It’s the only thing that works for me – visualization. When I really don’t want to go to the gym and even putting on workout clothes to shame myself doesn’t do the trick, I think of the pole vaulter. He stands there with pole held in starting position. He’s all dressed and ready to go, but not yet. First he visualizes himself springing into that first step, then the next and the next and finally he sees himself planting the pole and rising in the air. You see the mental preparation in his eyes as they switch focus. And then he takes off.
That’s exactly what I have to do. I see myself getting my yoga bag ready, putting it in the car, backing out of the driveway, pulling into the parking lot, checking in at the desk and entering the darkened yoga studio. I CAN DO THIS! And it usually works. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all that visual preparation burned calories and built muscles? No, for that we have to spring into that first step.
Are you the kind of friend who will talk me off a window ledge, or are you the one who yells, “Jump!”? (Oh yeah, YOU try to punctuate that last sentence.) Anyway, as I was saying, here I am on the ledge, down below is an unproven, first edition of iPad, and I want you to help me make up my mind.
A few weeks ago few had seen the iPad, though rumors abounded. Even then I was snatching those trial balloons by the string and pulling them to examine. Well, now the newest tech creature is out there. I’ve held one in my hand, though it was wisely tethered to a strong desk in an Apple store. To my credit I didn’t hug it to my chest and suck my thumb right there, but almost.
So now you are thinking, well what’s her problem? She wants it badly; it might poke holes in her budget, but she wouldn’t eat cat food, so what’s the problem? The problem is I’m a practical girl. Objects should fill a need or at least beautify me or the house (extra points if it beautifies me). I’m not sure the iPad qualifies. This is my assessment.
First, why NOT?
I have a laptop.
I have a desktop.
I have books.
I have magazines
That pesky budget thing
iPad doesn’t have a phone
I don’t travel all that much
Second, WHY NOT?
So much easier to travel with than laptop
So much cooler than laptop (Think of modern cell & old mobile phone.)
So much lighter than laptop
Touch screen—Whoa Doggies!
Easy note pad & quick research at writers’ conferences
Cats won’t get in front of screen
Can read online magazines instead of germy ones at doctor’s office
Can update blog, twitter and Facebook anywhere (Why? I don’t know)
Can easily download and send pictures on the fly
I talk less than 10 minutes a month on my cell phone
I can watch movies, TV or listen to music while on treadmill
Probably the strongest argument for WHY NOT? Is the whole treadmill thingy. OK I don’t have a treadmill, but I’ve thought of getting one. The problem is without something to keep me from getting bored, we both know I won’t be using it. There is no room to keep a treadmill anywhere in the two rooms with TV’s. The guest room, though would be perfect, but it has no TV, no cable connection. You see where I’m going, don’t you.? Buy iPad, buy treadmill, work out regularly, lose weight, gain bone mass, strengthen heart, become hot babe with hot new tech device.
You can see I might not be objective. That’s why I need your help. What do you say? Jump or Don’t Jump? I’d like your comments as well as votes.
You know what they say happens when you are over the hill? You pick up speed, of course. Darned if it isn’t true and I think I may know why, at least in my case. Older people tend to cast off things that are no longer useful (my mother almost stripped her house) and eliminate activities and associations that no longer give them pleasure. Perhaps the feeling is that life’s fuse is burning shorter and we don’t have a minute to squander on non-rewarding things. I’ll leave that to psychologists. I just held a microscope over my own changes and found them interesting. Here are some of the things I now do.
Choose microwave over crock pot (all that planning, you know)
No longer compare purchases strolling store to store, but on Internet
Encourage e-mails instead of time wasting phone calls (anti-social, I know)
During commercials, play show recorded earlier on TV and get two in very little more time
Skim newspaper articles instead of reading every little thing. I’ve seen most on Internet anyway.
Crave news instantly from Twitter, treating “refresh” like a one-armed bandit in the casino when things are really breaking.
Revel in flash fiction and haiku (reading and creating)
Love challenge of squeezing my thoughts into 140 characters on Twitter, making every word count.
For what do I squirrel away all this time, you might be thinking. Family, friends, good books (or slutty books, if I like), working on my house and first garden, exercising, keeping an eye on government, doing photography, matching wits with my cats, any darn thing I enjoy – and nothing I don’t.
What did you do before with the time you now spend on the computer? My husband sprang that question on me the other day and now I’m springing it on you. I do spend hours at this screen every day. I’d never thought about what I was doing before with my time. So here is my list of things I have given up or spend less time on:
TV—That’s the activity that has suffered the most and I don’t miss it at all. As a matter of fact, when I try to find something to watch while relaxing I wear my thumb out channel surfing. TV has gotten worse. My time is better spent on the computer for sure.
Shopping—I had to dig to come up with this one. Surely I did more than watch TV before, and I did. This revelation surprised me. Shopping used to be an enjoyable sport to me. Now what I don’t order online I save up to buy in one trip as quickly as I can. When did that happen and why? Who knows, but I see the UPS man more than a store clerk now no doubt.
Finances—I wrote checks by hand, balanced my checkbook (sometimes) and subtracted until the money was gone. Now Quicken shows my finances at a glance, bills are paid online, bank accounts handled the same way. I’ve saved money and time in this instance, and best of all kicked the little voice from the FUKOWEE Indian tribe. If you read Kurt Vonnegut I won’t have to explain that last one.
Writing fiction—This is the one downer. I realize my writing urges are being too satisfied with this blog, leaving my serious writing over in a corner somewhere.
That is it as far as I can tell. I still exercise (biking, walking and yoga) though no longer at a club. I certainly read as much as ever, if not more. And photography? I take way more pictures now. The instant gratification of seeing them on screen or printed immediately enhances that activity. Now that I have pinpointed the one area I need to attend to, I plan to do just that. Of course, that will mean more time here on the computer. It all comes back to Big Hal, doesn’t it?
What have YOU thrown aside or slighted for your relationship with the computer? How has it affected your life? Perhaps you have thought about it; I hadn’t. If computer is as big a part of your life as mine I think you should. I would really like to hear your views.
It just went off again in the drawer—the alarm on my mile counter. It’s playing a tiny, unrecognizable tune as it has every day at 7:30 p.m. for almost a year. You know, I’m self taught, but usually manage to remain respectable around technology. My VCRs aren’t blinking 12:00.But I cannot, absolutely cannot get that alarm to silence. It has already sucked the battery to the point that digital indicators are blank. I would have no idea how far I walked with this on my waist, but I would be alerted that it is 7:30 p.m. It’s not only an annoyance, but testimony to my fallibility. I wonder if it works under water…….
The yellow school light was flashing, the crossing guard stood ready in her bright orange vest. School children made their way home. Since a pause in life is mandatory at such times, why not observe whatever catches your eye? On previous days I have counted blonde children (very few), chosen the cutest, wondered about the tiniest. Yesterday their methods of conveyance began to fascinate as they whizzed or walked by.
Children in Seminole County, Florida, must walk if they live two miles or fewer from school. Many do just that, but many others have found creative travel methods to save shoe leather and get to that after school snack more quickly. In one short block paraded:
You’ve run into Heelys before, (or they into you) probably at the grocery store. Heelys are ordinary looking athletic shoes with wheels that drop like landing gear. They are cool personified. I want a pair. Of course, bicycles are the old standby, but skateboards making a huge comeback. New versions like the wave, with only two caster-like wheels and a wasp like board, were new to me. The Trikke, a carving board is propelled as your body sways side to side. It looks like a scooter with a V facing forward. It certainly wins points for uniqueness and surely for working your obliques.
You who denigrate fitness of young people might try using any one of the above conveyances while balancing a bulging backpack just so. Their prowess was amazing to watch.
I don’t count the time waiting for kiddies to cross wasted at all. Grandmas need to know about these things. I’ve gotten as much mileage as I can out of Hannah Montana, online video games and Spiderman. Perhaps I’ll throw in a few comments about the wave next time I chat with the grands. That will be when my granddaughters come over and help me sign in with the Webkinz they gave me for my birthday. I understand I can go on a shopping spree for my little raccoon. It’s not enough to keep up with the latest news to sound erudite with your friends. We grandparents know there is a whole other world out there with its own vernacular and we’d best hit the books. Just don’t make me carry them in a backpack.
Jack Jack LaLanne, my role model, on his 70th birthday swam 1.5 miles handcuffed and shackled while towing 70 boats with 70 people from Queen’s Way Bridge in the Long Beach Harbor to the Queen Mary.
I think I’ll pass, but on my 70th there should be something I can do to honor his influence in my life. So check out these pictures taken today of the pose I held for 70 seconds. It’s the best I could do, Jack.
Jerry and I both medaled in the Golden Age Games in Sanford, FL this week, he in golf, I in photography. I hardly broke a sweat, but again have plans to be ready for bench-pressing next year.
Sanford is the site of the original Golden Age Olympics (later changed to Golden Age Games) 33 years ago. It has grown to state and national competition. This week Seniors are hurling discus, throwing javelin, pumping iron, cycling, swimming, running and scores of other feats of athleticism. Most of the competitors are serious and train year round for the events. But they are quick to encourage newbies to give it a try. For those burned out on professional cry babies and steroid pumped athletes, you might enjoy seeing what raw sports competition is really about. You see it in Pee Wee games and you see it here. When Jerry entered bench-press about ten years ago I came away invigorated by the camaraderie and drive of the competitors. One would cheer and encourage another, then give his all to beat him out of the gold medal. I say “he” but include women in this, too. They were all amazing.
My “training” routine was exhaustive, too. I spent weeks searching for the proper mats and frames, then days printing, taping, stapling, applying stickers, etc. And then the doubts set in. Who do I think I am? I just snap pictures. Those other seniors probably have lenses so long they couldn’t lift them without weight training. I have this stubby little protrusion on front of the camera. Lens envy, that’s what I have plenty of. The desire to share the photos I love overcame stage fright and this is the result:
Two third and two first place ribbons out of seven entries. The masthead scene above won a third place as did my giant swallowtail butterfly. A shot of our granddaughter came in first in portraits. I understand the judge had a hard time deciding between the two grands, so I consider them both winners. Oh, and the biggie: A first and Best of Show for the photo on this blog of a red-shouldered hawk and squirrel. Best of Show! I feel like a German Shephard.
Are you ready for another tip to help you sneak exercise into your everyday life? Here it comes. I’ve always said that if the doc gave me a year to live I’d take it in football time. Now I’ve put that philosophy to practical use. With football season on us it was either continue what I did during the first Colt’s game—snack away my nervous energy– or use it in a productive way. I vowed to spend part of game time lifting hand weights. This workout is in the planning process still, but already shows great promise. With no real time frame in mind, I started on biceps at the beginning of a quarter and continued with the whole upper body. Once my muscles begin to quiver I switched to abs, then a little yoga. Before I realized it I had moved through two fifteen minute quarters. I don’t have to tell you that comes to way more than thirty minutes especially if there is a lot of passing, and we’re talking Peyton Manning here. Such a deal! Maybe not as cool as that last year to live thing, but still beneficial.