View From Here
By Katherine Veno
holds us back...
When I am set in my ways it is either rooted in fear of being hurt or
needing to control the situation. I used to think if I could not do a job
perfectly why bother to do it at all? That did not work for me.
When I did not want to do something my family or friends wanted to do, I
would resist. I learned that resisting one hour of my life spent with
friends or family doing something they suggested for once would not kill me,
and I would probably enjoy it.
For any kind of relationship you have to bend a little bit in order for
success. Raising children requires flexibility. Nothing seems to go right
some days. You just have to roll with it.
As for couples, one is always saying the other needs to change. This is so
wrong, because that will spell doom. The “it is my way or you take the
highway” approach will put you on the road for sure. If you really want to
work something out with a partner or a friend, both of you have to bend and
both of you have to give a little. One cannot do it all, even if this would
work. It won’t.
Inflexible ideas only keep you from progressing in any suitable direction.
When somebody just won’t let go and stays rigid, it can even have an effect
on your job. You cannot control whether a client is going to show up for an
appointment, or the price of groceries, or when a deal will close. Your
calendar needs to be in pencil, not permanent ink.
Learning to be open to new ideas does not make you a doormat. It does not
mean you should abandon all your moral ideals. But it does involve getting
engaged in life as it comes in each moment. I think we can become more
flexible at any age. Just because we have “always done it this way,” does
not mean we have to continue to do it that way. Stretch yourself a little
bit and learn to ease up on yourself. Things will go so much smoother.
By Emily Gail Lundy
When as a child we received our first phone, hooked to the dining room wall
in the center of the house, we had a simple directory for our community, and
our number was 4012, life was good unless we shared a party line.
At some point, 778 was added as a prefix; then for decades 214 was needed at
the front of any number. When 903 replaced 214, I felt I had lost a good
What I was losing was closely connected – human contact.
First, some friends or relatives have answering services, and I don’t intend
to hear from that person while I still remember who he is.
Some numbers are private, unlisted, and I feel I’ve been slapped in the
Then I can dial a number wrong and make some who answer really angry.
But what I miss the most of my losses is HUMAN CONTACT. On a typical day, I
may call an insurance company, IRS, a business to find a particular item
before I begin my caravan, or maybe a company to pay my bill online. This
will all stop (some of it, soon) when I try a new system. Reliving two days
last week has made me see the light for a country with too many people
needing information, advice, or use of a phone.
I called an insurance company. A human welcomed me, giving me false hope.
Then followed multiple choices from an automated voice, usually female. I
heard a familiar choice, opted for it, and received more automated
selections. Help was not on the way. We actually had to drive to another
city to get the results we wanted, and that story could put a whole county
to sleep if I reieterated.
Saturday, I wanted to pay a utility combo bill of three services. If I push
the right number, an automated voice wants my account number, the routing
numbers on my checking account, plus other items imbedded in my head.
If I cannot give all this information in the next 30 minutes, I push a wrong
number intentionly usually to get a polite male voice that swallows, and
allows me to tell him my plight. I want to GIVE money. Help me.
With my telephone number, which I know although sometimes it rolls out
faster than other times, all my information comes up, information that’s
been on file for three years. A few simple questions I easily answer to
prove I am who I am and why else would I want to pay a bill, and I can hang
This reminds of how rapidly some people, most inhuman, give out information
today, but I don’t feel like typing that much.
The telephone is a device miraculously made to help us. Why is it driving
some of us nuts?
I asked my daughter-in-law on a recent visit if she had a telephone book for
Greater Dallas as I avoid getting long-distance numbers, even calling a
long-distance number I know to get one I don’t.
Daughter-in-law said, “No, I threw them all away.” She uses her computer
(which charges me for such a service but not when it’s a business told about
on the internet.)
A granddaughter of a friend with a family has only cell phones and doesn’t
answer any calls or only rarely. We have a land phone because our cells go
out sometime. We did have three land phones. Now only one, which we move
from connection to connection. One is probably outside, and I washed the
other with the bedcover. The phone rejected this cleansing.
I no longer run to answer my phone, sometimes falling, as my phone has a
system to tell me who called.
Some cannot let an unanswered ringing phone be ignored. They go to great
lengths to retrieve the caller, even calling friends to see if they called.
It seems telephone service and my steady bodily weight, always shifting
around, although I skip one meal a day, consume too much of my life.
When I must make a call, I have ten directories somewhere for specific
locations; not one I find has the person in it I want. Not everyone has an
e-mail system. Once I had a phone book with Henderson County, a few Kerens
numbers, even a few Mabank ones as Mabank is in two counties. If I find that
book again, it will have new respect, a place of honor, and help my sanity.
But the numbers I really want will have probably been changed.