It only makes sense that the day I announce a 30 Day Writing Challenge would be the same day I spill water all over my laptop.
My immediate response went something like this:
*!*#$&@^* (uncalled for expletives in the face of technology disaster)
The universe does not want me to write.
Or maybe it was my own hand rejecting my mind’s fantastical notions.
I’d rather say the world is against me.
Because this is just OUTRAGEOUS.
I quickly turned the computer off, tipped it over to let gravity do its one job: save my hard drive. Paper towels were called in. Then what? Rice of course! Isn’t that the solution people always recommend for wet electronics? So I dumped out a large cardboard box I had handy, put my laptop inside, and proceeded to dump two bags full of brown rice on top of it. I got this.
Or not. Because it turns out rice is annoyingly small and fits perfectly into every crevice of a laptop. So that was a bad idea.
*!$#&%*^* (More expletives, because I’m not perfect.)
I sat and stared at the box. Time to think. This isn’t the end of the world, it’s just a computer. I backed it up recently, the important stuff is safe. But that’s not the real problem. It’s the inconvenience that boils my blood, the idea that I will have to figure out a new computer situation, pay money I don’t want to spend, and brush aside the ten other items I planned to check off my to-do list this week. I don’t have time for this nonsense.
But that’s not the real problem either. I do have time, because I’m privileged to live a life where my fridge is stocked, a paycheck is guaranteed, and I don’t have to worry about where I will sleep. If I’m honest with myself, the problem is the same thing that upsets all of us in the first-world who think we control everything: unpredictability.
So then I had a decision to make.
- Option 1: Wallow in my guilt about how selfish and trivial my problem is in comparison to the world’s bigger problems.
- Option 2: Throw out the laptop, buy a new one, and settle into my consumerist hole with the blinders up. Also give up writing and go back to Netflix as my sole nightly activity.
- Option 3: Buck up, find a solution, and move on from my dilemma so that I can get back to the important stuff.
The first one sounded pretty depressing, the second would make me hate myself more, so I went with option three.
*Note: I did not get there on my own. I was ready to spend the night kicking and screaming, veering full speed towards option 1 while pondering the simplicity of option 2 and the security of being cushioned by selfishness. Thankfully I called my most calm and pragmatic friend who listened to me blubber, then softly suggested I go to Target, get an eye glass repair kit to take the back off my computer, also buy some chocolate, and then set up the computer to dry without the rice. I did exactly that, because she was obviously thinking more clearly than I was.
So here I am, day two, and I am still cranky about the whole thing. The chocolate helped. But I have to wait two more days for my computer to dry out, because that is what the all-knowing internet suggests.
If I wasn’t writing every day, I would wait a week until I have a more hopeful and complete perspective on what happened, then write an inspiring post about moving on after challenges and embracing the unpredictability in life (like I did with this post).
Instead you get honesty. I know there is a silver lining, I know I can learn something from this, and I know God is a lot bigger than my laptop. But right now I want to cross my arms and keep my bottom lip out. I’m on my way to getting back to the important things, but no one does that right away. Try me again tomorrow.
When have your plans derailed because of some unpredictable event?
How did you handle it?