Here I sit, typing on my brand new Hewlett Packard notebook, having relegated my eight-year-old Acer laptop to the land of outdated, worn out technology. I don’t miss the sound of the Acer’s fan, which has been warning me of its impending demise for several years now. I don’t even miss its extra two inches of screen, because my new laptop’s screen is touch-sensitive . I don’t miss the Acer’s slow navigation of the internet, or its small memory capacity.
But when I first bought the Acer, I thought it was wonderful. It was a huge upgrade from my PC with its gigantic monitor – so much faster, smaller, brighter, convenient. And now it sits beside me on the floor, waiting until I’m sure I have everything from it that I need before I discard it completely. I don’t want to risk finding that I didn’t get all my files copied to the new laptop.
After all, I wrote six books on that Acer, and I paid two hundred dollars more for it than I did for the HP. Technology gets smaller and cheaper the longer we have it. Remember those old eight tracks and the tube TVs?
Sometimes, I feel a little like that Acer. I look back at pictures of my youthful self, and I remember looking at old people, thinking that I would never be like that. When did I stop looking like the me I expect to see in the mirror? Where did all those years go? Now I’m careful when I climb steps, and sometimes my knees hurt. I forget things.
But I’m also free from the incessant concern about whether or not I look pretty. Aging is liberating. I wear comfortable clothes and shoes that are good for my feet. I don’t hold myself to the impossible standard of remembering everything. I admit that I’m not as sharp as I was ten years ago. I now think in terms of the time I have left, and I want it to be meaningful. I still have books to write, music to play, and grandchildren to welcome. And I’m wiser now than I was. I don’t want to waste the remaining years of productivity.
I’ve already outlived Jane Austen by twenty years. She wrote in longhand, while I have this wonderful laptop. She never married and didn’t own a home. Her health suffered due to the primitive state of medicine during her lifetime. I have every advantage, and I refuse to accomplish less than she did.
“So teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” Psalm 90:12