Are You Set in your Ways?

This was originally posted to my column on the Sixty & Me website a couple of weeks ago – and now you can read it here too!!

It’s not just our joints that we need to keep flexible as we get older.

The trouble is we find a way of doing things that works well for us. There’s very little incentive to change, until one day we discover that things have moved on and no-one does it like that anymore!

I needed to use my mobile phone the other day – and when I took it out the person I was with laughed at it. I realised that my perfectly serviceable Apple iPhone is now about 10 years old. Phones don’t even look like that anymore. So – do I buy a new phone just because mine is looking a bit dated? Or do I save my money and risk being laughed at in the street? I bet the last person to use a quill pen had the same thoughts about upgrading to a fountain pen.

Fashion changes, obviously. And we change too – so what might have suited 20-year-old you or 30-year-old-you might not work for 60-year-old-you. I’ve lived through miniskirts, hot pants, flares, peasant blouses, shoulder pads, afghan coats, kitten heels, leggings (twice), hoodies, desert boots, and platform soles. I think I could still rock the flares – but hot pants? Probably not…

Hemlines change. Trouser legs change. Heels change. Even the way to carry a handbag changes. That doesn’t mean we have to follow every whim of the fashion industry – but we have to stay open minded. Never say never!!

And tech changes quicker than anything. What do you use your mobile phone for? Of all the things you can do with a mobile phone, making an actual phone call isn’t even in the top 10 anymore.

As for landlines – only old people give their landline number when asked for their phone number. In 2019 in the UK, 21% of households didn’t have a landline phone at all.

Fewer and fewer people wear watches, because their phone has the time on it.

We do have to try and keep up!!

When someone suggests something new, something out of the ordinary, something different, what’s your default setting? Do you immediately think, ‘Oh, no, that’s not for me’ or do you think, ‘Oo, that sounds interesting, let’s give it a go’? Do you actively seek out the latest thing, or do you enjoy the comfort of the familiar?

What’s your attitude to food – how willing are you to try something new? Smashed avocado, dukkah spice, sriracha? Or do you prefer to stick to what you know?

How about visiting new places? Maybe you’re happier going back to the same place every year on holiday. Maybe you feel safer driving on roads that you’re familiar with. Or maybe you have a bucket list of places to see and you spend your holidays ticking them off. As I’m newly-single, I’m discovering the joy of being able to go where I want, when I want. Here’s what I got up to on my Road Trip – some familiar places, some new places.

And the same goes for TV programmes, films, music, books, the way we do our make-up and a gazillion other things.

One of my colleagues* asked me the other day if I would ever get a tattoo. The honest answer is probably not – but who knows? It’s perfectly possible. If I did, I think it would be a beautiful butterfly on my right shoulder blade. I can’t say for sure that I would never have one done. In fact, the more I think about it, the more I think – why not?

That’s not to say we have to blow with the wind. Some things are not for changing. The important thing is to stay open to possibilities. Don’t automatically say no to something you haven’t tried before. Don’t avoid the new simply because it’s new. Don’t say no – say ‘Why not?’

What tattoo would you get, if you were going to get a tattoo?

(*Since I wrote this, my colleague has offered to book me in at his preferred tattoo parlour, and come with me for moral support…)

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Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels

7 Comments Add yours

  1. gosforthgirl says:

    Your posts are always very thought provoking and I always look forward to reading them.

    Guilty as charged on most of them except the tattoos.

    I won’t be judgemental but dare I put my head above the parapet and say do you have to have one?

    Isn’t there an inherent beauty in NOT being like everyone else?

    …..and just abiut everyone has butterfly tattoos on their shoulder…. !

    Isn’t that something much more difficult to remove and will also go out of fashion?

    Just sayin’…….!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha! You’re right, of course – I don’t have to have one. But the point of the post is that I don’t have to NOT have one either. I can choose!! I had a henna butterfly done at the Edinburgh Festival many years ago (yes, on my shoulder!) – so I guess having a ‘real’ one would just be finishing the job!!


  2. Inkplume says:

    Fun article and congratulations on having it accepted and posted by Sixty & Me!


    1. Thanks!! I write one post a month for them, and I can re-post it on here two weeks after it went live on Sixty and Me – so watch out for more!!


  3. anglosvizzera says:

    I’m all for trying new things but not just for the sake of it. I too have an old iPhone – I probably wouldn’t have had an iPhone if my daughter hadn’t sold hers to me at a cheap price and my husband’s very old Samsung Monte Slider hadn’t given up the ghost – so now he’s reluctantly the owner of my old ‘smart phone’ (not that he uses it for anything other than the odd phone call or text message!)

    I love trying new foods and growing unusual veggies in the garden (just ordered some Salsify, Scorzonera, Asparagus Pea seeds and some other things I can’t even recall the names of) but am starting to become a bit more careful about racking up the air-miles/carbon footprint etc of certain foods I buy and worrying about whether they are badly affecting the economy/environment/health of the people and places they come from (eg avocados, cashew nuts…)

    I used to be a demon as a youngster for any food or drink with an odd colour – eg blue ice cream or ‘pop’ (and later, cocktails) – now realising that they were probably made with ghastly man-made food colouring! But I do love trying the local cuisine of places abroad – why would you go there and expect sausage and chips?

    But technology is getting rather scary – having seen the film “Snowden” not long ago, I can see how seemingly innocent advances in technology can lead to problems with privacy and data collection; “Smart” technology (eg meters and home devices like “Alexa”) are things I’d be very wary of, especially after seeing the recent Panorama programme about Amazon and hearing the head of MI5 on the news last night saying they can no longer protect us from cyber-crime.

    So I’ll stick with my iPhone but not connect to the ‘cloud’, thank you very much, and I’ll only turn on my data if I really need it, and no, I don’t want a Smart meter as I am not sure about the health issues apart from anything else, and having had a friend who suffered weird ill-health for no apparent reason that could be found by medical specialists and who finally tracked it down herself to her FitBit (all problems were gone 2 days after removing it) – I won’t be having one of those either!

    As for the new safety recommendations for things like mobile phones and increasing evidence that keeping them in your pockets (or bras – I guess some people do) or actually using a laptop on your lap seems to be driving infertility and/or cancers, who knows what the future holds?

    I may seem like an old fuddy-duddy to my kids but I feel it’s better to be safe than sorry!!


    1. Oh, I remember blue food colouring – blue slushies in particular. Dread to think what it did to our insides!!
      And I’m using a laptop on my lap right now!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. anglosvizzera says:

        Not planning to have any children in the future, I don’t suppose…? 😉 It’s the young people I see who don’t seem to care and then wonder why they have problems starting a family (I know several…although I know several who seem fine too, to be fair…)


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