Memory.

A friend and I were chatting on whatsapp recently when this little bit was part of the exchange. The context was about transformation of personalities, which however is irrelevant for this post.

Young Friend: Sir, do you find good memory a blessing or a curse?

Yours Truly: A blessing for me. I don’t have many bad ones in my life to handle. I know some good friends who had many unpleasantnesses in their growing up who wish they had poorer memories.
being-old

I often wish that I had a poorer memory when some thoughts of the past, not necessarily negative, but of pain like the death of a loved one, or a couple of lost opportunities due to prior commitments come up. Overwhelmingly however, I have pleasant memories to cheer me up like the many good things that have happened in my life, and continue to happen.

Memory however is now not necessarily a great asset as just about everything can be stored away somewhere called the cloud and recalled at need. I wonder if people will therefore stop using their memories in the future like my generation did and do now. I see some examples like when I go shopping, when I do not need a calculator to total up a list of figures, whereas much younger assistants do.
dilbert_cloud_computing

Retirement.

Since I started my official working life from when I was just 18 years old, by the time I was 40, I had planned on retiring when I reached 50. I was able to at the age of 52 but after just a short time in retirement, I was pulled out to work for three years on an assignment. Subsequently too, during blissful retirement days, I was pulled out on three different occasions.

Be that as it may, I have now been in full retirement for the past nine years and have thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I am now too old to be pulled out of retirement again.

My retirement timing has coincided with India’s exposure to the internet, mobile telephony, multiplex cinemas, movies on DVDs etc, and online shopping. This enables me to live quite an active life with constant touch with friends and relatives as well as visits to and from them.

Online shopping enables me to buy DVDs, books and kindle downloads which ensures that I have enough to keep me entertained when I am not busy with my reading of newspapers, magazines and solving crossword puzzles.

The internet exposed me to to the blogging world and I have been actively blogging now for nine years. I have slowed down to just one post a week to keep the LBC weekly blog posts going, but I intend correcting that to increase the frequency to at least three blogs per week soon.

Blogging and visiting other blogs has introduced me to some wonderful blogger friends and that is another advantage of living a retired life which enables me to find the time to indulge.

You can see what the other LBC blogger Shackman has to say about retirement in his blog. The topic for this week was suggested by me.

When I was young.

This week’s topic has been suggested by Shackman for the weekly Friday LBC posts where three of us and some times more write on the same topic. One more blogger Lin is sure to write and you may like to pop over to see what the other two have to say on the topic.

I am at an age when I forget that there was a time when I was young. And for the purpose of this post, how do I define young? Pre-teen, teenage or post teen age or the entire period before I hit shall I arbitrarily say, forty years of age?

So, before I hit forty is the choice I will make for being young, and the first thing that comes to mind is that during that entire period, I never ever thought of the day when I will be as old as I am today, and most certainly even in my wildest dreams, I never thought that I would be sitting before a computer and typing blog posts out. In fact, a computer was a mysterious machine to be handled only by experts as we in India were just then getting into computerising and I had most certainly given up any idea of ever having to type anything, having got used to secretaries.

Being employed in a transferable job, I did not dream that a time will come when I will buy a home and settle down in one town and retire there. That came true in my late forties which one could call the middle age I suppose. It happened due to a series of fortuitous circumstances about which I have written elsewhere but even just a year before that happened, I could not have thought that it would happen.

By the same account, I never thought that a day will come when a land line telephone, a high prestige item in my forties when neighbours envied someone with one, will become passe and that one would be able to make and receive phone calls through hand held small gadgets which would also be mini computers for many purposes.

When I was young, I could not have imagined that we would have 24 hour television with a wide choice of channels to choose from, DVD players, home theater systems etc, to see any film at your convenience and the internet which would change how we lived.

Nor could I have imagined the kind of traffic and number of vehicles on our roads, nor the kind of roads that have come up to accommodate such traffic. Living as I was in those glorious Socialistic days, I could not have imagined the number of models of vehicles that one would be able to buy off showrooms, having been used to waiting lists for two models of cars and two models of motorcycles for the entire country.

In a matter of three decades, my world as I knew changed and I enjoy the present world and all that it has to offer.

Let me share a favourite passage.

“The pessimist resembles a man who observes with fear and sadness that his wall calendar, from which he daily tears a sheet, grows thinner with each passing day. On the other hand, the person who attacks the problems of life actively is like a man who removes each successive leaf from his calendar and files it neatly and carefully away with its predecessors, after first having jotted down a few diary notes on the back. He can reflect with pride and joy on all the richness set down in these notes, on all the life he has already lived to the fullest. What will it matter to him if he notices that he is growing old? Has he any reason to envy the young people whom he sees, or wax nostalgic over his own lost youth? What reasons has he to envy a young person? For the possibilities that a young person has, the future which is in store for him?

No, thank you,’ he will think. ‘Instead of possibilities, I have realities in my past, not only the reality of work done and of love loved, but of sufferings bravely suffered. These sufferings are even the things of which I am most proud, although these are things which cannot inspire envy.’ ”

From “Logotherapy in a Nutshell”, an essay”
― Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning