Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Self Definition

I haven't been knitting--(or even attending my Tuesday night knit group)—but I have been thinking a lot. Self definition is a recurring theme (maybe because I am engaged in it?)

I remember (in an other lifetime) when I used the expression (from Dickens's Bleak House) “I know nothing about it, for I am a mere child,” (slightly paraphrased)

It was in some ways, a way to justify my lack of responsibility about my (poor) life choices.
(Some one in my life at the time frequently used the line--”Don't try to confuse me with the facts—I've already made up my mind!”--What a pair we were!)

Such tag lines are interesting—some are just cliches, others, I think telling indications of our self definition.

In recent years, I have found my self often using “That is SO last century” (I am aware of getting older, and make an effort to keep up and active with what is going on in the world—I don't want to be an old fuddy duddy.--I don't want to be stuck in the last century!)

There are places I CHOSE to anachronistic--(Knitting my own socks might qualify!) —but I don't want to fall out of the times by lack of effort—I don't think much of Facebook or Twitter—but these social (not) networking sites—are I think, the crude beginnings of the future--and just as telephones have evolved --I remember when a household, had not just a single line, but a single phone-- rotary dial, (party lines existed—but I never knew anyone with one) and operator connected calls (long distance) and scheduled calls (international)--nothing at all like to today where POTS (plain old telephone service) includes caller id, 3 way calling, answering machines, (with cord-less phones the norm!)--and many have a data line, and almost everyone has a cel line, (and some still have faxes!)

I think inter-net social connectivity will evolve—and I don't want to be left behind. I want to be prepared (and have the skills) needed to move on to the next thing.

My parents learned some computer stuff while still working--(my mother worked for AT&T—and had to use a computer, back in the 1980's—when I bought my first home computer) they never pursued it.

My father doesn't use e-mail, doesn't get (or look at) on line photo's of his kids, grandkids, or great grandkids (all of whom use places like facebook to keep in touch with each other) Is it vital for me to know my niece broke and dislocated her small toe? NO. but it's interesting to be part of the small (or not so small) details of her life. I know more about her (her likes, her dislikes, her career and personal choices) since she's become my 'friend' on face book than ever before.

One thing for sure—I define myself as creative--(did I mention, the poorly fitting Black jeans have been cut down, and made into a skirts with yellow bandannas?) and still am an intellectual omnivore—with interest ranging from history, to geology, to mathematics and chemistry—and while I don't have complete and total knowledge of any of these (or even any single topic in these) fields—I do have a deeper than average understanding--(and I am often mistaken for some one might have an undergraduate degree in any of these fields-- my educations is the old-fashioned sort—I READ history, I READ math, I READ the sciences, I READ biography.)

Though with the heat—I haven't even been reading much (and its been fun (mystery and espionage) fun fiction at that.

I am still becoming.
I don't know what I will be –except I expect I will always be a person who is becoming.


teabird said...

Amen to continuing to become!

JelliDonut said...

"I am still becoming." I love that!

Robyn said...

May you never be anything else but that! Lovely post, Helen.

Virginia G said...

It is a joy to see someone enjoying the fact that they are still becoming! :)

I recently had to take a step back and take a deep breath regarding technology. It's changed so fast over the past 20 years. I mean, beepers were the height of cool 20 years ago, and now we're all running around with these touch screen handheld mini computers. Our phones do video chat now. My kid is never going to know a time when video chat wasn't available. Wow.