KICKING IT OLD SCHOOL: AND OTHER THINGS I’M OLD ENOUGH TO SAY
It’s not my birthday, not even close. But with the big Five Oh coming in just over a year, I’ve been contemplating life more than usual. How so many things have and are changing. This past week while making dinner, we reminisced about having to get off the couch, walk over to the TV and manually change the channels. Of course my son had heard this before, but he and most of his generation can’t relate to this. And a rotary phone? What?
I got an email from my mom a couple of weeks ago giving me an update on my grandma, my only living grandparent. She’s not doing so well and I don’t think she’ll be with us much longer. And as I thought about her life, I wondered about all the changes she would have seen in her lifetime. From radio to black and white television, then color TV. From the first phones to cell phones. Not to mention the changes she faced as she moved to Canada to live on a farm and then on to the big city of Vancouver. Looking back, I wish I would have talked to her more about her experiences and how she felt about the world and its fast-paced changes.
I know each generation will have their own stories about new discoveries, inventions and social changes that will happen in their lifetime and how they were affected by them. Some of those stories will probably get an eye roll or two from the new generation: yes, we actually had film in our cameras and had to wait while the pictures were developed; no really, our first video game had a flat white paddle and we hit a pixelated square back and forth over and over again; I had to stick coins into a pay phone to call my folks to come get me from school after practice. And then there will be the more serious stuff about love and loss and how the world seems to be going to hell in a hand basket––and I think these life issues, no matter what generation you’re in, are totally relevant, and in some ways, unchanging.
All of us have some good stories in us. We might think our story is boring. But I’m guessing that someone will be glad you shared the seemingly boring stuff and even some of the tough stuff you’ve gone through. I wish my grandma could tell me about her first boyfriend or what her favorite game was when she was six but I didn’t think to ask. Hind sight and all that…I don’t want to miss that opportunity with the other people in my life.
So maybe its time to tell someone about you and your childhood friend that always got into trouble together, share what you felt during a certain event in history or if you really want to pull out a tried and true cliche, mention how far you had to walk to school and how much snow or rain you had to slog through on the way. Talk about the old music you used to dance to, or the books you used to read, the ones that really got your imagination going, and what about your first pet? Reminisce, kick it old school and don’t be ashamed to do it! Some of us would really like to know.
What’s your story? I’d love to hear about you…
Image note: I shot this in an old school (no pun intended) in Jerome, AZ. It has since been transformed into individual spaces for artists and creatives––used as studios and shops. It was such a cool building that reminded me of my elementary school in Chilliwack, B.C. This is exactly like the phone I used to call my folks on when I needed them to pick me up after whatever practice I was at.