Miss Bee’s Bolivar Buzz

Shannon WilliamsBy Shannon Williams
I have always tried to be good at change, as it is really just part of life, but some are just harder than others and as I age, everything changes faster and it usually requires that I learn a new skill to keep up. These days, I feel as if I just plain struggle with the amount of changes and all the new skills I have to learn.

My current struggle is with paper, and in several areas. I love to read the newspaper, to hold it in my hand with a good cup of tea and just get lost in the knowledge it can provide, but these days the paper newspaper is getting smaller and smaller and costing more and more. I just cannot bring myself to read a newspaper online. I read many news stories on line and used several news apps, BUT I want my newspaper to take me at least me an hour to read on the Sunday morning, which is now Saturday and I get shorter a paper with only getting the weekend edition.

I get my love of reading the newspaper from my parents, we would all (five kids and a few dogs) would crawl up in their bed on Sunday morning and we would each get some of the newspaper to read. This went on for years, and as the older ones moved on to college or out of the house, it was lonely, you did not have to wait as long to get the comics but there was no one to laugh with or share what you were reading. At 95, my mother still wants to read her newspaper, although it is often upside down, but she wants a cup of tea and to sit and hold that newspaper and enjoy herself. She is in a rehab now, and keeps telling us she needs to get home to read her papers. We have offered to bring it to her, but she says she has to have her chair by the window, to enjoy the newspaper. In Lubbock the newspaper is mailed to your home, but we have not let her know it is a day behind, does not seem to matter.

But the big struggle with paper is work. When I started to work after college, I had to type my reports or case notes on a typewriter with several pieces of carbon paper. If I need to discuss a situation with an agency, I would write a letter and mail it and then that issue sat still until the mail came back with their answer. Long distance was costly, so we did much by mail. Wow, has it all changed, if you have an issue you write an email and cc hundreds of people who all answer and have their input and this creates just a whole lot more work for everyone and you have to deal with the issue right then, as they know when you open that email. As I wrap up work each day, I answer any emails that I have not gotten to and then send out any that need to go, without fail people start to answer them… give me a break, and they cc more people who have to tell you what they think, it is never ending.

I have three large computer screens on at all times and have several programs open and running to do what I need to do. A lot of what I have to do is reviewing documents and guidelines so I can find more funding for the seniors we serve who need affordable housing. Most of the time these documents are large, with lots of bla bla bla that you have to sort out to get to the meat of it. My peers do all of this reading and reviewing on a computer screen, how dare they! I have to print it out and have no fewer than 3 color highlighters and a few different types of sticky notes to digest these massive beasts. I just don’t see how they can do it all on computers but that they do and turn out this great looking response with highlights, notes, comments and all sorts of things. I have learned to do this, but it just takes me so long and I cannot find stuff like I can with my highlighters and sticky notes LOL. Needless to say, I go through a lot of paper and I feel bad about that, so I just had the hubby pick up a case or two at Costco, so now I have to make room to store that paper. I have peers who rarely print out anything, of course they are 30 years younger than me. I want to change and keep up, but how to you change the way you have worked for years? I have made progress in that I don’t keep all that paper. Most of the time, I have scanned it and emailed it and saved it to our shared drive, but it took until this year that I stopped keeping my own hard copy and finally burned my stack of things to file. I knew in my heart and head that all of these papers were in several places stored by the computers, but I guess I am a person that would wear a belt and suspenders together just to make sure my pants stayed up. I just want to make sure I have what I need. In my defense, I can often find things faster with my system than they can on the computer, but to share it have to scan it to them. They still laugh at me about this.

Both my mother and grandmother would send me clippings, recipes, articles, updates and all kinds of things they thought I would like. I loved getting them and they both did it way until their 90’s, so you guess it, I would clip out stuff to send to my son. He asked me to stop! he wants me to scan it or send a link, but I miss the old way.

I will retire one day, and it is getting closer and closer each day, so I tell myself no need to learn any new tricks, if I can get the job done by old, slow way, but with everyone else using systems that allow them to go faster and jump higher, I am really aging out. Oh well, one day someone will have to deal with all my paper that I have kept, sorry to the trees!

[SW: Feb-27-2024]

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