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OMG. I hate change.

Well, let me be clear; not all change. I can cut my hair, buy a car or paint a room a new color without a single moment of angst. I am actually good at change; yet I quake at the thought of “upgrading technology”.

I have a flip phone that keeps losing the back cover, a television with a tube and don’t try to pry my cassettes out of my clenched fists. I resistant the changing technology as I did its nasty predecessor, algebra. It is my nemesis.

Finally last week, I conceded that it was time to get a new laptop. Mine was only connected by a single hinge and was precariously propped up by some old phone books holding the cover steady. If I could, I would buy the exact same computer-even if it did have the dreaded Windows Vista. No such luck. However, I thought I figured out a way to upgrade and not change anything.

I bought a netbook for the office-the same brand as the computer I already had there. I reasoned I didn’t need more than a netbook as I only used a billing program in the office. I then brought the nearly new office computer home to write on. I was smug with the conviction that I had avoided the intimidation of having to master yet another piece of technology.

The first glitch appeared almost immediately-my email refused to load, then I started getting weird “boxes” opening at random. I considered I might have a virus. This machine had worked just fine for two years in the office. I begin to consider it doesn’t “like” my house (anthropomorphizing inanimate objectives is a very effective way to take the malfunction of devices personally). After some fiddling around with the old/new computer- which only resulted in the appearance of more anomalies-I conceded I needed help and called my visiting computer guy to take a look. I got the usual lecture about my choice of e-mail program, my resistance to social media and my need to sync all my devices.

Yeah, yeah.

Then he told me that a computer was more a living organism than a machine. (Did he actually just anthropomorphize the computer?)  THAT weirded me out.

Goodbye.

I sat down to write a blog and immediately ran into problems. It wasn’t as if last week didn’t have juicy topics- there was Mother’s Day and a visit to Vermont that garnered a poignant tale worth telling. Then, there is the end of school, and June- a month so jam-packed with celebration and family stuff- it could make anyone’s head spin. NO, I had good stuff to write about.

This “new” computer had funky fonts and a redesigned tool bar. I clicked on once-familiar functions and was assaulted by more choices than I need. I could not figure out why Windows 7 is any different than Vista, except I can’t create folders in the same way I used to. The screen is bigger and the placement of the keyboard is altered and so, again, the lesson- bigger is NOT always better.  All these little things distracted me and my “creative flow” was disrupted. I played with the dog, stopped for numerous snacks, played Words with Friends and finally gave up. The result was that last week, for the first time in three years, I did not write a weekly blog–at least not one I would let anyone see.

Now it is one week later, I am writing and writing and bleech. I considered that maybe I should stop writing forever and just garden more: maybe the writing phase is over-maybe I could become a first rate gardener. I shut this machine off and on and off and on all day. In between I make repeated trips to nurseries, coming home with a ridiculous number of plants. This distracts me for a while and then my thoughts go back to the blog. Perhaps, I think, I will use duct tape to stabilize that old computer, then I will fire it up and park this loser in the closet.

Then it hit me. Change that isn’t hard, isn’t really change: it is just tweaking the “known” with another option. Change only counts when it does call upon us to “upgrade our system” and learn something new. I like change only when it doesn’t challenge me, when it doesn’t call upon my patience or demand I really learn a new skill. I like change when I choose it.

But REAL change is unwanted and is thrust upon us. It tests our patience and requires us to learn new things.

And I don’t care if it is good for me; I can still really hate it.

 

© 2013 Donna F. Ferber, LPC, LADC is a psychotherapist in private practice in Farmington, CT since 1986. She is the author of the award winning From Ex-Wife to Exceptional Life: A Woman’s Journey through Divorce now available in Kindle format for $9.99 as well as in paperback.

One Comment

  1. CJ Golden on the 19. May, 2013 remarked #

    Change means letting go of the old and familiar and that is always difficult. Like sitting at a breakfast table in an overy-busy hotel restaurant, waiting hours for my breakfast and working on the new keypad of this i-pad. I did’nt want to embrace this new technology but here I am. And will feel so proud to have done so without typoz. Hmm. Not yet.

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