Reinventing "Old School"

Reinventing "Old School"


Someone told me recently that I am old school. Me. Old school. Mind blown. It is not a term I’ve ever applied to myself. It was followed by  “That’s what’s cool about you …”


It felt like a blow off … and in that moment, it probably was. My friend was not interested in engaging in conversation in that particular moment. I’m ok with that.

But the term “old school” ? The term “old school” in the same sentence as you-meaning-me left me reeling just a bit. Enough to explore that reeling sensation a bit more.

The response (old school) came out of the observation on my part that I would never just call without an invitation.

Just like I will not drop in on anyone in their home on a whim when I can call first and see if it is a good time. I never ever want to be a “jama mono”, (a Japanese term for bother or hindrance that I heard a lot as a kid, with the words “Don’t be a” in front of it.) My parents, now in their eighties chuckle at me for this habit of calling first. They tell me I can drop by any time.That’s after all how it was before phones and cellphones.

Yet, in the era of text messages, and Messenger, WHY would I expose myself to the potentiality of “jama mono” (hindrance or bother – interruption) when I can so easily sidestep that feeling by texting first?  The younger ones don’t want to talk for the most part. The younger ones would rather text. So how, I ask is this stance “old school”?

Is respect old school?

Could I investigate my current definition of respect, maybe allow it to shift a little?

Could I allow myself to ask for preferences? For example, my thirty year old daughter prefers that I text first before calling. I honor that most of the time. (Not always)

Yes.  Of course I could, and as I sit with that one, I realize that for now, the respect is for me, not the one on the other end of the exchange. The respect in this case is about me, caring enough about how I feel to own what I need in any given moment and honor that. Respect is always birthed out of Self-respect first.

Another interesting question arises for me here.

What is the story I tell myself about “jama mono”, about being a hindrance, an interruption, a bother?

Could I tell a new story here as well?

One that lets it be what it is rather than be the feel of little kid bothering a grown up with the attendant shame that washes over me in that story?

Could it be as simple as “Not now”, no need for the shame of the “jama mono” story that has been dominant? (I can still hear my mom’s voice in my little girl head – “Don’t be a jama mono.”)

Of course it could. It can be whatever meaning I give it.

I chose to bypass explanation. Explanation is redundant in the moment. Explanation imposes immediate story. One I may not wish to keep. One I do not wish to keep.

Laughing. So why this piece?

Simple. I love the process! I love the dance of connecting the dots and letting old story go with  a kiss.

Joy and happy reinventing!