Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Record Changer




The Record Changer

Went to Best Buy and asked to see some stereos: ones that play records, CDs and the radio.  Sales kid looks at me and says “I hate to tell you this, but things have changed”. 

I’ve got hundreds of old record albums that we’ve moved many times: they’re treasures from our past, a link to our younger years.  Lots of CDs and some music on an iPod: “is there something that will connect or integrate (more or less easily)” was my question. I was trying to figure out how to listen to old records and what I got was a dose of feeling old.

Kid said “Bluetooth streaming from my smart phone is the way to go”; so I guess I have to put music on my phone. I do have a smart phone, but I use it for calls, emails and calendaring: I guess there’s more to these gadgets than I thought. Actually, I hoped they would have applied some of these new ideas and technologies to updating older technologies (like old-fashioned stereos) as well.  Kid was right: a lot has changed.

Somebody probably thinks about which of the old-fashioned things get upgraded and updated, and those which remain, well…. old-fashioned and obsolete (probably anything non-digital). With all the talk about millennials, I guess there’s less focus these days on us baby boomers: maybe that’s how getting old starts.

But I don’t feel old: I’m still working, playing and listening to music, and walking many miles a day; I read  a lot and talk to students, so I figured I was keeping up with what’s happening these days.  So this ‘stereo’ incident was a reality check on known versus unknown: not even close.

Wait a minute: medicine is keeping us alive longer, work is employing us longer, and there are lots of ways to keep us active longer. All of these are antidotes to feeling and getting old, and should, if juggled and used appropriately, slow or reverse this feeling of falling behind.  The friends we have, personal and professional networks, and all the information available throughout the internet all help keep us ‘in-the-know’ – we just have to make sure we use all of them.

I’m going to do all that and see if there isn’t a way to listen to my records and not feel old; maybe then I’ll go back and teach that Best Buy kid about record changers, and change in general.

My message this week is about working around life’s obstacles:

“Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it or work around it.” Michael Jordan

What do you do when faced with an obstacle?   When that happens the important thing is to stop, think about ways to improve, and re-try with a new perspective and attitude. It’s a moment when you need to focus all of your skill and dedication, and a lot of determination: your response tells a lot about your character. Don’t make excuses or blame others: use it as an opportunity to learn.    I’m sure your mother used to tell you that if you don’t succeed, try again: that was good advice to remember whenever you’re doing things, and especially when you’re attempting to overcome life’s obstacles. Everyone’s been faced with something like this and has a story about it: what’s yours?

Stay Well!

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