A very wise friend of mine once said: "If you have a problem that can be solved with money you don't have an interesting problem."
She has forgotten that she said this, but it has stuck with me for years.
So. I don't have an interesting problem. But I have a problem. Or several problems.
My old laptop started having web connectivity problems--it started to feel like the old 56mbs dial-up times. I was falling way behind in my digital communications (if you haven't heard from me, this is why.) This especially affected my ability to frank packages for my business. Being a model of passive acceptance I was going along with this until I couldn't go along with it any longer.
Time spent with Apple Support and then sitting at the Genius Bar resulted in a diagnosis of deeply embedded malware. Fix? Wipe the laptop clean and restore it from my cloud backup.
Well, in theory, right? The laptop still had problems and I still had an anxiously compressed chest and lots of tears. This kind of thing sets off all sorts of negative self-talk, as they say. Plus some pretty negative external talk as well, if you catch my drift. I go to a bad place: I should have figured this stuff out myself, I shouldn't have authorized the laptop restore, my little business will never be a success, I will be broke if I buy a new computer, people will think I'm frivolous if I buy a new computer, ad nauseam (and I do mean nauseam).
But on Saturday we hied ourselves down to the Apple Store, that dreamland of consumer desire, and I purchased an iMac. WIth a big screen! People, I've been trying to write my book on a 13-inch laptop! This is FABULOUS!
Now I'm in the middle of the slog period of new computer ownership: reinstall applications; restore documents from the cloud (I use Carbonite), which takes abso-friggin-lutely forever; reorganize all the files, which my incompetence has scattered here and there; make sure all of them have been restored; upgrade Adobe products; learn a new operating system (lots of stuff has changed in 5 years!!!); etc.
I keep reminding myself that each of these things can be dealt with--one thing at a time. I can learn whatever I need to learn. I can deal with support people one at a time. Most difficult: learning new ways of working. It is so damned easy to continue with Things As They Are, so new systems are a real challenge. And good for me!
Of course, this isn't the end of my woes: This weekend I discovered that a trip to Feral Knitter resulted in a ! I have no idea how long my site was offline during the heavy holiday shopping period.
To top it off, on Thursday night our credit card was hacked. So we are without credit cards until the replacements arrive.
I will end my tale of woe and worry with this quotation from Joanna Macy:
We have received an inestimable gift. To be alive in this beautiful, self-organizing universe--to participate in the dance of life with senses to perceive it, lungs that breathe it, organs that draw nourishment from it--is a wonder beyond words. It is an extraordinary priviledge to be accorded a human life, with self-reflexive consciousness that brings awareness of our own actions and the ability to make choices. It lets us choose to take part in the healing of our world.
Gratitude for the gift of life is the primary wellspring of all religions, the hallmark of the mystic, the source of all true art. Yet we so easily take this gift for granted. That is why so many spiritual traditions beign with thanksgiving, to remind us that for all our woes and worries, our existence itself is an unearned benefaction, which we could never of oursleves create.
A problem that can be solved with money is an uninteresting problem--the question of how to live our "one wild and precious life" (thank you, Mary Oliver) is an interesting problem!