When I was a child, I gave little thought to 50-year old people. Why would I? On the rare occasion when I did consider them, my thoughts were limited to the idea that they were really old and knew all they needed.
In just over a year, I will be 50, and most of my friends have either reached that milestone or are very close.
I no longer think that people in their fifties are particularly old, and I am quite aware that everyone needs to learn more.
Personally, I am still seeking answers to those things I’ve never been able to understand. For example:
- Why does the trip home always take half the time as the trip to get there?
- Why do the people who hurt us the most also teach us the most?
- Why does life speed up just as we begin to truly appreciate it?
- Why do we cry when we are happy?
- Why are we are the most comfortable in our own bodies at a time when our bodies are starting to fall apart?
But none of these is nearly as pressing as the question that has recently been consuming my thoughts: “What is the purpose of Windows Updates and why do they always occur when I most need my computer?”
Last week at work, I was using my laptop during a meeting when I lost access to it.
The reason? I had postponed installing the Windows Updates far too long, and Microsoft had decided that my time was up. The updates took control of my computer with absolutely no consideration of my needs.
I should have known better since, just the night before, my personal lap had done the exact same thing.
But this was work and the meeting was my first obligation of the morning. I turned on my laptop, started the meeting, and then the updates began.
For almost an hour, I muddled through while my computer processed “essential updates.”
I have absolutely no idea what these updates were because when laptop finally began functioning again, everything seemed exactly the same. Exactly.
Maybe that’s the whole point of these updates – they are some kind of digital Botox so the operating system appears immune to the effects of aging.
Or maybe the updates are a gimmick intended to convince Microsoft users that they are using the most up-to-date software when nothing is really changing.
Or maybe I don’t understand technology.
None of this mattered, though, when I was stuck in a meeting without access to my computer.
Instead of hiding being the screen while tapping on keys, I was forced to pay close attention to what everyone said and take notes the old-fashioned way: with pen and paper.
Which got me thinking about all of the updates in my life.
At times they may seem intrusive and unwanted, but sometimes they are absolutely necessary.
Sometimes they make us stop and think.
Sometimes they make us do things a bit differently.
And sometimes they make us appreciate those things we usually take for granted.