Cut off dates


Cut off dates

February 10, 2012 Stories 0

Cut off dates

I missed the cut off date for wishing anyone a Merry Christmas and then I missed the New Year cut off date as well. I was on an airplane coming home from my holiday on New Years Eve.

I enjoyed reading the cards and newsletters I received both by mail and email on my return from my interstate holiday.

We all need to know that someone cares about us. It is not the words printed on the card. The happy, happy joy stuff, it is that someone knows you do still exist.

All we need is the air that we breathe and someone to care about us. That’s it. That song with those words, has nailed it. Yet, as a society, what I see is less and less people who genuinely give a toss.

Personally, I believe that we are all becoming more and more disconnected from one another. I cannot help but say that what I see is a selfishness of such magnitude that it astounds me. I want to close my eyes, put on my rose-coloured glasses and simply ignore it.

I had noticed it as I sat in airports, travelled on trains, buses and in taxis. Big cities, full of hundreds of thousands of people, can be lonely places. I saw the youth sitting in a group on trains but not talking. They were all texting. What is that about?

I do not fully understand the need to go on Facebook and say “I made a cake today”. I do not fully understand Facebook. Is this just a generational thing?  … Am I getting old? OMG!

My daughter sent me a text message which had the words ‘Not ATM’ in it. After considering she was going to an ATM (Automatic Teller Machine for those of you who don’t know what the common abbreviation means!) or that she was at an ATM, which made no sense. I had to text back and ask what does ATM mean? The response I received was ‘not “at the moment”’.  Hmmm.  It was not a good time at the moment. Okay, so now I know that.

I must be on a huge generational learning curve. I live close to the CBD (by the way that means Central Business District). It’s great because I can walk to work, but I drive a mile to park and walk about 300 metres. I have a pretty good idea now of exactly how far 300 metres is after my interstate holiday.  Do you remember me telling you about my adventures using a GPS and it telling me to turn in 300 metres? Was I glad to get home? Oh yes! I was so grateful to hit Tassie soil. I was so happy to see less concrete, less people, less shops and hear less noise. I love my home.

About four years ago, when I was still a married person, our son gave us a GPS for Christmas. It looked great on the car dash and we felt pleased to have one.  We were up there with modern technology. However, we lived in a rural area and the town had just had its first set of traffic lights installed. We saw this as something terrible. We could handle the highway and the town’s main street so the GPS was never used. When I moved to the big city of Launceston, I took the GPS as I suspected it could be a useful item. Due to feeling like I was in a coma for the first 12 months of being in Launceston, it was much easier to look at the street directory.

Sometimes, I wonder where my life is going and I notice how quickly it is all going. It is rushing by me year after year, at a faster pace than the one before.

I see Christmas as a time to reflect and New Year as a time to plan. I think about the many Christmases I experienced as a child, growing up and then Christmases when my own children were young. So now I have the opportunity to tell Christmas tales about my kids.

I remember one Christmas in particular when my daughter was around four years old, with her brother who was 19 months younger and she was diligently going through the Christmas presents under the tree at 3am. “Yes this one is for me. Here you open that one.” She was saying to her brother. Of course we could hear none of this. She came into our room and went ‘tap, tap’ on my shoulder. Showing me her cousin’s Christmas gift she asked, “I already have this, why did Santa give me another one?” I then realised what she was doing. Walking out to the Christmas tree, I see that every present is unwrapped. Her brother was sitting there quietly amid the mess. She had seen hers and her brother’s names on everything. We had to find more Christmas paper and rewrap all the gifts for their cousins. Some were so ‘open’, it seemed a lot like second hand gift giving that year. Games had been played.

So now it’s time to think of a plan. First, I have some cards to write in return and phone calls to make to thank the many friends that remain in my life for remembering that I do still exist, even though at times I am not one hundred percent sure myself …

After enjoying the calls and catch ups, reading the newsletters and hearing the stories of others, it really motivates me to think about what I want to do.

I feel a bit like I have missed the cut off date for my life. I ask myself, ’what do you want Mary?’ I honestly don’t know the answer, so I up the ante and ask myself, ’If you were told that you had two years to live, what would you do?’ Still, I am not sure. So I rephrase my question to myself, ’If you did have two years to live, would you still do what you are doing now?’ Hmmm, now I have an honest answer. ’No, I would not.’ So now what am I going to do?

Copyright © Mary Willetts 2012


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