REFLECTION: One of my end of year actions was the purchase of a new desktop computer. The actual transition of files and applications from old to new went relatively smoothly. I was delighted by the larger, brighter screen and the faster processing.
However, the delight soon faded when it turned out my new baby was a touch temperamental. She would shift from humming along happily to spiking a fever and spinning her wheels. Wheel spinning was punctuated by intermittent brain freezes, during which all the clicking and cajoling in the world could not raise a response.
It soon became evident a trip to the ER (Electronic Rehab) unit was in order. And, as I write this, my new baby languishes in the queue, waiting to be examined by the Doc on call.
Initially, I did not respond that well. Although the new baby is, of course, under warranty and the repairs will be made at no additional cost, we had invested a significant amount of time in the system transfer and set up. It appeared that investment would be time and energy down the drain.
When the breakdown occurred, I found myself flipping into R&R mode: Regret and Recriminations. Should have done X! Could have done Y! Why didn’t we try Z? Why did this happen to me? All pointless machinations, of course, and an even more colossal waste of energy.
ACTION: The good news is that I didn’t stay stuck in letdown limbo for long. Somehow reason prevailed. I was able to remind myself that just because my computer had a meltdown, it didn’t mean that I had to follow suit.
When life’s experiences go sideways, here’s a formula for a healthy response with relative time frames:
Accept reality – 30 minutes
Rant, rave, wail & gnash teeth – 30 seconds
Review options – 30 minutes
Choose action – 30 seconds
Get on with it – Pronto!
* Actual time approximate – proportions accurate. If you get my drift!
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “Just because your computer (microwave, car, firstborn, fill in your nemesis of the day here: _____) has a meltdown, it doesn’t mean that you have to follow suit.” – Yours Truly
RESOURCE OF THE WEEK: I’ve long been a fan of Loretta LaRoche and her zany take on life’s stressors. I recently enjoyed dipping into her latest offering: “Juicy Living, Juicy Aging – Kick Up Your Heels … Before You’re Too Short To Wear Them”. Hay House, 2007.
READERS WRITE: In response to the recent e-zine on ‘Saying Yes’, Pause reader JO writes: I enjoyed the newsletter that commented on saying yes and saying no. Many of us who are customer centric often say yes first. It can be the automatic response that comes from a sincere desire to help. Always saying yes can however lead to too much on the plate!
A few years ago when I was recovering from some surgery and coming back to work full time, it was very important for me to set boundaries. The counsellor I was working with suggested that I give myself time to reflect on requests. It was important that I measure my energy at various parts of the day to see what my capabilities were.
This is the lesson I learned that I still use today. In response to a request, say maybe or I’ll consider this. That response gives me the pause time to reflect, and if I have to say no, or not at this time, it’s easier going.