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Admiration for Those Learning

The third wave of COVID is threatening the health of our youth as outbreaks occur throughout the province in local schools.  As much as people are protecting themselves through vaccines, self isolation and taking care to be aware of potential hazards where there is increased risk, all of us have felt the sting of COVID.  And it is distressing to see some people out rightly balk at taking care at all, relying on conspiracy theories to support their ill-advised decision to not wear masks or keep themselves from others who may be susceptible to the virus, if they’re exposed.  While all of this is taking place, there are those who are diligent about keeping themselves, their family and their neighbours safe.  I certainly appreciate the innovative and creative ways people are finding to meet together while staying safe at the same time.

A quick stop at A and W for coffee yesterday morning revealed an ingenious way to meet together, while keeping six feet apart from each other.  Several people sat in lawn chairs, enjoying a cup of hot coffee, the sun and fellowship with each other.  I have to admit, it actually warmed my heart to see them meeting together.  For the first time in a long time, life looked and felt normal.  I didn’t have time to stop and enjoy their interaction as I was off to purchase a new to me camera.

As I scrolled through the owner’s manual of my new to me digital camera, I was immediately swamped with feelings of being overwhelmed and intimidated by the many extra accessories that came with the camera.  I wasn’t just going to be able to ‘point and shoot.’  At least not until I’ve taken some time to familiarize myself with all the features my new ‘toy’ has to offer.  I’m sure after a few months, I will be proficient at using all the different gadgets the camera provides me to improve my photography and will allow me to spend less time editing photographs and deleting those that are just useless.  In the meantime, I’m feeling really overwhelmed with the information overload I’m receiving with my new purchase.  And at the same time, I’m feeling a whole new, deeper level of appreciation for those who are much older than I and have been forced to join an information highway learning curve as we looked for ways to thwart the side effects of COVID including self-isolation and not being able to see family and friends in person.

There is a saying that “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”  But COVID has proved that adage to be very wrong.  I know people well into their late nineties who have learned how to use new cell phones, access the internet, set up email, create ways to do online banking and order their groceries and meet together with family and friends using apps such as Zoom, WhatsApp and Hangouts, just to name a few.  Learning how to take advantage of technology such as Facetime phone calls has helped all of us feel not quite so alone even as we self-isolate to keep ourselves safe and healthy.  I am amazed at how much effort people have put forth to ensure they stay connected, despite the separation.

I don’t enjoy the highs and lows of being on a learning curve.  I find it frustrating and overwhelming, at times, and there are moments I want to hold my breath until I’m blue in the face, pull out my hair then scream to relieve anxiety.  While I may want to do that, I have little people watching and learning from my example so I talk myself through it… yes, I talk to myself.  Out loud.  And I take in a few deep breaths through my nose, hold for a count of seven and then release the breath through my mouth.  Usually a good lung full of air can help clear the cobwebs and ensure that I act with dignity.  Maturity.  Humility.  Sanely!!!  Okay, me and sane in the same sentence… I just made myself laugh out loud!  But I think you know what I mean.  Learning something new isn’t easy.  It’s very challenging.  And I have a whole new level of respect for all of us who have taken on a learning challenge during this pandemic.  It certainly hasn’t been easy but I think we can all say, learning something new along the way has made us a better person for the time we were able to take advantage of and learn something new.  I hope you chose something that you’re genuinely interested in so that you might learn and enjoy your new skill.

Take care and have a great week everyone.

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Wednesday January 12, 2022