My mother is a smart, capable woman in all areas of life, but technology. Her feelings won't even be hurt when she reads this, because she is a self proclaimed technology-illiterate. I know you probably hear a lot of people make that joke about themselves. I've even said it on occasion when I can't figure out why the HTML code messes up the spacing on my blog. But truly. My mom doesn't know what "cut and paste" means. To this day, she doesn't have a cell phone. It took her 3 months to learn how to change her profile picture on her facebook page. It took her 6 months to figure out how to transfer photos from her digital camera onto her computer. She has no idea what a thumb drive is. My 2 grandmothers are facebook masters, while my mother has 10 friends and called me to ask how to "like" someone's status. (It's the button that says "like," mom.)
Learning to use a computer is one of those things my mother has procrastinated since...well since e-mail was invented (she also called me to ask what Cc on an e-mail meant). But something that is a passion of hers, is organizing her treasured family photos. She finally surrendered to the fact that the best way to do this, is to scan her old photos, and organize them into digital albums onto her computer. This is a monumental task - like asking 5 year old to write a master's thesis on engineering concepts (is that a thing?). Feeling an overwhelming sense of dread and intimidation, this project has been hanging over head for quite some time.
The other day, I was so inspired by a quote on another blog, Puzzle Pieces, that I shared it on my facebook page. The quote said, "What you do today is really important. You are exchanging a day of your life for it." Not long after, I got several consecutive, brief phone calls from my mother that went something like this:
"Hi it's your mom. What does 'import' mean?"
"It means your transferring something from one place to another."
"Hi, it's me again. What if I accidently deleted...Nope, never mind. Bye."
"It's your mother (I don't think she understands the concept of caller ID yet either). Uh, How do I tag someone. Oh, tag button. Okay bye."
The next phone call, I cut her off mid sentence, "What are you DOING?" I asked, exasperated.
She told me, "I have spent ALL DAY putting pictures on the computer and organizing them. ALL DAY because of that quote that you put on your facebook about it better be important if you're giving a day of your life for it!" It was almost as if she was blaming me for this daunting task.
It turns out, she took a basic computer online tutorial THREE times just to pass the little test at the end (questions like, How do you open a new window? How do you enable spell check?), Then she sat down at the kitchen table and figured out how to get her ancient photographs onto that new fangled electric box that my dad got her for Christmas. All because she was inspired by this one quote, and her family pictures are THAT important to her.
I was really proud of her. And a little annoyed at the random, abrupt phone calls. But proud none-the-less. At the end of the day, I think you end up doing just what you want to do. And that says a great deal about what is important to you.
One of the many photos that is now safe and sound on my mom's hard drive
Thanks Dawn, for giving my mom the motivation to organize our family photos!