so... My dear friend, Ron, stopped over today to check out the vent in our RV that I told him didn't close. Ever the white knight, he came over because he has a bit more experience with RVs than we do. (Turned out I HAD closed it and the leak must have been from the frame, but I digress.).
ANYWAY, my husband Mike and I were sitting at our respective computers working when Ron walked in our open door. (Mike is applying for more contract software work after retiring because of our finances, and I was listening to a great webinar about publishing by Jacob Appel from Writers' Digest.
Don't get me wrong. We DO admire our neighbors more than we can say. Ron and his wife are ALWAYS on the go. (They actually showed us all around Disneyland on my 70th Birthday last week, spending 14 hours with us!) They are about 7 years younger than we are; they're fully retired and well-off; and spend their time being friends and socializing to all around them.
So here's the comment that I can't let go of, and I think you might have some insights to how YOU let go of things like this, being that you all are writers.
Our friend looked at Mike and looked at me and said, "So this is what you do all day? Sit at your computers?"
I've been around long enough to realize my obsession with a comment is a bit nutty on my part, and I know how to put aside other's viewpoints generally. However, I'm a bit crushed over this comment - partly because I'm thinking, "What AM I doing working at this?" "Why am I not able to have fun like everyone else around me?" Being at this age, I'm thinking. "Is this all a big mistake?" However, when I DO craft a short story or an essay that I think is meaningful, I love it.
So, your thoughts? I'm sure many of us have had these feelings. I guess "Hubpages" truly feels to me like the only community of people who actually understands and that is available to access instantly
Cheers to all,
I know how you feel as I often ask myself these questions. I am obviously enjoying it because I am willing to spend time on it. I don't know how else to explain it as I don't need the money, I just donate what I earn. I am engaged and I like the engagement.
aesta1, How nice that you donate what you earn. My friend recently told me about the volunteer work she was doing and I thought, hmmm, that's a good way to look at the things we do that others benefit from without us earning a living. Cheers, and thanks for your "fan mail".
You could explain to your friend Ron in a nice polite manner that while 'sitting at the computer' you are able to have a conversation with folks all around the world and broadening your 'friendship' base! And if that is not acceptable to him and if this is what makes you/us happy , tell him in a nice polite way that it really is none of his business ! Right ((( Hugs)))
Agulpes, Thanks. I love the idea of thinking about conversing with folks all around the world and broadening my friendship base! So, while his friends are close at hand, ours fill a wider circle. Very cool. (PS, he didn't mean anything by the comment and my husband thought he was just teasing a bit) Thanks for the hugs!!!
I know it's a hug you're looking for but I can't help it - I agree with Ron. I started writing online seven years ago - or is it eight by now? - and it took me a while, but I've reached a new perspective on it.
Firstly, sitting at your computer all day is extremely unhealthy. Research has shown that you can't offset the damage done by sitting all day -- even if you work out/walk for an hour or two every day. It's especially bad at our age (over 60) as we are losing so much muscle tone etc even if we do stay active. You need to ration yourself, or at least get yourself a sit-stand desk so you can vary your position (standing all day isn't good for you either and if you're like me, you couldn't do it anyway).
Secondly, you may be making a great circle of international friends but you are, without realising it, neglecting the world around you. Ask yourself, what did you used to do with your day before you got addicted to the internet? Are you sure you didn't enjoy those activities just as much, if not more than, what you're doing now?
Billie: If you're an RV owner (as I am), I suspect you are doing more with your life than "just sitting all day at your computer", but even if you are, you and I are around the same age and what younger people do not realize is that as we age, the number of things many of us can do (and enjoy) becomes increasingly limited...especially if we have any health problems. I spend a lot of time writing my RV articles (and others) here, but I find it stimulating and satisfying, despite some of the frustrations and upsets that come with it. Each person is different and each stage of life is different. When I was in my early 60's I was rarely on my computer and was always traveling and being active. Now, at almost 72, not so much...but I do have a number of limiting health problems.
Marisa is right...sitting all day every day is not healthy...but neither is feeling like you are losing touch with the world and feeling isolated. This site has taught me...and continues to teach me...endless numbers of things, and it has brought wonderful people into my life whom I may never get to see, but who enrich it nonetheless. I do not ignore the world around me, but I feel, "Why not have the best of both worlds?". So I write, visit and keep updated with friends, do some relatively local traveling in my RV, and participate in the things I still am able to do.
Don't worry about your friend or what he said. He doesn't mean anything by it...he simply does not understand! YOU GO GIRL!!
TimeTraveler, My husband said the exact same thing and now that I THINK about it, I think our friend was actually JOKING! BUT, you and Marisa are right. We can't sit all day. I do find myself sitting alot because all my interesting work is here. (Not the same, but interesting - I read an article about standing to use your computer. I tried it and it DOES help).
We have a 5th wheel, but don't have a truck, so we simply live in our 5th wheel and travel in the summer when the rates go up here at the Dunes. (At least we did last year when my husband retired). He's interviewing for jobs now and I'm thinking - "Why not a contract in Sweden in the summer? or Seattle!" (tee hee)
I believe most of the time people don't mean anything by their comments. Like you said, they just often don't understand our perspective.
Thanks for your support.
Everybody has how to live his or her life,so, you enjoy sitting beside your computer spending your time. In fact, this place has addicting power, and you can convince Ron to join.
If you're able to get out and about, schedule your computer time as you obviously enjoy it and writing gives you a sense of accomplishment. But if you're retired, and still able bodied, do get out a little. You don't have to do things that cost money, you just need to keep moving. Your neighbor obviously doesn't have a financial problem and may not be able to understand yours. He also is obviously an extreme extrovert and possibly you are not. Don't let his comment get you down. Do what you enjoy doing. It's YOUR life, after all.
Thank you so much. You're exactly right; he IS an EXTREME extrovert. I used to be, but I think I've changed Good advise. I heard that for every hour you're at the computer, you really need to take a break and walk around. We live in one of the most beautiful areas in CA, so there's no excuse not to. Thanks for your encouragement. Cheers
I would be more upset with a neighbor just walking in the open door. That happened once upon a time, and I got that straight right away. At the time I was drying off after a shower.
For me, it would be water off a duck's back at what the neighbor said.
But I hear you, I wonder why I spend so much time online myself.
Well, I must have an internet addiction that rewards me.
LOL! We leave our doors open here in the Park to let others know it's ok to come in. I, however, started talking to another neighbor this morning through the door and she came out in a towel ! We all are a bit casual here Flip-flops and jeans and "When did I last comb my hair?"
I do wonder about being addicted. BUT, I figure I've got to hurry up and get some good stuff published. We only have so much time afterall and I'm a SLOW writer Cheers, Colorfulone
Billie, I started writing online after a serious car accident, and chronic pain. I live in a beautiful wilderness and love being outdoors. I'm in love with my full length goose down coat, because it is freaking cold here in the winter.
I imagine you have those great Sorrel boots as well. When we were in MN, I wore the big, thick white ones with my black dress-up coat to work. Hope you're managing the pain, or better yet - thatt it's GONE.
After commenting on Time Travelers response re: not sitting, I thought of the PERFECT comeback for anyone who asks:
Q: Is that all you do - sit at a computer all day?
A: No, sometimes I stand!
I'm standing right now with the keyboard over my covered sink in the RV and watching the screen about 4 ft. away on my desk. Gotta go now. I need to find my distance glasses (tee hee)
I use to have some big thick white Sorrel boots with laces years ago, (nostalgic almost). Now, I wear -35 below Columbia boots that keep my feet warm. The pain is somewhat manageable when I am being ergonomic, and it does help to keep warm.
That is a good response you came up with.
Colorfulone, Glad to hear your pain is manageable! (My white Sorrels came over my calves almost to my knees and had a waterproof nylon piece at the top of each boot that had a pull string at the top) Now my boots are in the form of sandals here in California.
Oh, you had some nice snow boots then. I would have appreciated a pair like that when I needed to go through two feet of snow. Snow pants did help keep the snow out of those boots though.
Thinking about wearing sandals all year around makes me miss my Teva hiking shoes.
Well. I DO NOT feel bad about sitting at my computer. I work outside the home, too, and THE REST of the people in my household, sit on a RECLINER watching television, which is not interesting to me, so, now, I write - and when people ask me where I get my information from... I CAN SAY quite honestly... that I read it 'on the internet' .... in an article I wrote..
some giggle... BUT IT's a true statement.
Cute! You're right! Some of the other activities people do are just plain not interesting to me. I find writing a very ACTIVE experience - minds always going - activiely producing information rather than absorbing it. Gotta check out your cookbooks (not that I cook, but still...) Cheers, Billie
Do you think Ron was judging you and Mike? Or was he just making conversation? You're doing what you like to do. What's wrong with that?
Cheryl Renee, You're right in questioning if he was judging us. Actually, now a day later, I realize he was joking! UGH! He's the most wonderful, supportive person. I did what we often do and took the comment as an insult when I shouldn't have. If you read a previous post, I found the perfect, funny response that I should have said:
Q: Do you spend all day sitting at your computers?
A: No, sometimes I stand up and type Thanks for your insightful comment.
Billie, the Internet is indeed addictive, and even more so for we who call ourselves writers because it makes it much easier for us than before when we had to rely on pen and paper and typewriters, then mail our work off to magazines, newspapers etc. Now we can do everything online. Then if we are elderly or have disabilities it opens the world up to us that we would be otherwise unable to enjoy. We still have to try to find a balance and do as much away from the computer as we can. We should still try to join in and experience life directly around us as much as possible and should never sit longer than an hour without getting up and walking around, do a few other chores etc. I have some friends who still don't know how to use a computer, would you believe? They have trouble understanding the attraction to sitting at a screen for hours..even though they watch tv. I think time on a computer, especially for writers, is much more productive than that. Your friend was probably joking around however and I wouldn't take offence to it.
Dear Jodah, my John Denver fan friend,
I realize now that my friend was joking. It's nice to know though that when we feel a bit crazy, there are hub people to pad the walls of the mind's melt-downs. Right now, there is a party happening down in the next row of our RV park, but really, I have sooo much I want to do here instead. (I did just take a half mile walk though, so that should be good enough for now.)
I found this very cool website critiquecircle.com and a writer can get really great critiques on pieces there. However, you must first gain critique points. After you get very thorough critiques by other writers, you have to respond to their critiques, so I'm 3 behind - no partying for me tonight.
I just scanned your great article on "Writing Text or Rhyming Verse for Children's Picture Books" and I'm going to write a comment because I just viewed a webinar that spoke exactly to your point about contests.
Well, thanks again for your comments and Cheers!
I'm just going to add my two cents (or five cents whatever)...If we (as in any or all of us) sit too long at the computer we will suffer sore back, butt, legs, arms, shoulder and wrist, plus strained vision, and any number of other syndromes associated with sitting too long. Fortunately most of us have the mobility and the wherewith-all to get up and move around to get the circulation going again. Step away from the computer!
Everyone tells me I spend too much time on the computer. But it's my major form of entertainment. I've met a ton of people around me physically and I'm always trying, but in my suburb, I find them extremely boring and not on the same level intellectually. Waste of time being in their company, I'd rather be with the internet entrepreneurial crowd any day!
Some people just don't "get it" when it comes to meeting and interacting with people online. They've never been able to make it work for them.
While sitting down all day can be a health problem if you let it, just because you like playing around or working online doesn't make you a recluse at all. People are obsessed with all different hobbies and just 'cos yours is different to spending 8 hours with people you couldn't care less about on your weekend or different to spending every weekend at a stupid football match doesn't mean anyone should pass judgement on you.
As long as you're happy with your life, then that's all that matters!
Plus I'm sure if we all had 10 million to blow on our retirement, we probably would do something else like travel, but we don't have these funds. So we do what gives us pleasure within our means...which is a wise way to enjoy ourselves.
Thanks Jodah, did you know that I'm one of those very rare Australians who sees no point in football whatsoever? I don't even like the tight shorts on the neanderthals in the field....because there is truly not much going on upstairs!
I regret to say that I am a football (rugby league) fan, despite all the controversy, but everyone I know thinks I'm strange because I also like tennis. It's the intellectual battle going on as much as the physical. The best part about tennis is that it is easy to be on the computer at the same time. I agree that there isn't much going on upstairs with most footballers though.
LOL - I do like to put on the cricket as background noise when I miss my grandparents.....and sumo wrestling is a bit of fun if I'm in the mood for mindless entertainment.
Maybe they could combine cricket and sumo wrestling...imagine a field full of sumos running around batting , bowling and fielding...could be more interesting.
Potentially, they could also film The Biggest Loser and incorporate samurai too. Those contestants would freak out! Come to think of it, regarding mindless entertainment, do you remember "It's a Knockout"?
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