As I age, the number of candles on the cake becomes less important. The big milestones have passed.

  • The first one is age ten – double digits.
  • Then thirteen – the beginning of the teen years.
  • Eighteen – adulthood.
  • Twenty-one means I could vote and drink.
  • Thirty indicates I’m no longer a kid.
  • Forty, fifty, sixty…milestones are now ten years apart. I don’t think about the exact number so much anymore.

Until reality smacks me in the face.

For Example, my granddaughter received a nice camera for her fourteenth birthday. She’s super creative and has taken some amazing pictures with her cell phone. Her parents thought she’d like to take her creativity to the next level. Hence the camera.

I asked my daughter where they purchased it. She told me there is a specialty camera store in their little town.

I asked, “Do they have classes? You should sign Audrey up for a class on how to use the camera.”

She paused, then answered, “Um, no. She and Craig watched some YouTube videos.”

Reality check.

Old school – Buy a camera, take a class.

New reality – Buy a camera, and watch YouTube.

What? That’s not how it’s done. Classes create community. YouTube is solitary. In a class, you learn from others and vice versa. Watching a video makes you a spectator, not a participant.

What if I was thirty and wanted to learn ballroom dancing? How would a video on my iPad help me?Sigh.

I feel like my grandmother must have felt, watching technology change around her. I do love technology. I’m looking forward to buying an Apple watch, as soon as they come down in price. (stop laughing. It could happen.) It’s just that my way of doing things and the way these young kids do things is way different.

Parenting, for instance. “Don’t make me get the wooden spoon!” has been replaced by a time-out. Try giving a time-out to a recalcitrant toddler. Who’s in the middle of a meltdown. In an airport. On Thanksgiving. Ugh.

Instead of mourning the constant reality slaps in the face, I’ve decided to embrace them. I’m signing off to watch a YouTube video on how to create an award-winning blog.

Jane S. Daly is the author of two nonfiction books and seven novels.

Jane is addicted to coffee, purple pens, and her husband, not necessarily in that order. A self-proclaimed introvert, she enjoys the solitude of riding shotgun in Rigsby, her 37-foot motor home. But when they pull into a new campground, her favorite thing is to make new friends and find hangouts featuring local musicians. Her fantasy involves writing lyrics for country music songs and hearing them played on the radio. In the meantime, she’ll stick to writing novels. And seeing as much of the country as possible.