where the writers are
Saying Good-bye to the Past

Watching a video clip from Wordcamp, I was struck by how young everybody in technology seems these days - how it was only yesterday I was the young thing, drinking martinis, wearing black, and conquering San Francisco, Silicon Valley, and the Pacific Northwest. And then I realized I was starting to sound like everybody who had come before me. Like those who come after me, I was too busy enjoying my youth to acknowledge that my day was then, would eventually pass, and others would take my place. And that not having kids would not really prevent me from becoming my mother.

But that's okay. It also made me realize that so much of my longing to move back to the west coast may have been a longing for the past. And that my future may be back east - back to Florida - where you're allowed to grow older and where the pace is a little slower for those longing to slow down just enough to admire a sunset with your soulmate - and let the rest of the world race through life at such a frenzied pace.

And maybe I'm glad I no longer have to set the alarm clock to awaken at six o'clock, or race to the BART station to travel to San Francisco to start work in the historic Flood Building at the intersection of Powell and Market where the cable cars turn around and head back to the Wharf. Or grab a hasty cup of Peet's Coffee, hoping it'll prop my eyes open and hold me over until lunch when I'll grab a fried chicken breast prepared in Chinatown but sold at Woolworth's, also located in the Flood Building at street level. Or attempt to avoid the kooks predicting the whole world is going to hell in a hand basket, or the opportunists dressed in three piece suits whispering obscenities in my ear while I watch tourists board a cable car, choke down my lunch, and head back to the office. And after working all day, I won't then have to hike up and down the hilly streets of San Francisco all the way to North Beach in my heels, where I will meet up with others and fend off men on the prowl in the bar at the Rusty Scupper, all to repeat again the next day.

Maybe I'm happy I'm at the time of my life when I can write all of that down and find a place for it in my current wip. Or if not that scene, exactly, perhaps a similar scene from one of the many chapters in my life. I always longed to be a novelist, but when I was younger I wondered what I possibly had to write about. Now I have so many life experiences, I can't seem to find the time to write all the stories that I could draw from my life.

But I'm still in that in-between time where I'm still young enough to work, so I must squeeze out time for writing those fictional scenes that scream to be written while I continue to write technical manuals. So maybe my field hasn't completely been turned over to the young - there are still some of us "old-timers" hanging around - those of us who paved the way for all that is happening in technology today. So maybe old tech writers don't retire - they just go to Las Vegas and wither away in the desert. But not for me. No, I have better plans. And, instead of dwelling on my yesterdays, I'm going to be thankful for them, say good-bye to them, and focus on today, and on the decisions that will enhance my tomorrow.

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