|Dana Carvey - Grumpy Old Man|
|Xerox Telecopier, circa 1975|
|IBM 8088, circa 1981|
|Treo 300 - 2002|
I still remember when my oldest daughter was maybe about 4 - perhaps 1990 or so - and got a birthday gift of a toy typewriter. She pulled it out of the box and exclaimed "Wow - a computer!" - I knew then that the days of the already dying IBM Selectric were surely VERY numbered. In her world "keyboard" already meant "computer". Typewriters were for the museum.Now that 20-something daughter is part of the generation that is steadily dropping their use of e-mail in favor of texting and social media.
So the world my new child enters may be radically transformed within just a few short years, in ways that if I could predict I would have had the success of Steve Jobs.
Paint Torch" sculpture because the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts - PAFA - is an art school and museum still rooted in the tradition of painting.) We still glory in planting and tending gardens, and in transforming fresh ingredients into delicious home-cooked meals in the kitchen, and eating food communally, with family and friends. We still ride bicycles - an invention of the 19th century - to get around our 21st Century city, and increasingly recognize the practicality and utility of this "ancient" mode of transportation/recreation. The Knight Foundation's Soul of the Community study found that the things that attaches us to place are communal social gathering opportunities like the arts, the physical beauty of the community - like the built environment, parks and green space, and openness. Might not the findings have been similar in Ancient Athens?
Finally, while it also has become trite to opine that "40 is the new 30", "60 is the new 50" etc., there is truth to the fact that we are living longer (and in better physical shape) and now view what used to be a time of "winding down" or retirement, as a time vibrancy and change. WE change personally now, reinvent ourselves, the way technology is so rapidly transformed. People change careers, move to new cities, start new families, learn new skills and art forms in a way that would have been unthinkable just a few decades ago. I still play basketball three times a week, and intend to keep doing it as look as exercise and ligaments (and luck) will allow me to. And I intend to be there at my newborn daughter's college graduation and maybe even celebrate with a little on one-on-one hoops with her. I don't think this is just a creation of Boomers who want to extend their middle age indefinitely. I think this is the new normal.
Musings of a sleep-deprived new/old father!