Analogy: How Learning to Type is Like Learning to Handle Life

Remember when you learned how to type? My folks made me take typing in high school. Understand that that was before the days of word processors. My folks knew I would have to type lots and lots of papers over the years, so knowing how to type would come in handy, to say the least. When my mom learned how to type, she learned on typewriters with blank keys. Thus it was essential to memorize the keyboard immediately; there was no way to cheat and hunt and peck.

When I learned, the keys weren’t blank. I didn’t bother completely memorizing the keyboard. In the advent of word processors and spending many hours typing, I have now memorized the keyboard. however, I don’t type the numbers nearly as often as the letters, so I still have to look at times when i type the numbers. At a recent office job I could carry on an entire conversation while typing a report or a memo and not miss a beat. Some of my younger co-workers (who were leass familiar with the keyboard) found that to be both hilarious and amazing. I just took it for granted. I am not sure when the typing became fast and automatic, but it did. It took hours and hours to become proficient.

That can be said for anything, can’t it? I mention my mom because she is part of the greatest generation, as Brokaw calls it. My mom says that they were the responsible generation born between two irresponsible generations. It’s true, isn’t it? they lived their lives having to pound out stories and work using a blank keyboard, and not having the luxury of making errors.

We don’t become proficient at life until we know our keyboard. If you have been through multiple difficulties, trials, sufferings, triumphs and joys, things become standardized to a certain extent. By that I mean that if you have been through the hospitalization of a family member and had to deal with medical decisions and being supportive, then future episodes become a bit more routine to a certain extent. you kind of go on the graces in your heart.

Until you have enough practice at anything, you stumble and fall. I don’t know why I thought it would be different when it came to parenthood or adulthood for that matter. That is the advantage as we age. You have more experience, more confidence, more skill, and hopefully you begin to learn to laugh at yourself. You realize that even if you fail miserably, life will go on.

In some areas of my life I have always had a good sense of humor. When I was a hotshot rising star at a computer company I had traveled to Indianapolis to give a presentation to all of the district branch managers. I was wearing platform-type wedge shoes. In the midst of using my pointer to point to one of my visual aids I took a tumble (a near sommersalt) right out of my shoes onto the floor! I immediately leapt to my feet and tossed my hands in the air like a gymnast would after a terrific move. I laughed, and went on with my presentation. I never once worried about ‘what the execx thought of me’….

Some other areas of my life I don’t necessarily have that exuberant confidence and I feel very self-conscious around people in some situations. The situations usually involve the ‘mean girl’ types who have been judgmental. Looking at that aspect today I realize that those situations are no different than me falling off of my shoes. Guess what? Everyone falls in some way. But like learning to type, the more you know, and the more practice you have, the better you do.

That means the more I practice keeping things in perspective and going forth joyfully, the less often I will get angry and the less often I will feel vindictive.

This week I am remembering fond happy summer-times. I remember being in Ohi o and spending summer afternoons at the pol with my son and my friends and their children.. I remember sitting on a friend’s patio/deck having a glass of wine and talking until the wee hours….about everything and anything.

I remember going to the Jersey Shore and I remember sitting on the front steps in NJ watching my son and his friends play for hours—and sitting and laughing until my sides ached with my girlfriends.

Oh I remember how time seemed deliciously slow-moving — and the swet smell of sunscreen on the way home from the lake, the pool, or the shore.

I remember picking fruit and eating tons of fruit and veggies….I remember lobster, scallops, and sweet corn while staying at a lovely motel with a kitchenette near Portland, Maine.

I remember my Aunt and Uncle’s resort in Wilmar, MN and being with my cousins….I remember meeting my friend Judith when I took a training class near Detroit. We found out we both had spent childhood summers in Wilmar. We wondered oh so wistfully if the reason we became instant friends was because perhaps in our little-girl pasts we had seen each other at the popsicle case in a little store in Wilmar—and now years later we finally met!

The thing I remember or realize today is that i guess I have learned to type and I have learned how to live a type of life in an analagous way. That seems very deep to me; but when I read it it looks a teensy trite.

Maybe it seems major because for years I was a lousy typist—really unsure and I had to check and doublecheck as I worked. Kind of like if you learn to swim at a lake you kind of lay across the water and feel your way along the sandy bottom with your hands, but try to look as though you are swimming.  Then eventually you begin to gingerly swim.

My birthday is coming up soon—and I am feeling reflective and a bit self-congratulatory. those who know me well will know how unusual that is. However, it gives me hope that I will, indeed continue to improve. I believe that I can—because I am a prennial optimist!

About Kate Kresse

I love to write, I love to talk, I love to uplift people when I can. I am a woman in love with life. I am a wife, mom, tutor, writer, and I am a perennial optimist. (OK not every single minute but you get the point! :-)
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