In April 2015 at 84 years of age I did my first ever Universal Medicine Retreat at Lennox Head in Australia. During these amazing five days I re-connected with many old friends and made some new ones, and on returning home I knew that I wanted to stay in touch with them but pen and paper was not going to work. I had never learned to type and definitely had no idea how to use a computer and having always struggled to learn since childhood, (something that was diagnosed in later years as Dyslexia,) I thought that I would never be able to learn. But it had got to the stage that writing letters was not an option anymore and if I wanted to keep in touch regularly with my friends, then I had to take 'the bull by the horns'!
That week a certain Tablet just happened to be on special so out of my comfort zone I stepped and bought it! I went off home asking myself, “What have I done?“
As I did not have any money left to pay for lessons, my wonderful friends came to my aid and were, and still are, a big support to help me on my journey of learning technology skills, and what a journey it has been! But oh dear, this tablet did not have a ‘spell check’ which I really needed, as my spelling is just not good, so instead the ‘delete’ button became my best friend on the tablet.
I spent hours teaching myself to type, sometimes getting headaches and eye strain until I managed to learn where the different keys were situated. With all my practice and commitment I have gradually learned to speed up a bit and I am now able to keep in contact with my friends.
I used to see people having so much trouble at times with their computer that I always felt “if they have trouble what hope have I got?” But with much patience and perseverance I am now part of the technology family.
There have been many times that I have wanted to put it in the too hard basket, or in frustration throw it out the window. What I have learned is to ask for help, close it up, or go for a walk to clear my head. So many times nothing seemed to make sense, and at times I also got quite frustrated and felt a little useless.
I am a person who needs to be shown a little bit at a time as following instructions is not easy especially if it has been explained all at once. But usually once I have been shown what to do then it all makes sense; although sometimes it takes a little bit longer.
I spent a lot of time looking at computer options as I really wanted one with a ‘spell check’. In October 2015, a few days after my 85th birthday, I walked into my friend’s computer store to see a great big sign saying: “60 months interest free on all computers”. I had a look round, asked lots of questions, and came home with a laptop and yes it had a wonderful ‘spell check’. Once again I had to do a lot more learning as to how to use a laptop. There is still plenty to learn, but the learning has been so wonderful as it has opened up a whole new world for me.
I can now send emails, browse through blog sites and I am even on Facebook. I have finally learned to use the mouse which has made it easier to read blogs. Sometimes I think the mouse has gone looking for some cheese as it seems to disappear from sight, but I have now learned where it goes to as I learn to use it and my laptop more each day.
As writing letters had not ever been my strong point I am now learning to be able to express myself better, but still using my ‘delete’ button often. I am getting better at it by just knowing that nothing is impossible if I do NOT let that little VOICE sitting on my shoulder tell me that I cannot do this.
The support on this amazing journey I have had from several friends has been so appreciated, as without them I would not be as far as I am with my learning. But there is still plenty to learn yet, as I know that we never stop learning.
So if anyone would like to embrace the new technology I say go for it. If I can do it, you can too. It is without doubt one of the best things I have done for me and as a result I can now keep in touch with friends all around the world.
Dorothy C., New Zealand