I had just hung up the phone. It was a good interview, and a key one for that sidewalk story I just published. I was working outside on our patio table last Monday, a gorgeous afternoon. The fam had just gotten home from the beach, and as I was gesticulating about my day, I knocked my glass of water, and it landed on my open laptop. The next few minutes were spent holding my beloved Mac upside down, blotting it with paper towels while we Googled what to do in this situation. But we had already done the wrong thing (NEVER plug in a waterlogged laptop, duh) – and it was too late. My machine, a 2015 MacBook Pro (with the upgrades and bigger 16-inch screen) was toast. It tried to turn on, and it tried to load. Slowly. Then it went to black forever. My sidewalk story was gone. Everything I’ve written over the past six years – inquiry-based education papers, freelance articles, the hours and hours I’ve poured into The Phoenix – gone. And because my login for my website was on my bookmarks, that was gone too. So, as any type-A emotional Aries would do, I panicked. A $3,000 machine is something The Phoenix cannot afford. Plus, the feelings. I was really attached to that thing!
“Everything’s not gone. It’s all Clouded, we just need to figure this out,” said Rob. He’s always been the calm, logical one. Within a couple hours, he Frankensteined our older Mac Mini with the television screen in his basement office, and I’m typing this on a keyboard from our first computer (see, there is a use for older Apple electronics!) My website login was restored, and I’m back running again.
Yes, I cried over a computer. And then on Tuesday, our washing machine quit and by Thursday, I still hadn’t written my sidewalk story.
But by Friday, things had swung in a different direction. A new, but less fancy MacBook was ordered and is on its way. And I had a business profile booked, something I haven’t worked on in awhile. Darlene Romanko is a master gardener / reiki teacher & practitioner, and basically the kind of person whose energy is such that a waterlogged laptop wouldn’t elicit a super-stress response. Minutes after I arrived at her house, she offered me a reiki treatment. New to me, and my journo-skeptic was on, but I accepted. Awhile later, I felt….just lighter. Really.
We later talked about the approach she has towards her business, which is dependent on what’s produced from her garden. You see, Darlene didn’t start by ensuring she had a ton of inventory first. The garden provides as needed, and she simply sees what’s there every morning and doesn’t worry about whether the weather will destroy everything, or if it all just suddenly dies for some reason and she can’t produce. And where my gardening approach is basically to put stuff in the ground and take care of it, season over season, she creates an ecosystem – native species (thanks for the made-in-Peachland bouquet!), carrots and celery going to seed and growing again, lettuce amongst the weeds and herbs. Everything is hand-watered. She pays attention and trusts that everything needed in the moment will be there. I could learn from this: Let things flow, be faithful you’ll produce when the time is right – and don’t link so much emotion to your damn laptop! Also, be careful around water.
With that said, you’ve obviously noted my Apple allegiance (and I’m one of those Starbucks people too, haha). I’m still learning. But that’s what it’s about, right? Making mistakes, learning, and hopefully reframing how you move along. In the meantime, I’ll be writing in this windowless basement office with this clackety keyboard and not outside on my porch as per usual. But it’s not forever, the washing machine somehow fixed itself, and I did eventually get that sidewalk story out. Now, I’m going to go dig in my garden on this gorgeous Sunday before getting at it again tomorrow. Lucky me.