This has been a month of changes for me. Nothing I really planned for but I knew they were possible. Change is change. Some good some bad. With change comes change. Change encourages change. Change accelerates change. Some times I yearn for change – beg for it to happen – only to later wish that things had stayed the same.
In somethings I am resistant to change. I have had my hair cut the same way by the same barber since 1964 (except for the summer when was six when mother got me a ‘crew cut’). My world will be destroyed the day Lee Roy can no longer cut my hair. If he ever retires or heaven forbid, dies, I shall just let my hair grow long and tie in a pony tail and become a geriatric hippy.
Same with the way I dress – I wear slacks and a button down dress shirt to the office every day except Friday when I wear my blue jeans and a Hawaiian shirt. Been doing that since the 80’s. Since I went over the 50 year mark I no longer care what others think about how I look. If you don’t like my button down shirt and polyester pants, don’t look at me. I am doing fine. Actually, given that most people at my office wear t-shirts, shorts and flip flops – I am the rebel going against the grain of modern high-tech society by wearing old-fashioned clothing that covers most of my skin (I also wear socks every day).
Even some of my habits haven’t changed in years – like reading the comics every morning. Ever since I could read I’ve started out the morning by reading the comics in the newspaper. Back in the day the newspaper – printed on real physical paper – was delivered to the house by a live newspaper boy (i.e. a human male child typically around 12 to 14 years of age).
That habit has changed only slightly. I still read the comics every morning but today I go to my web browser and click on the “comics” bookmark and magically the 10 funnies I follow are downloaded into tabs and I read them. All electronic. No trees cut down and the paper boy gets to sleep in but I still get my comics. Don’t think I’ve missed a day of the “Wizard of Id” since 1967.
Now I have been able to change over the years. I will wear shorts and t-shirt on a Saturday and lately I’ve started to read the comic, “Stone Soup.” But I refuse to compromise on my hair – well I have been known to not shave for almost a week – when camping and no one but my wife can see the gray in my beard (okay – I have enough vanity left for that).
For the most part I stay with my habits and resist change.
The strange part of my resistance to change is my job. I work in a software specialty call SCM. Depending on who you talk to it is either software configuration management or software change management. I am the guy in the software development group that tracks the changes made in a software product and regularly rebuilds the product so changes can be propagated to the world – engineering, QA, customers… I’m the guy you should blame when your computer wants to down load yet another software update. It’s my fault. I’m the guy that built those bits.
In fact, I live for change in technology. In my work I live near the bleeding edge of computing technology. If I haven’t updated it this month, it must be old. I can’t stand static systems in my work. All systems I work with have to be planned for growth and obsolescence. If I’ve been doing the same process for six months I know something must be wrong and I have to change it.
Change is constant. Static technology is dead technology. PSTN, IPv4, XP, Solaris and soon even Apache and MySql all need to be replaced. They’re old and have no place in my future utopian technocratic based society…
Except for my cellphone. I like my cellphone. I bought it in 2002 and it still works. No camera, no touch screen, no iTunes, no ring tones – just a keypad and caller id. You dial numbers and people answer. In any case, few people call me on my phone and I need glasses to read anything on it. I’ve thought about getting an iPhone but first I’ll need stronger glasses to read the darn little screen. Well, maybe it’s more about needing glasses than the phone. Wonder if they have a large print iPhone? When will technology developers consider the needs of aging technocrats?
So what has changed in my life recent that caused all these thoughts to pop up?
I got a new job.
I and my wife built a new bed for the guest room.
I got new computers at home.
I got a new fence on the side yard.
I got a new scroll saw for the shop.
I bought new pants and shirts (new underwear too).
I got a new pastor at church.
I got three grand kids staying with me for the month – 9 year old and twin 7 year old boys – there’s a routine changer.
Yeah, some of the changes are trivial. Some were planned. Some last minute. Some unplanned. Some welcomed and some not.
Some have changed my daily routine. Some have caused me to rethink things. Some have brought joy and others sadness.
Now I drive a different way to work on a cutting edge product that is frying my brain.
Now I install software on computers I’ll personally use.
Now I read Scrollsaw Woodwooker magazine and plan my next evening’s work in the shop.
Now I recount my spiritual journey to new spiritual leader.
Now I come home to the joyous chaos of kids trying to ‘help’ gran make dinner.
But life is about change. You’ve heard the saying, “The only time you’re not changing is when you’re dead.”
I am not dead.