen.

It doesn’t help that I’ve also lost access to my previous Word editor, and am now learning how to use Open Office. Picasa, the photo editor I use, was also ‘upgraded’ during this time, and it, too is being very temperamental. It seems like there is very little software that hasn’t changed across the board with Windows 7. And I’m hating it.

changes exitI’ve always considered myself pretty comfortable with change; I try and greet each new day and adventure with an open mind and heart, and see what wonders lie in store. I don’t always succeed, but I do try. Being so uncomfortable with how I’m computing feels foreign, and unnerving. Is it a sign of getting older? Or just a general frustration with a world that may be becoming increasingly faster paced in a race for “change for change sake?”

I’m sure that our kids laugh at our aversion to change; how funny is it that mummy and daddy can’t relate to social media, and jump on whatever new

fad comes along … be it Pinterest, Twitter or Vine? Middle aged adults are now the biggest demographic on Facebook, as fickle teens and young adults move to SnapChat, Kik, WhatsApp and the Facebook owned Instagram. They don’t want their parents monitoring what they’re up to – what teen ever did? – and they certainly don’t want to be in the position of having to unfriend Grandma.

facebook changesThose of us who have embraced Facebook as a way to keep in touch with friends and family decry every change that is made to the look and feel of the website. Everyone has their pet peeves and opinions on how the site could be better utilized. Why can we not search for words or phrases instead of just other user names? Why can’t we create groups of Facebook friends, so that we can more easily invite others to our events? Why does Facebook allow blatantly racist and homophobic pages, while deleting pictures of women breastfeeding? And why oh why does Facebook constantly tweak how we see their pages?

Change may be inevitable, but it’s how we react to change that determines our outlook. We look back to the past with rose-coloured glasses, completely forgetting that the music might have been great, but the times were not good for women, people of colour, the follicularly challenged, or draft aged young men. And the music so entwined with our memories was wafting into the you that was young, healthy, and looking to get laid. Much of the nuances in lyrics or music were embraced by our much less sophisticated selves, not yet overloaded with decades of input.

conspiracy theoriesThere comes a time when it’s just easier to keep on doing what you’ve done before, rather than embrace new ways of doing, seeing or hearing things. It can happen at any age – I’ve known 21 year olds that are already set in their ways, while my 84 year old friend is cuckoo for computers. We can only cherry pick so many of life’s goodies before we need to interact with people who do or think things differently than ourselves. Interacting with people of all ages and interests is what makes for lively discussions and opportunities to learn beyond what we have accessed in our own worlds. Yes, some people out there are wearing tinfoil hats, but they are still part of the world we live within.

part of the problemDoes our reaction to change have anything to do with our perception of how quickly time seems to be passing? The sense that we’re falling behind in reacting to change is not about ageing, it’s about living in a society that is on constant high alert, with all forms of media racing to tell us the latest scandals. We’re more aware of Kim Kardassian‘s wedding to Kanye than we are to the realities of income equality, homelessness and world nutrition. The minute something happens, it flashes on our screens, and becomes high drama. And it just as quickly fades away, to be replaced by the next hot piece of news. Whether it’s happening half way around the world, or in our neighbourhood, we’re made to feel like we’re in the centre of the universe. But in actual fact, we’re just being fed information that’s more likely to keep us stressed and mainlining cortisol.

goldfish emailOur attention spans are dropping like a stone, from an average of 12 seconds in 2000, to 8 seconds in 2013. A goldfish has an attention span of 9 seconds. And to further put that in perspective, in 1960, the average attention span of a person working on something was 20 minutes. The average number of times per hour an office worker checks their email inbox is 30. The increase in external stimulation is impairing our ability to concentrate on important matters, and to focus long enough to achieve goals, or to make positive changes in our lives. Which is absolutely great news for shady politicians, but not so good for our collective future.

We’re constantly assimilating new information, new technology, new buzzwords. If we’re slow to adapt, we are often made to feel old and feeble. Is 38 old? Is 50? Is it really necessary to be aware of every passing fad?

I’m currently dealing with quite a lot of change, and yes, it’s unnerving.  It’s  not just the computer issues; I’m in an “everything is everywhere” state of mind. Getting a house ready for be kindersale is a lesson on change … you find that things that were once important have become obsolete, and the cost of replacing items that once were cutting edge with newer and possibly less efficient versions is high. The stress of sorting through the detritus of a life is terribly high; ask anyone who’s had to deal with me while I make decisions of what stays and what goes. When you find yourself pushing back against the thought of relinquishing a dollar store item, you know you’ve got to be a little softer on yourself.

There’s always a part of every human being that wants things to stay the same, but somehow be better. But we can’t move on with our lives while standing in one place. We can’t cling to our memories of the way things once were, while trying to be wholly viable in our current lives. Change, although it can be painful, is how we alter our old selves to become – hopefully – better people, and to create a more satisfying experience. Too much of our time is spent reacting to change imposed upon us externally, seemingly at the whims of others. We need to roll with the punches to be able to do what is necessary and essential. “Changes are taking the pace I’m going through.”

= RT =

Roxanne’s column appears here every Sunday 

Contact us at dbawis@rogers.com

DBAWIS ButtonRoxanne Tellier has been singing since she was 10 months old … no, really. Not like she’s telling anyone else how to live their lives, because she’s not judgmental, and most 10 month olds need a little more time to figure out how to hold a microphone. After years of doing things she didn’t want to do, she’s found herself working with a bunch of crazy people who are as batshit crazy and devoted to music as she is, and so she can be found every Monday at Cherry Cola’s, completely unable to think of anything funny to say, as the co-host of Bob Segarini’s The Bobcast. Come and mock her. She’s good with that. And she laughs. A lot. But not at you.

 

 

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