Years ago I had a phone book. It looked like a fabric-covered hardback, divided by letters of the alphabet neatly cut into tabs descending on the paper’s edge. Often the pages were outlined in gold ink. I’d get an updated one every few years and I’d transfer the names, addresses, and phone numbers into my new, usually colorful, phone book. These were also the days in which long distance phone calls were a big deal and we were reminded to speak quickly since we were being charged by the minute. Phones had cords and were strategically placed in one or more locations in our homes. A bygone era. Yes, I have become a senior stereotype.
Yesterday I sent an email, as it seemed easier to document information rather than make a call. However, my contacts, somewhat mimicking a phone book on my MacBook, is not explicit in terms of who has which cell phone number or email. Given my age and my history, I have to relearn to put each individual in his/her/their own contact file. This way I am calling, texting or emailing the correct family member in a given household. There have been more than one occasion in which I sent an unbeknownst partner a text intended for a friend or family member. Oops!
My current contacts deserve an upgrade. There are many repeat inserts, as well as quite a few names I don’t recognize. But it’s tax season and I must focus on that first before tackling the contacts albatross. It’s a daunting task so I’ll be breaking it down one name at a time, breath by breath.
There is no life hack that I know of for having to relearn updated systems. And it’s hard to throw out what we’ve known to take in the new. But as technology continues to move ahead, I don’t want to be left behind. At least I want to stay current on the tools that support my life in the present. To do that, I have to create mental space. The trick for me is to appreciate my memories of things past, telephones on the wall and phone books for example, while not holding onto those memories when I’m learning how to use a new iPhone or edit a PDF file. I’m doing my best to ensure my personal history make way for my present-day life. It comes with mixed success.
- Slowly but surely clean out your contacts. It feels great to search for a name and contact information without a crowded field.
- Identify the items in your life that continue to serve you even as new models get introduced. For instance, some people love their old address books. It’s simple and it keeps things streamlined in these complicated times. What do you still use? I continue to enjoy my compact, one-step coffee maker.
- Remember to acknowledge yourself when you learn a new skill. I will be doing a happy dance once I learn how to insert my comments into my tax PDF file. Hopefully that happy dance will be later today.