iPhone frequently issues updates. I regularly get a notice that an update is available and sometimes we get a notice that there is a critical update available. The adjective of “critical” always makes me think that I had better pay attention. iPhone has newer and better models and designs available almost every year as well, and even when your device is newer, or better, it still needs to be updated from time to time. With some updates, we are advised that they’re simply available to us, if we so choose to accept them, but updates nevertheless, is what they are. If Steve Jobs saw fit to create a product that is absolutely fabulous on its own but often needs modification or improvement or redesign, and Tim Cook sees fit to keep reinventing and reimagining that which is already fantastic, then I am fine with updating myself and not being shy about why it’s necessary or that I’m in the process of changing…
If I am honest with myself, I have been reinventing and reimagining and updating myself since I was 17 years old and was thrust into adulthood through horrible circumstances and terrible choices. I had to, in essence, completely erase my hard drive and download a new version of me, before I had even enjoyed a first summer after graduating high school…Erase all my programs and applications and become a totally modified me. In 2007 when the iPhone was introduced I was hesitant to be excited because I could not afford it; to have to buy a device and also a monthly payment that was more than twice what I was already paying for cell service seemed impossible for me. My flip phone worked just fine and my iPod held all of my music that I needed for work and I carried both with me every day…but a few years later as I realized how often I left the house with music but no phone, or a phone but no music, it became clear to me that my resistance was futile…AND iPhone had a much better camera and I was always taking pictures, and so I got one, a phone and music in one small device that fit in a pocket, however, this write today has little to do with my love of the iPhone product and all to do with the fact that even though the product is great and works well, and every body who has one loves it, it does, over and over, need adjustments, updates, and modifications to the apps and programs, and so do people.
If it is so that I have been reinventing and reimagining and updating myself for nearly 37 years, then it is also so that I am tired. I felt over the summer that I needed perhaps the updated PRO version of RStar, that the standard version just doesn’t seem to cut it anymore, I need the bolder, better, faster version of me. I found myself, over this last year, deeply connecting to thoughts and memories of who I was as a 17 year old girl, experiencing womanhood, & motherhood at an impossibly rapid pace to find myself at 18, miserable, scared, and in charge of a tiny human and wondering how on earth I got myself into this mess…a reimagining was necessary and a survival tactic, and while I am, at present, very grounded, very secure, very content, things that I was NOT 37 years ago, I am confident that my deep feelings of wanting to improve myself in a number of ways was a sign that a critical update was necessary.
My brunette granddaughter turned 17 in July and got her driver’s license in time for her senior year, and my blonde granddaughter made the varsity cheerleading squad in July in time for her freshman year, and watching them over the summer morph into young women, seemingly overnight almost adults, where only months before they were still, or seemed to be, my “wee-ones” as I always thought of them, made me recognize how very VERY young I was when my own young life unraveled, and these thoughts thrust me into a protection mode…wanting to protect THEM from making terrible choices and wanting to comfort MYSELF for surviving mine.
At the beginning of the summer I felt a “pull” to do the work necessary to become a better and updated and modified and improved version of myself…and for myself, not for anyone else…this might be a lot of jibber-jabber that simply means I wanted to lose some pounds, firm up some muscles, get some of my finances more in order, strengthen my body and my mind…update is really the only word, and so I began to update. In order to update you have to recognize that the version you’ve got is lacking some detail, and self reflection can be very ugly and very messy…you can’t lie to yourself when you are considering making some changes because the only person you hurt IS YOURSELF. If you feel a pull to modify then you’ve got to be clear about what exactly it is that you think needs to be changed or updated, it’s not a time to be vague or unclear or indecisive. Tackling a big cleaning project means that you first have to survey the mess in its entirety and then piece by piece/room by room, see where you can toss things out, freshen things up, and re-sort and re-organize and re-prioritize…it’s almost the exact same process for cleaning up yourself.
Last week my new purple iPhone 14 arrived via FedEx and while it is only a week old, already I’ve got a notification that an update is available, and it made me laugh, realizing that no matter how much you think what you are doing is just fine, it can always be improved upon. People and phones can all be made better by a few changes. I have made a number of them over the last months and ones that now feel comfortable and are starting to seem “normal” and do-able. Much like when you first update your phone and it feels weird, but after a few days it feels like it used to…well to be honest, mental and physical updates, the kinds of food you buy and eat, habits you break and behavioral changes you reinforce, modifications to spending and budgeting all feel kind of weird at first too, but after a while they are simply how you do things…you look back on the earlier version of you and think, “oh this is great” when you realize the update was critical and you didn’t even know you needed it.