Is technology changing the past?

nenetus via freedigitalphotos.net

nenetus via freedigitalphotos.net

When my parents were my age they had friends and work colleagues, some of whom they socialised with, who were part of their lives for a period of time. They would spend time with them, share stories, birthdays and anniversaries but, when circumstances and time dictated, their ways gradually parted and they all continued on their separate adventures. I know for a fact that my parents do not know what majority of these people are doing now, nor do they have any desire to know. They are happy to live their life in the present and consign the memories of everyone who has passed through their lives, to the past.

During my growing up years, I saw quite a bit of my paternal grandparents and I can remember several conversations between my parents and my grandparents, when they discussed who was doing what and where they were now. It would start with something like, ‘I wonder what Bobby Jones is doing now…?’ And then the reply would follow. Perhaps my grandmother would have seen his mother or sister somewhere or just heard some news on the grapevine. Whatever. The point was that it gave rise to a conversation full of interest, wonder and intrigue.

In the modern world we have no cause to wonder any more. It is relatively easy to contact anyone from our past via social media and within minutes you can chart their entire life history since you last saw them. In many cases this is positive and it is truly wonderful to be able to reconnect with lost friends and family – the importance of this should never be underestimated – however it does somewhat remove that mystery and intrigue that was present in so much of my childhood. Instead of asking, ‘I wonder what Bobby Jones is doing now…’, it’s more like, ‘Did you see that photo of Bobby Jones on Facebook?’. If you didn’t, a few clicks and you soon have.

I might want to know what Bobby Jones was up to if he looked like this...

I might want to know what Bobby Jones was up to if he looked like this…

Personally I have very fond memories of my past and my childhood. There are people who have passed through my life that I wonder about and there are others who I am happy not to meet again. There is a certain satisfaction in knowing that people who you used to know are still doing okay, or that they are successful, or happily married, or have a great job or a wonderful family. In some ways it’s like closure. You can say, you know what, Bobby Jones was a pain at school but well done him. You have no cause to wonder or give him any more thought, unless of course you want to talk to him again. And social media should also not be underestimated as a great platform for this.

I still go back, however, to the top of this post when I talked about my parents and my grandparents. They come from a different generation and even though my parents could access Facebook in the same way that everyone else does, they have no desire to do so. They like, as I said, living in the present and I actually think that’s the key. Social media can pull us back. It can take us to a life we used to have, to a place we used to be and it can be so easy to try to revisit that and change the course of where we are now. And I am not sure that that’s right.

Don’t get me wrong, I use social media the same as everyone else does and I know its value, but I can’t help thinking that we have missed out on something here. By not leaving the past where it belongs and concentrating on forging our future, are we losing some of the romanticism, the mystery of life?

I am kind of on the fence here, but I think I am getting closer to jumping off it and onto the side of leaving the past in the past and enjoying the unknown. What about you? Thoughts anyone?

PS. I don’t know anyone by the name of Bobby Jones – my apologies should any Bobby Jones’ inadvertently stumble across this post…

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A little ‘yogic’ treat

jscreationzs via freedigitalphotos.net

jscreationzs via freedigitalphotos.net

Today (Tuesday 8th September), sees the fourteenth year that my husband has put up with me. We always celebrate (read commiserate for him) our anniversary and this year will be no exception. I have, however, broken with tradition and chosen my own present.

Choosing my own present was not a decision I took lightly. I know that in many respects it makes perfect sense, but we still love the element of surprise. We never buy our own birthday, Christmas or anniversary gifts – it’s just the way we are.

That all changed though, when I saw this beautiful bracelet.

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It is, of course, a yoga inspired bracelet and yoga is something that has become very important to me over the last month or so. I am going to be blogging about it in more detail, but suffice to say that I have finally found a form of exercise that I am in love with.

Yoga is as much about breathing and connecting with your body, as it is about the physical movement and one of the main reasons why I wanted to get this gift for myself was to remind me. I wear it every day and that reminds me that when I am getting stressed, or finding the day tough or just hitting a brick wall, to come back to the present and that which matters. It reminds me to breathe, it reminds me to connect with my body and it reminds me to celebrate life. That is something which for me, has been so easily forgotten.

Not only is the bracelet beautiful and a joy to wear, it is a symbol of finding something that I have been searching for my whole life. An exercise regime that I can embrace and enjoy, and an inner peace that can keep me safe, healthy and productive. I can honestly say that this year, I have no regrets about choosing my own gift.

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How do you organise your work?

jesadaphornDuring the holidays I have been taking my laptop wherever I can work best, which has usually been in clear sight of my youngest. This means that any organisational system that I did have in my office, degenerated into several notes and pieces of paper scattered in all four corners of the house.

Yesterday I was able to return to my office and so I did a little housekeeping, making sense of the papers and notes and trying to file them and arrange them in some kind of useful order.

What I have ended up with (excluding what is stored on my laptop and external hard drive) are several notebooks dedicated to specific things. For example, I have a notebook where I can jot down blog ideas and develop them. There is another book for new novel ideas and a further book for my course assignment work and any paid work. Although this system makes perfect sense to me, it does of course rely on me having the appropriate notebook at the time when inspiration strikes, so it got me to thinking – how does anyone else organise their work?

I appreciate that I am in effect juggling three different ‘arms’ of work if you like, but I am sure that I am not alone in this.

So, what method do you use to keep track of everything on the go?

(Be warned… if it’s amazing, I might steal it 😉 )

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