Monday, 1 July 2013

Past my sell by date

Guest blog from Penny Moon, Chief Executive of www.aquietplace.co.uk

Opportunities to become an ambitious international business woman are tumbling about my head. Unfortunately they exist now not only in a world ruled by a language that escapes me but represent a new experience I am reluctant to undertake. I had been looking forward to finally achieving my adolescence, a time of irresponsibility, kicking over the traces and throwing caution to the winds. Sex, drugs and rock and roll seem to have passed me by in the 60’s and now in my 60’s I was hoping to steal a moment, only a moment please, but I suspect it is not to be.

More to the point I have no interest in learning this language of computers, twitter, facebook, who is that interested in me quite frankly? I would much prefer to learn Italian with its gentle rolling expressive notes

‘Mama Mia, Spaghetti Bolognese, arrivederci…’ the Lord knows I am nearly there already and what is more I got my Latin ‘O’ level and can still quote from The Iliad ‘Pyrrhus rushed in with all the vigour of his father; neither the guards nor the gates themselves could withstand him…’ After all is said and done I am a language teacher, yes French actually believe it or not, ‘bonjour, ca va’ the accent rolls of my tongue, the superficial fluency screamed at my knees by my small and bitter teacher, whilst the vocabulary has disappeared into some cosmic cloud no doubt where all communication dissolves now into one big wordless grin.

This is what I would like to think anyway. It is amongst my many theories that are patently untrue like if I go out in the rain, will I shrink?

On the other hand - truth be told - I am enjoying LinkedIn and meeting other professionals, discussing therapy, yoga, philosophy. Not many people have an interest in these matters and we can ‘therapeutically’ nerd away at the use of metaphors, the history of Mindfulness and meaning of Chi.

What you might ask has this to do with social media, the language of communication in this day and age, useful and not useful all at once, can get you into trouble with the lack of subtle nuances, the softening of a phrase with a twinkling eye…yes all that non verbal communication...80% is unavailable in the short hand of tweets and texts which can whip up emotions in a moment, promise the earth with its set phrases and shorthand leaving the door agape for horrifying possibilities of misunderstanding.

My extraordinary variety of accounts in all these areas, doubled or trebled accidentally with an endless array of passwords makes me sob into my computer.

And don’t get me started on my phone. It took me a year to stop calling it a blueberry. Only realised as younger folks looked politely away to avoid my ignorance, ‘done it again Pen...shape up now’ is my ancient chant to myself. The phone at present, which I can finally receive emails on, has taken to calling people (and no, not just my last call before you raise your eyebrows) without me asking (no that is a metaphor, never managed the voice thing) switching itself on and off, sometimes into SOS during conversations and it is probably right.

I look forward to running a retreat, teaching yoga and meditation, wandering on lonely (yes lonely) beaches with the wind whipping my hair and cackling now and again. Yet I suspect the next social media course will drip into my brain and I will be a whizzerooni soon (anyone up for a bet on that?). Sooper International business woman here I come and off to John Lewis for a pin stripe suit, better get out in the rain again as they probably don’t make them my size!

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