Ahhh, the big 4-0. While deciding on the topic for this post, I began thinking about what’s happened over the last forty years – events in the world, people who’ve come and gone, inventions that have become essentials. I also realized that during those years I’ve always learned something, discovered new insights and ways of doing things. There’s stuff I loved but in retrospect, wasn’t good for me (empty calories, tanning beds), stuff I still miss (the backyard pool, Friends, Firefly... curse you TV suits!!!), things I never want to see again (puff-ball skirts, headbands). And of course, great innovations (color TV, flu vaccines, DVD players). But for this post, I thought I’d take a nostalgic look at the stuff that’s personally enriched my life.
Computers and the internet – When I first started work in 1986, our office possessed one electric typewriter and one huge clunky computer, sans Windows. I was excited to be using a brand-new office machine, the fax. Yep it was that long ago J The office next door used a Benchmark computer that took dinner-plate sized floppy discs. I can distinctly remember the first time I used inter-office email (1992) and the internet (1995). And now? Netbooks, blogs, email, Twitter, Facebook, websites, internet phones. And cool white shiny iMac Books :::swoon:::
Email – every afternoon after school, my girlfriends and I spent hours on the phone. Now it’s email. Although some would say that with the advent of email, our face-to-face communication has suffered. But I love it for the amazing sense of community it brings, where you can reach out to someone in the next state, country or hemisphere and get an instantaneous reply. And you can do it in your pyjamas :)
e-Books – I’m a huuuge e-book fan (yes, I love today’s ‘instant gratification’ obsession, but only when it applies to books). Who’d have thought we’d be reading romances on screens smaller than a cassette tape? I can download my basket and be reading on my iPod Touch in less than a minute.
Portable music – yes, I had an original Sony Walkman, a big silver brick clipped onto my jeans, and boy, was I cool rollerskating around with my headphones on! Years later, I remember my brother paying $299 for a portable Discman. Thank heavens things have changed: I ADORE my iPod Touch, even moreso because I can watch my favorite TV shows (iTunes is a popular time waster)
Understanding of self – I know, no matter how hard I try, I’ll never be model-thin. A lively dinner with friends is better than a boozy night at some impersonal dance club. Change can be good (as long as I’m the one initiating it). I can’t write to a set schedule and need total silence in which to do so. I’m naturally an optimist and although speed bumps happen, I’m always surprised by them. I know that a comfy pair of jeans is better than an uncomfortable, fashionable skirt. And interesting minds can hide behind the most unlikely faces.
So here’s my question to you all - what’s made your life easier/better/fun/more productive over the years? What great insight have you discovered since your teenage years? Share your story and you could win a copy of my second book, Boardrooms & A Billionaire Heir.
A self-confessed contest addict, Paula’s been writing since 12. She got The Call from Silhouette Desire in September 2006 and has since finaled in the RT Readers’ Choice, Colorado Award of Excellence, and is currently a finalist in Romance Writers of Australia’s Romantic Book of the Year Award. Her next release, The Magnate’s Baby Promise, is a Desire August release. Visit her at www.paularoe.com