CarolAnn and I just sent a birthday gift to our daughter-in-law, Emily. Took just thirty seconds to pick it out and ship it. ?
Gift giving isn’t what it used to be and a lot of us old geezers are highly annoyed by it. Back in the day we’d think about it a lot and then head out to the mall to find the perfect gift for that special someone. Then we’d go home and gift wrap it. If that person lived far away we’d package it and take it to the post office. The whole process could take half a day or more but it was gratifying. It was fun to think of our loved one opening the pretty package and being surprised and delighted by what was inside.
Sending a gift card via email as I just did takes no time at all. No thought. The efficiency of it is undeniable and that doesn’t mean we love our daughter-in-law any less, of course. It just means another tradition has fallen to our modern addiction to efficiency.
We don’t write letters anymore. Heck, most of us don’t even bother with email anymore. We text. We tweet.
Occasionally we use our phones as phones and actually talk with each other but that’s starting to seem like a special occasion these days. I’ve even started texting people to make an appointment to talk with them on the phone. No kidding.
Here’s what I think:
I think adapting to change is difficult as we get older but our only alternative is to refuse to change. Those who do that just sit on the porch and watch life pass by without even bothering to wave to them.
I think wistful longing for the past is natural and fine in small measure. Nostalgia is warm and comforting but it’s no way to live.
I want to keep learning to keep living. These days I find I’m constantly learning from my children. And why not? We taught them the ways of the world with hope they’d make it better. I think they’re doing that, even if we don’t always understand or like the changes.