Saturday, August 8, 2009

Hurry Up Patience!

On this hot August Saturday morning, I grabbed a cup of coffee and hopped onto the Internet to check email before making my weekly blog post. “Hopped” may be too bold a word to describe dial-up in a high-speed world. My computer looks like the one on the right in the commercial—the one that has loaded a sliver of data while the one on the left displays a complete picture.

My first introduction to a computer was in 1980 when I was hired to enter customer information on an IBM System 34. I typed data onto a screen, pressed enter, and waited a half minute or so for the information to be added to the file and display the next input screen. It all seemed pretty fast compared to the handwritten sheets we filled out in the subscription department of Full Cry magazine.

My home dial-up has become a virtual turtle in comparison to the high-speed Internet at work. To make matters more inequitable, this week our IT department installed a new Dell computer with two gigantic side-by-side screens. Now I can open up a dozen programs and slide displays around until I can see them all. It makes me feel like an interior decorator. Does my calendar look better here, or here? Oh, heck, I’ll just slide it on across to a different screen.

On my dial-up, I find myself gritting my teeth while I wait for a graphic laden website to load. I remind myself that patience is a virtue, but why can’t it just hurry up?

I’m torn between wanting speediness and longing for a more relaxed lifestyle. This Saturday morning is so different from the days I spent, lying in bed drinking coffee with Jim, waking up slowly and not being rushed to do anything. The two of us would fix breakfast and sit at our kitchen table laughing and making plans.

Of course, as dementia changed the entire fabric of our lives, mornings sometimes started with Jim pouring water into the pot without a carafe to catch the coffee. Or I might wake up and find him missing, jump in the car and drive down the road looking for him. Relaxation changed to stress, and I discovered that for a person without patience, I learned to accept our life’s changes remarkably well. The Serenity Prayer became more than a plaque on my wall.

I was never able to revert to my days of leisurely plans and now have a mental To-Do list that nags me constantly. Sometimes, I have to re-enforce my memory with a written list, an electronic reminder, and sticky notes plastered to everything. I need beeps, bells, and visual aids to keep me moving forward. All I need to figure out now is how to multitask multitasking.

I became a blogger on Wellsphere this week and Wellsphere encourages members to set goals and share those goals with like-minded people. So far, I haven’t set any. My goals are planted in my head and can keep me awake at night with small encouragement. Doesn’t a goal of a more laid-back lifestyle seem counterintuitive?

My brother-in-law, Terry, calls people who are constantly on the go “busybodies.” I find his meaning to be more fitting that the traditional definition of the word. I’ve become a busybody, and don’t have time to be patient. Heaven help me, I have a high-speed mind in a dial-up body!

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Check out my Profile and Blog on Wellsphere! http://www.wellsphere.com/l-s-fisher-profile/143451
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