Yesterday I began a new gong. Spring is here and I am trying to use the increasing daylight and temperature to kick start having more energy and getting more done. Winter slows me down. This is as nature intended, but the demands of mankind know know seasonal adjustment nor time of rest. So I fall behind in what the world demands and have to catch up in the warmer months. mankind. Once again I overloaded my to do list, spurring myself to get more done. Even if I don’t finish, it works for me to list it all, try to do it and at the end of the move the undone to the next day. Some people might develop a depressing paralysis from this. I used to, but worked passed it by coming to the realization life in process. You never get it all done, something new always comes up. That’s just the way it is. The best you can do is streamline things so most of what you are doing is what you want to do.
So of course this is the day the wonky computer decides to act up. Spent half the day rebooting, clearing cache and otherwise fiddling with it to finally give up in late afternoon and call the shop. “Bring it in first thing tomorrow” was the reply. Later that evening, realizing it is the end of the month and only parts are covered in the warranty and I am low on funds, I tried again and the problem, while certainly not completely resolved, is no longer as drastic. So I’ll postpone the trip until next week and try to catch up a bit today, like posting this a day late.
Dealing with all this brought to mind to mind the Robert Fulghum story about his enlightenment by one Sigmund Wollman, a coworker on the night desk at a resort job Fulghum had just out of college. After venting his rage about the boss and the food and the working conditions to him, he was given a lesson in life by this Mr. Wollman that stayed with him forever. I first read the story years ago at my aunt’s house. She kept a Reader’s Digest magazine on the radiator cover in the bathroom. That bit of bathroom reading has stayed with me forever too. The upshot is, Fulghum got a pointed lecture in discerning the difference between a mere inconvenience and a real problem The story is worth reading in full. It’s a short piece and Fulghum is an enjoyable raconteur. You can find the story online here.
What he calls Sigmund Wollman’s Reality Test always helps decide whether I have an inconvenience or a problem. While not happy about falling behind in work, I realized next week the money will come, I can take the thing in, get it fixed and I can catch up. I can do things which I don’t need the computer for in the meantime. There is nothing that can’t be made to wait a few days. A problem is what my friend’s mother has. Disabled, she lived with her son, her only child, until late January. After being in and out of the hospital since early December my friend died then at age 37. Alone in a small town, having lost her son, her driver, her companion who did all she could not do she was devastated, isolated and struggling to handle everything. So I am trying to help her.
Even Sigmund Wollman would say this woman has a problem. Still, she is working very hard to keep going and I am using her example to keep my perspective accurate and my blood pressure down. All those demand I mentioned previously will keep on coming but I refuse to let inconveniences get in the way of my solving real problems.