Give Thanks For What You Have Lost

Give Thanks For What You Have Lost

I’m sure we all agree that this is definitely the time of year to be thankful. Recently, I have been reflecting upon all of the various blessings in my life and I humbly admit that I have been praying that these blessings will persist in the coming year.

Then, through a series of revelations, I actually concluded that some things should not necessarily persist.  It’s nice to appreciate the things you have, but what about the things you’ve lost?

I was reading the other day that the floppy disk icon that represents “Save” should not be used anymore as many younger software users do not even know what floppies are.  They have learned how these icons are used, but not why they are represented with this unfamiliar, archaic image.

I am actually envious that these newer generations do not know what a floppy disk is.  They will never haveto deal with demagnetized disks, limited file capacity, or randomly corrupted files.  My jealousy aside, I am even more thankful that I no longer have to deal with these issues myself!

We are all thankful for the friends and family that we have in our lives and of course we are all sorry for the ones we have lost.  But, do we take the time to be grateful for the things we have lost?

For example, I am thankful that I lost the need for a phone modem in my computer.  I am surprised the Internet even caught hold when this was the only way to get to it.  The Internet and modern word-processing capabilities have spoiled us, for not too far back Administrators had to transcribe hand-written proposals using typewriters and carbon paper.  Let’s have a moment of silence for those Administrators, who 40 years ago, had to complete all forms in triplicate, written in cursive!

Bottom line — I suspect the longer you have been around, the more appreciative you have become for some of these thankfully lost things.  As I was forced to listen to a barrage of holiday songs while riding in my wife’s car, I continued to reminisce about defunct, died-out stuff.  It wasn’t long before some of these blessedly lost things coalesced into the song that was playing.  It was ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’…

Instead of “On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…”  I was thinking “For each round of deadlines, there was less a need for these …”

I was taken back to all those “submittal deadlines” of years past and how the changing tides of technology have transformed our jobs so dramatically.  I couldn’t help but think of all of the things that used to be apart of this “submittal process” but have fallen along the wayside.  Trust me, the longer you have been in this business, the more you are thankful for losing some of these things!

Anyway, my wife was merrily singing along with her three French hens and two turtledoves while I was deep in thought.  Needless to say, my own unique “lost things” version of this song unfolded in mere minutes. Consider yourself lucky if you miss some of these references.  Some of these obsolete items and/or processes may still be around, however I assert that they are not as systemic as they once were.

So here goes… (p.s. feel free to sing along with me in your head)

“For each round of deadlines, there was less a need for these  

12 White-Out bottles
11 printer ribbons
10  copy machines
9 carbon papers
8 felt tip pens
7 COBOL programs
5… extra… copies…
4 part paper
3 punch cards
 postage scales
And proposals submitted in cursive!”

Whew!  You were a little off-key but I think we both sounded pretty great!

On a more serious note,  I wish you and yours a great holiday season and may you too be both thankful for your blessings and grateful for losing things without regret!

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