Accepting change has never been my strong point. I have a strong tendency to stick with familiar things, and to cling to my long-established routines. People usually seemed surprised (and a little impressed) when they ask me how long I’ve been volunteering at the local animal shelter and I answer, “almost seventeen years.” A big part of the reason I’ve stayed so long is that I’m passionate about helping shelter dogs. But if I’m being entirely honest, I have to admit that walking shelter dogs three days a week has also become a habit, and I don’t break habits easily.
But the problem with being resistant to change is that far too many things in my life are changing, and not always for the better. In my darker moments, I strongly suspect that most of the things I enjoy and a most of the ways I prefer to do things are fast becoming obsolete.
For instance, I love taking photos, which is easier than ever now, thanks to digital cameras and smart phones. But I also like to print them off and display them in photo albums, and it’s getting harder and harder to find any place that makes good-quality prints, much less actually sells photo albums to store them in. I’ve been using the website of a local camera shop, but they recently replaced their edit feature with one that isn’t compatible with my computer, which is not a change for the better.
My husband and I are also apparently among the few people who prefer not to bank online, and actually pay our bills the old-fashioned way, by mailing checks. Yet we know we are living on borrowed time, as our bank keeps making it harder to order checks, and also sends fewer checks with each order. (Even though the fee for ordering checks keeps getting higher.) I suspect they’re trying to see just how much they can charge their customers per check before we give up and switch to on-line banking. Which, of course, makes it so much easier for hackers to access our accounts, so you can see what an improvement that’s going to be.
I love to read books, and by that I mean actual books…the kind that are kept on a book shelf. But book stores are closing all over the country and some new “books” are being published only on-line. I know that saves paper, but I also know that staring at screens for hours on end isn’t good for our eyes. Plus, all those devices that we read from operate on batteries and/or electricity, which isn’t exactly good for the environment. But mostly, I just love books and truly hate the thought of a world without them.
Sometimes I’m afraid the time is approaching when even writing, which is one of my greatest joys, will be obsolete. Who needs to actually know how to write when we can have all our needs met by simply talking to our computers, virtual assistants and assorted other gizmos?
Still, I know that change has always been a part of life, and that since we’re living in what can only be described as a “technological revolution,” it’s simply coming at us a little faster than I’d prefer. And I like to think that just as our ancestors lived through eras of great change (such as the industrial revolution), I will get through this as well.
Perhaps the time has simply come for me to worry a bit less about the changes around me and have a little more faith in my ability to adapt and cope. And to remember that not all change is bad, and that some change is actually very, very good. All I can say is that I’ll try.
Meanwhile, I’m going to keep walking the shelter dogs, and possibly start stockpiling photo albums for future use. Because some change is simply unacceptable…..