What I’m Leaving Behind

The other day as I was reaching to change from radio to cd in the mini-van, I had a thought that was very strange for me: I need to download some songs for my iPod to listen to in the van. Yes, you read that right; the thought of me putting songs on an iPod, something people regularly do every day and for the last few years, is strange.

Almost immediately after I had that thought, I thought of a post I wrote a while back bemoaning the loss of my handwriting as a result of using the computer. I admitted that I tend to reluctantly accept technology, mostly as a result of my incompetence. But as I thought through the similarities between my not wanting to use an iPod and not wanting to give up my handwriting, I realized there is something else going on that scares me for some reason.

I’m afraid I’ll have nothing to leave behind.

Yes, a morbid thought, I know, but I can’t help but wonder what my grandchildren will learn about me when I’m gone when all they have are computer gadgets as a source.

I love seeing old records and the album covers that go with them. Are they tattered or in pristine condition? Can I guess the kind of music simply from the cover? If anyone were to see my old cd cases, one would notice many with cracks or the door pulled off of them–I didn’t take very good care of my cds. If one were to look at the mess of cds my husband has, one would realize how important music is to him and how neatness is not his virtue. But that person would get a false sense of who we are–those collections stopped years ago as we brought in new technology.

As our collections age, they develop character, and what we own and how we display it tells the story of our character. Yet, I worry that over time, I will have less and less of my story to show.

I have no desire to buy a Kindle or an iPad. I want to hold books in my hand, feel their spines, smell the distinct smell of their pages. And I want to leave behind a massive collection that shows my passions, my curiosities at the world–not an iPad where one would have to look at the Recent list to see what I had last read (or however that works).

I like the idea of photos in albums but reluctantly gave in to the idea of photobooks. My children won’t have the experience of taking out photos and turning them over to see what their mother wrote on the back. Yes, they’ll see what caption I typed, and, now, they’ll actually have some proof of their existence as children since I wasn’t doing too well at printing photos, but they’ll also miss something that only an old photo can bring.

As I stated before, I don’t naturally understand technology–I’ve had to call my husband at work before because I couldn’t figure out how to play a movie for the kids (I never had problems using a VCR, by the way), so I know my fear influences many of my decisions. And I know that I never bought tons of cds in the past, being content to listen to the radio, so having long lists of songs on an iPod doesn’t fit my character, either. Yet, there is still that part of me that wants to hold on to the old ways, afraid of what I’m going to leave behind…

…or not.

Has anyone else ever had thoughts like these, or am I just a weirdo? What things of the past do you bemoan losing to new technology? Does anyone else think it’s time for Matt to take me on a date?–I’m depressing the heck out of myself, lately! 🙂

14 thoughts on “What I’m Leaving Behind

  1. Yes to the date! And, no, you're not crazy. I'll never do the kindle thing either. I love my books too much. I've actually found writing in baby books weird – I go to fill out the pages and realize I have no photos to put in there to mark the events. All the photos are digital and I never find time to actually sort through and order/print them. It's a catch 22 I guess…


    1. Yes, digital cameras are supposed to make pictures better and easier–we can pick out the ones we like, delete the ones we don't. However, now there's the extra step of figuring out the pictures you want to print instead of just dropping off a roll of film. And because I'm so anal, I have to go back to the computer and find the exact date each photo was taken and write it on the back and put all photos in chronological order. It takes me forever; thus, I have few albums completed.


  2. I can absolutely relate to this, although honestly, I've never thought about it in terms of what I am leaving behind. For me, I think it's a reluctance to change, a reluctance to try something new. I still print photos and collect them into albums. I still read regular old books. I still listen to CDs. We still have our home movies on vhs! (need to transfer those soon!).

    By the way, your blog is a great thing to leave behind. Granted, it's not on paper, but it will be a lovely record of your daily life, and your kids and marriage, for years to come.


  3. I actually thought about this yesterday! If I never print pictures out – my grandchildren will never have them. I really enjoy your blog!


  4. I'll have to say that, even though this is not a "new" technology, I am incompetent to do simple math away from my calculator. I can't do simple division without my cell phone. Isn't that sad?


    1. I cannot judge–I've never been able to do math inside my head. When I'm writing our check for church, I have to do the math on the bulletin.


  5. Just wanted to agree with you about e-readers. I love technology and usually jump right into the thing that will make life easier for me, but I refuse to read books that way…particularly for pleasure. I, too, love the feel of the book in my hand and I love the smell an older book has.


  6. I'm a bit afraid of what i leave behind. i won't let Dad throw out your school papers from Kindergarten and i have b/d cards and mother's day cards, etc. that are saved for years. I don't want to be remembered as a "hoarder." I hope you, Lisa, and my grandbabies remember me as loving you all so much and fun to spend time with. I do need to put picture albums together. According to Caleb, my time is running out. I think technology amazes and frightens me simultaneously. I could learn to embrace it, i think, maybe, nah, forgeddaboutit! 🙂


  7. In all honesty, I'm terrified for when both you and my MIL pass away–with both Matt and I being the firstborns, we're going to have quite the load of boxes to sort through! I say you and Cheryl need to start cleaning out your basements! 🙂 And Caleb is a little nutty sometimes.


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