Thursday, October 11, 2012

Computer Crash = Cleaning the Refrigerator

Every morning I go to my computer and check my e-mails.  It's my way of procrastinating.  I am not a morning person.  It is my substitute for a cup of coffee. Excepting chocolate, I don't do caffeine.  My computer is my stimulant.

But yesterday morning my computer didn't start right, and instead gave me a bizarre message in some sort of code.  The only readable part had to do with being unable to boot.  I called my daughter, Hannah, my computer guru.  I wanted to call my husband as well, for this was serious, but he has been too distracted at work and others have noticed.  We have had several weeks now of one crisis after another. Fortunately they are not health crises, just financial ones, but they too can take their toll, stretching us too far!  My husband always said that if it weren't for bad luck, we'd have no luck at all and it seems as though we had hit another streak of bad luck, except for the Labor Day Sale.

Hannah, my daughter directed me to shut off my computer and restart it.  I did as she said.  My machine made a whirring noise like it was going to start and then simply clicked itself off, and the screen blacked out.   Both Hannah and I concurred this was not a good thing.  "Try it again," she said and I tried it, not once, but three more times.  Insanity is when you do the same thing over and over, getting the same results.  I was no doubt, certifiable!

Hannah said, "I'll be home early today and will check it then".  My response was in keeping with my mental state--I panicked.  I had spent my week writing and imagined it all gone.  I freaked and whined into the phone, and then I tried to console myself and muttered something about having lots else to do.

My habit of procrastination means many things don't get done. I made myself a piece of toast and sat down to collect myself and made a short do-list from my master do-list.  I am a list maker in the extreme.  My short list, however was very short: sew a flower pot pincushion and clean out the refrigerator.

My mood was dark.  I was still freaked out about my computer.  It was brand new and my data had just been transferred over a week before, but still, I feared, days of work down the drain, along with my mood.

I couldn't help it....I called my husband, "Don't be distracted!" I commanded him, "but my computer just appears to have crashed!" I then added, "And don't panic!"  I felt better already.  Its an old trick I learned years ago.  When my broad shoulders cave in under pressure, call on him to share the burden. I had made a perfect choice in picking Tom as my life's partner. Except for his luck, he is my savior on earth and it is a big job! "It ain't me babe, it ain't me you're looking for..."  isn't Tom's song!

His response was predictable. As always, he'd do what he could to take his Saturday to work on rescuing my new data, and check into what was ailing my new computer!  With this burden safely resting on Tom's shoulders, I could now get on with my day with no more procrastinating. What's next? Still bummed, I was anything but creative and so at last it was the day to clean out the refrigerator...

"Think how good it will feel to have this job done," I reasoned, trying to psych myself up to begin the task.  I've learned that beginning any dreaded task is truly the secret.  Once I am committed, its as good as done. Cleaning the refrigerator has been on my list for years it seems.  I already felt too tired and thought of taking a nap....but it wasn't nap time! But a nap, I decided would be my reward and with that reward in mind, I jumped right in, clearing the counter tops, and pulling everything out of the refrigerator. I had given up waiting for the food to be eaten down first.  No, this was a serious job with lots left-overs that were now green and gross!

As I cleaned, I thought about all the jobs in the house that needed doing as The Brycer only does a monthly surface cleaning.  I wondered if prior to computers, people had clean houses?  What came to me is my mother and how she had tasks for all of us, and specific days for various tasks, just like the tea-towel, iron-on embroidery designs with the days of the week and their tasks to match: Monday, washing; Tuesday, ironing; Wednesday; dusting and vacuuming; Thursday, baking and so on until Sunday, church and rest. I don't remember not having to clear the table and help with dishes on any day except when we had popcorn and apples or popcorn or ice-cream sodas for dinner. I remembered my "Cinderella childhood" and remembered that resting didn't happen often enough, even on Sundays (good thing my mother is no longer around to consult on the accuracy of that statement)!

Yep, all sorts of bizarre thoughts like that crossed my mind, but then I remembered a TV interview I watched with my husband about an author who recently published a new book about procrastination being a good habit.  We were suddenly all ears. "Sometimes", the author said, "procrastinating leads to getting other jobs done and is good"...  "and some jobs just go away and don't need to be done if you wait long enough". I thought about the stove and wondered if I waited a bit longer perhaps its gourmet-blackened-bottom could be hauled out with the stove?  Then the author added that some jobs are more creatively done if the task is allowed to simmer in your head for a long while first?

Is there a more creative way to clean the refrigerator? I then  grabbed my camera...perhaps documentation of the before and after  of this task would keep me fully engaged, so strong was my temptation to step away from the task at hand.  Perhaps my pictures would qualify us for expert cleaners to come and clean our disgusting messes as on one of those reality programs, where they feature those that are challenged in the house-keeping department? We will, no doubt live a healthier life when I finished and the germs were eradicated?

I thought about all the tasks that I put off as I procrastinate on my computer.  I was missing it for sure and decided that I would order the new book on procrastination when it is up and running again. It had a lot of good things to say, and while I don't remember the author's name or even the title of the book, no matter with a computer.  Research is my hobby, and having a computer has made me a lot smarter, though any practical application of my knowledge is rarely used for I put off using it for a time and then forget.

After finishing the refrigerator and the gross things all disposed of and the food back in the refrigerator, I went over and pressed my computer's on button, and there it was, working again!  A total menu awaited me.  Clearly this new computer was smarter than the last and had read my mind and knew that by shutting down for a while, I would have to clean the refrigerator!


  1. I love this! Great post and pics! You've brought me an evening smile. :) I fear we have much in common. Procrastion,absolutely hating the mornings(the earlier the worse) and good men who always know just what to say to make us feel grounded and will go to any length to keep us happy! We're lucky girls!!! Cindy

  2. Dear Cindy...I have another blog of this sort coming up as well. I did wonder if this fit under Home Arts, but truly cleaning and procrastinating are all part of being a home-maker I think!! Thanks for your feedback, and I am so glad that I am not the only one with these issues!! jane

  3. Hey Jane, We won't call them issues. We'll just call them quirks. :)