If Bermudians of all ages have one thing in common it is a tendency to dislike making and adapting to change.
Itís a little ironic when you consider that the island was discovered and settled by people intent on finding and embracing a new way of life.
On the one hand you might argue that our innate resistance to change is rooted in the fact that we are acutely aware of just how good life is here on the rock in comparison to the world around us. Yes, our cost of living is extremely high and many people struggle to make ends meet, but we also have a number of things that millions of other people cannot buy at any price.
Just browse any television or online news source and you quickly realise just how tranquil and safe our island is compared to much of the outside world. Things like freedom of religion, freedom of self-expression, freedom of the press, free access to drinking water, not to mention access to clean, fresh air, clean beaches and unpolluted oceans ó unknown in many nations, they are most definitely worth preserving here.
On the other hand, is it possible that we are allowing this well-intended determination to prevent change to spill over into other areas of our lives to the point that it is negatively impacting us?
Are we in fact resisting all sorts of potentially beneficial changes that have the capacity to improve our lives?
Donít get me wrong, I am all for maintaining the good aspects of our cultural heritage that bring us joy and a sense of consistency; things like kite flying, fitted dinghy races, cassava pie recipes, gombey dancing and Cup Match colours. But are we also clinging to other outdated things that no longer serve us?
Much depends on your perspective.
Consider the collection of family photo albums taking up space in the back of your closet. When was the last time anyone looked at them? How many of your Kodachrome photos are becoming hopelessly discoloured from years of sitting around in the Bermuda climate? Will anyone know who the people in these faded images are when you are gone? Will your grandchildren even have sufficient space to store them?
Unsettling thoughts I know. Much of your family history may be recorded in those images and there is nothing wrong with wanting to hold onto them but are you really preserving them in a way that your descendants will be able to enjoy them?
Is it possible that it might be better to ask a family member to help you scan them into a computer and then save them in a secure online folder where your whole family can access them for years to come?
And now that Iíve got you thinking, what about all of your grannyís handwritten recipes, not to mention the ones locked up in your head that no one else knows how to reproduce? What if you shared these with all of your younger relatives in an online cookbook?
Think how much easier the next family get together would be ó instead of bearing the entire burden of the next holiday meal, you just call everyone up and assign them a dish from your virtual cookbook and sit back and relax as the entire meal walks through the front door.
There is no doubt that change is inevitable and it can be unsettling to let go of the ways that things used to be done but it can also be a breath of fresh air to learn about and adopt some of the new technologies and services that exist to enrich your life.
Robin Trimingham is an author and thought leader in the field of retirement who specialises in helping corporate groups and individuals understand and prepare for a new life beyond work. Contact her at www.olderhoodgroup.com, 538-8937 or firstname.lastname@example.org