Stop, Collaborate and Listen

Friday, I dropped my phone into a puddle of water.

Saturday morning, I realized that the comments had somehow become disabled on this blog. Then, right after I finished editing my flash fiction for this month’s Quills & Quibbles writing exercise, the hard drive on my new laptop crashed. Then, I broke the lawn mower attempting to get the grass cut in the backyard. Then, one of the kitchen drawers came off the track in my hand.

It was at this point, Chris asked me politely to step away from the laundry, because he didn’t want to pay for a new washer or dryer.

Ultimately, all of this will be okay. I was eligible for an upgrade on my phone. I was able to contact Dell, and since the laptop is still under warranty, they agreed to send a tech out to fix the hardware problem. I think I got the comments bug fixed here (thanks to Charles Robinson for the heads up via my contact form.) The visual editor is still broken, and I’m writing this on my kids’ buggy laptop, which is not ideal. But everything will end up okay.

In the middle of a day like that, it’s easy to get stuck in a downward spiral. And trust me, I did start the spiral. There was much muttering and frustration and anger. I had a plan for the weekend. The plan included me finishing some edits on my manuscript. It did not include me crippling every piece of technology I touched before I got to those edits.

In hindsight, my plan was probably too ambitious. I was probably trying to fit too many things into two days. There were a few more hiccups in my plan that weren’t related to my epic tech fail. I’d planned on cleaning Maddie’s room, since her grandma is coming for a visit this week. We had a visit from a friend and his daughter, which meant that didn’t happen either.

I did get the shutters on the house painted with two coats of red paint. It will probably require three, but progress was made. Chris and Maddie had a nice visit with their friends, who they don’t see that often. I got to have Wiener King spicy cheese hot dogs, which I love and rarely get.

Somehow, in the midst of my personal pity party, I did get a glimmer of perspective. I did realize that everything that happened was fixable. I was dealing with frustration, not Greek tragedy. It occurred to me that I was acting like an overtired toddler who got put in a necessary time-out. Sometimes, if you refuse to take the break you need, the break will be imposed upon you. When that happens, the best thing to do is just go with it. Stop struggling. It’s like quicksand; the best, hardest thing you can do is relax.

I think some of our bad days represent a failure of imagination. We color in the outline of what happened with bleak and unkind interpretations, when we could just as easily choose a brighter palette of assigned meaning.

What about you? Have you had a crappy day that, in retrospect, just wasn’t the day you had planned? How hard is it to refocus your attention in a productive direction when your plans get derailed?

Hope you guys had a frustration-free weekend. The weather, at least here, was glorious.


  1. ·

    We’re in the throes of some home improvement projects, too, so I totally feel your pain. What was supposed to be two coats of paint in the hall ended up taking four, which put me behind on getting the trim done, but I really had to get the kitchen porch cleaned up before a party on Sunday. It’s a snowball effect and you just have to ride out the avalanche.

    And yay, comments! πŸ˜€

  2. Kat French

    Hooray, comments!

    Glad you successfully navigated your own avalanche… cascade failure… quicksand moment… pick your metaphor. πŸ™‚


Leave a Reply