Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Can't Fix the Roof when it's Raining

The corollary to this, of course is, "Don't need to fix the roof when the sun is shining."  In what areas of our lives do we conveniently forget to work on when things are going well?  Do we choose not to work on our health, our relationships, our professional development, or our finances?

As we get older our bodies change and the things we took for granted all our lives aren't  there anymore.  I was starting to feel sluggish and my cousin who is a pharmacist suggested I have my  testosterone levels checked; sure enough, they were low.  I started taking 50 mg of Zinc each day and did I not only start feeling better, but the dry skin that had been plaguing me for that last few years went away; hot tub, here I come!

This is not the first time I had great side effects from a supplement.  My cholesterol doctor suggested I start taking 2000 IU of vitamin D3 every day.  Immediately, the migraines I have been having at a rate of 8-9 a month were reduced to almost nothing.

I can't wait for my next supplement; maybe if I start taking Calcium my hair will stop turning gray?

How many people got burned because their 401ks were riding high and they forgot to move their investments into safer areas as they neared retirement age.  Again, when your finances are doing well - pay attention!

As the Department Chair of Information Technology, I get to council many students or potential students every week.  Too many times, an out-of-work former IT professional has come into my office asking about one of our certificates.  The story is almost always the same; they worked for the same company for many years without ever increasing their skills into the newer technologies.  I tell my students to be always improving their skills, keep networking in their field, and always be looking for their next job as they never know when they will be out of work - I know, I worked for 3 companies that went belly-up while I was there.

You must work on your personal relationships every day.  I just heard a sad story about a couple who had lived together for 25 years and finally decided to get married; they were divorced within the year.  I don't know why this happened, but I suspect that one person in the relationship or maybe both felt secure and stopped working on the relationship.

I don't want you to go out "fixing your roof" when it's raining, but remember what is needed so you can fix it when the weather is better!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Sometimes Older is Wiser

I no longer get upset if I have to wait when I go for a doctor or dentist appointment!

For me, the solution was easy.
Years ago I decided that I would do two things for any of these appointments:
·         I would never schedule anything immediately after the appointment – I usually block off 3-4 hours
·         I always bring a book or some work to do while I wait
I recently went for a podiatry appointment that in my younger years would have made me crazy; a one hour and twenty minute wait.  I was ready, I had my trusty smart phone with my Kindle application and while there were some pretty unhappy people in the office, I spent a relaxing time engrossed in “Pride and Prejudice.” 
Can you believe that I have never read the book?   Seen the movie a million times with my wife and daughter!
While I was waiting I noticed other people acting like I used to act.  Some sat there with disgruntled looks on their faces, some complained to anyone who would listen, and some stormed the front desk.
Nothing worked for them and they just keep getting angrier.  All the while, I was totally enjoying myself.  In fact, I almost missed it when my turn came and they called my name.
Over the past couple of years, I have had cataract surgery in both of my eyes.  When you have the surgery you get the choice of being able to see in the distance or near.  I chose distance for both my eyes, but I often wondered if I should have chosen one of each.
Of course, I have to use readers to read anything up close now.  This really bothers me when I have to make a call on my smart phone.  I just cannot read my contacts list without my glasses and many times it is inconvenient to pull them out.
Many people suggested that I use the voice dialing app.  The only problem with that app is that it always brings up a message box to confirm the person you want to call or to choose between two similar names.
You guessed it; without my glasses, I can’t read the message box.
Finally I decided to bite the bullet.  You see, I am an IT Professor by trade and a programmer by choice.  I spent the next year building my own app that allows me to create large icons on my phone with the pictures of the people I want to call.  Even I can see these pictures and just have to touch them to make a call.  I use this application many times a day and am a lot less frustrated with my phone.
Maybe getting older is wiser!
For those of you that aren’t programmers, you can download the “Baby Boomer Speed Dial” from the Android marketplace for just 99¢.

Professor Tom Laurie