By Pat Larsen
For Capital Region Independent Media
Yes, back in the day, this was a common phrase used in reference to videocassettes that we rented from local vendors like Blockbuster.
Videocassettes for the most part are long gone, as are discs and soon only streaming services will have movies to access for home viewing.
But that’s not what I wanted to write about today. My column titles are often simply a metaphor for a concept and that’s the case today.
As Baby Boomers and seniors and Golden Oldies, we’re often criticized and lovingly laughed about regarding days gone by.
I like to think about it as a simpler way of existing, however. Today’s world, with all the complexities of computer technology, has run roughshod over a time when there were so many wonderful benefits to the world.
I’d like to dig my own heels in and suggest that WE, this previous generation, begin to stand up to those many benefits and in doing so, share those stories with honor. Thus, being kinder when we hit “rewind” in reflecting on the memories.
I’m not going to lie, when I’ve gotten in a bind trying to figure out something on my computer or phone device, I have immediately turned to my brilliant teenage grandkids for help in sorting out the dilemma. I’ve even permitted them the opportunity to shake their heads and say, “Boomers!!!” with a cynical chuckle. OK, it’s because I love them, but then I come to my own senses and realize that if I don’t straighten their attitudes out then no one will.
When it comes to the amazing time period that we lived through, even with today’s standards of multitasking at the forefront for younger people, they could never even keep up with the day-to-day expectations.
THERE! I’ve said it. YES, we may be less than adept at understanding how to navigate through our own Amazon accounts or why the phone is locked again, but I know, in truth, none of those things would light a candle to the abilities we had being able to dial up an operator to connect us with a family member or friend. Or to have to remember a birthday or family event and plan in advance to connect rather than a last-minute text abbreviated with two letters “HB.”
Our dial-up phones sat in one place or were attached to the wall with a long, sometimes very long, coiled phone cord that reached into the far reaches of those private places when we needed to have conversations. They don’t get easily dropped and broken and then have to be replaced at a ridiculous cost after already spending extra on the screen protector that fails.
Let’s not forget to mention, when we’re sharing our stories from “back in the day,” that there were encyclopedias to do research in and Google searches weren’t even born until well after our own kids were.
The Fuller brush man was usually a neighbor who dropped by with all manner of products that made it easier to clean our homes. If the iRobot vacuum is on the fritz now or the power goes out, I still have my floor “broom” to do the job.
Dishwashers were whoever was up next for the job, and those dishes sparkled with some elbow grease and were done and not piled up in a device that “hid” the smelly meal until someone put the little soap powder in the dispenser.
I think you’re getting the picture now.
We have to retell our history with pride that carried us through to today. It’s not better; nor is it worse. It just is. And if we’re going to live in this world, three generations deep, we have to respect the path that led us to this day. THAT starts with us.
Get out there and make that happen, BOOMERS!
Please, be kind and share when rewinding.
Pat Larsen is a fitness instructor bringing her passion of music and movement to seniors and Baby Boomers morning at The Shamrock House in East Durham, often teaching programs as well or bringing in professionals to educate the community about aging well. Pat is additionally a certified clinical hypnotherapist serving Greene County and a local syndicated columnist. Please contact Pat at 518-275-8686.