Thankful? Grateful? Enriched? Yes of course, but more than that I’m Inspired.
Inspired by Technology
I chose this first on my list, because so much of my life, our lives, are influenced by the technical advanced over the past short 50 years.
FORTRAN (formula translation), one of the first high-level programming languages, was invented in 1954 by John Backus for IBM and released in 1957. The first messages were transferred across the, now ubiquitous, internet (then ARPANET) in 1969 by Leonard Kleinrock’s team between UCLA and Stanford. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak met in 1971 (Jobs 16 and Wozniak 21) when they designed built and sold the first 50 Apple I computers. Today, my digital camera or my cell phone contains more memory and capabilities than the computer used to transfer those first messages across the ARPANET. My mother uses a computer, your mother uses a computer, we all have cell phones and keep in touch with people around the world through Skype and the social media.
Inspired by Photography
Second on my list is photography for how it has enriched my life.
In my youth I was driven to gain a professional level mastery of the oboe. I studied with the greats, practiced for hours, taught, and played. I met my husband through my connection to music and the oboe. In my mid-20s I decided I needed a career and began the study of Computer Science and built a 25-year career in the field. Both of these pursuits generated great amounts of enrichment, but now, in my not-feeling-so-old fifties, photography has pushed me into a deeper creative expression than I could have ever imagined. Photography has also provided a pathway for me to connect and be inspired by the creativity of so many others, some already recognized by the history books and others whose place is being reserved while the clock ticks a few more cycles.
Inspired by Youthful Aging
Having married an older man, I never think of myself as old. I’m 52, my husband 71. 50, 60, and 70 year olds surround me. They spend their time exploring and creating. They are gym instructors, photographers, adventurers, and scholars. They have all found their hobbies, their bliss, and share themselves and their enthusiasm with all those around them.