Episode 501(280) You Can Fix It
Welcome to Retirement Talk. I'm Del Lowery.
So I have been practicing the guitar for at least 30 years. I play all of those little background pieces that run a bit during these podcasts. I don't play well - but I stick with it. Referring to a piece I am now working on my guitar teacher who has the patience of a saint said, "You can fix it" and I knew I had a topic for this podcast.
She told me to get out the metronome and set it on the slowest settings. Obey the sounds omitted and the notes written on the page. Go so slow but feel each note, prepare for the stroke, get perfect placement on the string, relax the hand and fingers, hear each individual note. Ask yourself these questions: Was it as you wanted? Was your hand relaxed? Can you feel tension anywhere in your body? Did the note ring as long as you wanted? Did it have a fullness and richness to it?
"Go back each day to the original speed for a few times" she said. Increase the speed always making sure that all desired qualities are present. "You can fix it" she said - and for the first time in my life I believed her.
Life seems to always be presenting problems to us that require fixing. They may range from Climate Change to Peal Harbor, or a computer error to loosing our job, or an unwanted pregnancy. And of course there may be the flat tire, the unruly student, the mouse in the house or the rain coming in the window. Or it may be a personal relationship; a marriage, a friendship, a neighborly dispute. We can fix things. That is what we humans do. Some big things; some small things. They all need fixing at one time or another.
This is where attitude is important. Do we believe we can fix them or don't we? Some people have the confidence to believe in themselves and their ability to fix most anything. Some of us don't. Having self-confidence in our own ability is so very valuable in life. It is one of the most important attributes we can teach our children, our students or our fellow citizens.
I never learned that lesson very well. I was always good at throwing myself into almost any endeavor; I was game. But I was quick to move on to some other grand scheme. "Good enough for the girls I go with", my father use to joke. We tried not to teach that to our children. I think we were successful thanks to my wife. She can slow down. She has the patience of Job. She does believe she can fix most anything. She has confidence. She can slowdown and look close. Our strengths and weaknesses match up well. What one lacks the other possesses. Although I'm not really sure what my strengths are.
I do know that we have time to slow down and fix something in retirement. We do not have to rush off, wake to an alarm clock, punch a clock, or get to bed. We do not have to do as we are told or expected. We have time to fix it if we so choose.
Retired people continually face demands of fixing it related to the world of Internet technology - like setting up and using this iPad as a word processor, learning how to operate an Apple TV, Roku, Skype, a smart phone or using a computer programs to record sound or design and set up a web site. Ever demanding change require eternal fixes. Challenges emerge on a daily basis.
Of course there are things or problems we can't fix and we need to recognize them and either get assistance or "go around". A scene from Shane the western classic by Jack Schafer always pops into my mind when I think of "going around". The scene focuses on a massive tree stump that the two heroes work to remove.They dig and chop and they dig and chop. They sweat the day long. They put everything they have into clearing that stump. Strange, but I have always remembered the scene ending with one them uttering the words, "If the stump's too deep go around". I would remember it that way. It is my way. Truth is they stayed with it and with strength, stamina and belief in themselves they dug it out. They fixed it.
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