Trying to teach an old dog new tricks, is a much maligned phrase. This old dog is trying to adapt to life alone and am experiencing mixed results.
Starting over as a new single at age 74 was certainly an experience but this is what I was faced with. I floundered for a while, then realized it was either sink or swim. With much encouragement from family and friends, I made the decision to swim.
Finding a new place to live was fairly easy as I knew I wanted a condo and finding one I liked, and could afford, took very little time. Helpful daughters made the downsizing and move very easy and my transition was swift and comfortable. Adapting to living with strata rules was a learning experience, but I have adapted and have no regrets.
Life is good.
During the past eleven months I have worked my way through my fifty fifth wedding anniversary, my first Christmas as a single, experienced the death of a much loved relative, and the first of everything else, birthday, Mothers Day, Fathers Day and the reality of living with the Covid crisis. And I have survived.
Friends and family are the mainstay of my existence and I owe so much to them for the encouragement and their faith in my ability to get through almost a full year of change.
The trouble with a long term relationship is you get to depend on your partner for certain things and the reality of learning to do these things for yourself can be a bit frightening. First off, financing. I always used to be responsible for our budget, pay the bills on time, balance the check book and keep us on track. However, once on-line banking became available, my spouse took over and I was happy to leave it to him.
My computer skills really go no further than using it as a word processor and I love how easy it is for that purpose. Anything else and I am too lazy and too uninterested to learn. However, now I am responsible for myself, I have adapted to doing my banking on line and find it very convenient. I hardly ever need to go to the bank unless I need cash, today’s world is virtually a cashless society, so money in my wallet is not too important.
I love phoning in prescription refills and then just picking up my medication without hanging around for twenty minutes. I call round to different merchants to see if certain products are available, instead of wasting time and gas driving around town.
Being able to look on the internet for menus of restaurants is very handy, being a vegetarian means I have a rather restricted diet and, I get fed up of having to order salad, so it is nice to be able to peruse what is available for me to eat, before I arrive.
However, I have not mastered ordering on line. My first venture was buying a quilt for my newly painted bedroom. I saw one I really liked, very pretty and reasonably priced. However, once I placed my order, I was rather shocked to see that the prices were quoted in US dollars, so the $75.00 quilt, with exchanges, tax, shipping fees and packaging now added up to almost $120.00,not the bargain I was hoping for. However, I liked the quilt so bit the bullet and ordered it.
The ordering procedure seemed simple enough but, then I noticed I had marked the wrong size so changed it from double to queen. I then realized that queen didn’t always mean the quilt would be wide enough to hang to the desired length, so I changed it to king. Another twenty dollars for king size, it was getting more expensive by the minute. Luckily, before I clicked send, I noticed that I had actually ordered three quilts, one of each size. The perils of vacillating! I made the change and sent the order in. It arrived on the date expected and I was happy with the purchase. Another first mastered, hurrah.
Last week I decided to order a small electric grill, looked them up on line, found one that suited me and made my choice. The grill was listed by Amazon, a well recognized company, so I confidently ordered it, the delivery date was to be Friday. By five pm there was still no sign of the arrival, so I called one of my daughters and asked how to check up on the parcel.
She guided me through the procedure only to find that, apparently, I hadn’t ordered the grill. Supposedly, if I had ordered correctly I should have received a confirmation email. Not sure what happened but had obviously screwed up. I then received a short lecture on the dangers of scams when dealing with the internet and that, in future, I should have guidance.
This did not sit too well with me, I really am aware of my shortcomings in this fairly new way of dealing with things, and don’t really need to be reminded of my age and lack of competence in this area. I refused help and decided that it really is so much easier to drive to the hardware store and browse the shelves.
I really want to be part of the modern world, but when I feel overwhelmed, I retreat to a safer, more comfortable way of doing things. Let’s face it, on line shopping has it’s place in the modern world but, for those of us with the luxury of time to spare, doing things the old fashioned way is rather comforting.
Adapting is obviously a slow process!