If you’re not physically able to have sex in a hammock anymore, you don’t stop having sex, right? You might not be able to put away a pan of brownies like you could when you were 20, but you don’t stop eating chocolate. You might not play “Quarters” or “Asshole” anymore, but there’s nothing like a good beer now and again.
For me, I cannot NOT write and so I have a new keyboard and voice recognition software. I haven’t tried out the software yet, but the keyboard is all kinds of interesting.
As I learn, joint by joint, how my body is changing, I’m learning ways to tweak, or in some cases overhaul, how I do things to accommodate my real abilities. I’m new at it, but I’m learning to anticipate and think ahead of the next degeneration. Like the bumper sticker says, “Shit Happens.” It’s up to me if I want to live my life satisfied or frustrated.
This keyboard takes ergonomics to the extreme. It’s hard to get used to, and I learned last night not to try and improve my skills after drinking a few glasses of wine. You really do need all your wits about you as you navigate these keys. Cripes, it took me five minutes to write a two-line email.
(SIDE NOTE: I like that word “cripes.” What does it mean, anyway? Was it someone’s way of saying “Christ” without taking the Lord’s name in vain? My mom got mad at me when I was little for saying “Geez.” She thought it was a breath away from saying “Jesus.” Maybe “cripes” was some little kids way around his mother’s fear of eternal hellfire. Just a thought.)
Anyway, here’s what my new keyboard looks like (click on the photo for a larger view). The backspace, delete and enter keys are all at the bottom and you access them with your thumbs. That’s taking me some getting used to. Also, the arrow keys are divided – the back and forths on the left and the up and downs on the right – and I can’t stop typing M for an N. “They” say I’ll be 80 percent efficient in a few days. “They” obviously don’t know how impatient I am and what a lousy typer I am. This keyboard might be launched out the window by the end of the week.
(SIDE NOTE: My friend Rodney is a hunt-and-peck typer. I’d pay money to see him figure this keyboard out. It would make an excellent You Tube video. Lots of “cripes” dropped in that one, I’m sure. Just a thought.)
Shit, I keep hitting the apostrophe when I want to hit Enter. Enter is on the bottom, Lynn, next to the Space bar. See what I mean? I need to train my brain. The Kinesis folks call it “adapting your kinesthetic sense.” I’m thinking whomever typed the manual hadn’t adapted his or her sense yet. From the manual: “Your (sic) are simply adjusting your muscle memory or intuitive understanding of reach and distance.”
It makes a funny clicking sound when I type. But I like how I can sit with my arms extended in front of me at a perfect 90-degree angle and can type without having to move my little pinkie fingers much. Really helps the old arthritis, you know?
Relearning things we thought were second nature isn’t easy, especially when you get older. It’s easy to feel defeated or retreat back to what you’re comfortable with, even though what you’re familiar with isn’t what’s best for you anymore. But if something’s worth doing, it’s worth adapting.
So what if I no longer have sex swinging from the rafters? OK, so I never had sex swinging from the rafters. But I won’t be taking it up, either. My point is, my body tells me the IKEA chair is safer and just as satisfying. I also won’t be shoveling snow this winter. But that’s why God made 13-year-old boys who live next door.
Life sometimes takes an attitude adjustment. A new perspective. What’s your body saying? What’s your conscience saying? Take a listen. Growing and changing doesn’t have to be such a bad thing.
For the record, this took me four hours to type. What’s interesting is that the stick that’s usually up my ass is mysteriously not lodged real deep and I’m not as impatient with myself as I assumed I would be. As part of my attempt at a new way of thinking and being, I ANTICIPATE that I will figure this thing out sooner or later.