I try really, really hard to face everyday obstacles with a positive attitude. Keep calm and carry on, as England’s government pounded into the heads of Brits during World War II. Frankly, I do a very poor job. Apparently my motto is not keep calm and carry on, but instead is freak out at the slightest change in a routine. Not only is it negative thinking, but it’s not nearly as catchy.
Bill is used to my freaking out, and has learned to gauge how seriously he needs to take my frenzy. Is the house on fire or is her bread overbaked? That sort of thing. When Jen was living here this winter, she would attempt to try to calm me down, using a patient voice (like the one she uses with her 98-year-old clients). She would say overly cheerful things like tell me what’s wrong and we’ll fix it together. You’re fine. You’re fine. You’re fine. She did no gauging. For all she knew, the house could have been on fire. I guess maybe she thought she would have smelled the smoke.
I believe the thing that causes me the most stress is technology.
I love many of the things that technology has brought us. I love FaceTime and email and texting. I love Amazon Prime and Netflix. I love my cell phone. I love my Apple watch. See? I’m not anti-technology.
What I hate, really, about technology is passwords. I hate passwords. I hate coming up with a password. I hate remembering a password. I hate changing a password. And I have to do all of those things times two because I have relieved Bill of password stress. He has to handle Parkinson’s. He doesn’t need to handle passwords. I keep track of our passwords.
I am not going to tell you how Bill and I keep our passwords handy. I’m sure that all of the evil password thieves read Nana’s Whimsies, waiting for the old biddy (me) to share her passwords in the same way as she shared her husband’s full name a few weeks ago. But I will tell you how we DON’T keep our passwords handy. We don’t memorize them. If you will recall, I confessed that I can no longer make mental notes. I am now confessing that I can no longer remember a password. Not if my life depended on it.
Yesterday, Bill found an unpaid bill buried in our paper pile on our desk in the bedroom. “Did you pay this bill?” he asked me. Nope, I sure hadn’t. It was a paper bill, and though I may or may not have made a mental note to pay it, I didn’t. Pay it, that is.
So I got online to pay the bill. In order to pay the bill, I had to know my password. I, of course, didn’t know my password, and my system for keeping passwords was no help because the password wasn’t there. After spending 15 minutes or so changing my password, including several verifying texts and a couple of emails, I finally got on and paid our bill.
But then I tried to change from paper billing to e-billing. I bet I looked at the website for 30 minutes, and couldn’t find a way to make that change. I know it’s possible. I just can’t figure out how. So I finally sent an email to what I KNOW won’t be a person, but instead will be a computer, begging them to help me. We’ll see how that goes.
And one more thing about technology. My sister Bec bought a brand new television a month-and-a-half or so ago, for the express purpose of being able to watch her beloved Washington Nationals play baseball this summer. She already purchased the MLB app, but her old television was outdated and wouldn’t support the app.
Well, guess what? She couldn’t get it to work on her brand new television. After talking to many, many people at both MLB and Samsung, she finally got someone who a) spoke understandable English; and b) knew what they were doing. She learned that her BRAND NEW TELEVISION wouldn’t support the MLB app because it was too old. Apparently you need televisions that are less than two months old.
Friends, I think I’m getting too old.