I promise to not detail much of the above, lest I launch a rant. Legitimate, but still a rant…and ladies don’t rant—except for one who does so with courage and justifiable outrage, and a second who informs with satirical humor aimed at the state of affairs, or the Affairs of State. What prompted my muddled, misdirected condition of mind was that because my one-and-a-half-year-old Mac crapped out (thank you, Murphy) at a crucial point in my work, I had time to “poor me” and watch TV. I don’t know Murphy’s opinion on lightning, but I know it CAN strike twice in the same place. I’ll expand on only the first topic, computers, as I have not had time to see anything humorous in the others.
Let’s hop in the TARDIS and shift back almost two years. There was Murphy, waiting for me, and he did a déjà vu of the future. He struck my seven-year-old Mac’s new hard drive with a blitz of color snow like old TVs. It was a built-in omen that Mac was about to suffer a heart attack. Which it soon did. And with a flagrant fizzle, frying some of my potentially Nobel Prize winning writing.
Walt, my patient husband, loaded Dead Mac and me into the van and rushed us to Apple Hospital sixty miles away, while enduring my many Navy Post-Grad creative invectives hurled at the Apple God for birthing such a demon. The heart transplant was successful, and Walt suggested he’d deal with Old Mac’s increasing age-prone illnesses and adopt New Mac for me. After saving up the hefty adoption fee, we welcomed Newbie into our home.
Back in the TARDIS to present time. Our infant New Mac suffers the same technicolor snowstorm and craps out. Another one-hundred-twenty-mile round trip to the AH (no reimbursement for mileage) and we are told it was a software issue. “One,” I asked, “that Apple has not solved in more than two years? Somebody needs to be fired!” I have visions of the failure cause and lack of remedy.
One: In ancient times, royal seamstresses went blind sewing extremely fine stitches in royal garments. Today, I see twenty-something blind women and men tapping their white canes down China’s roads as they are dismissed from working at creating computer circuitry.
Two: Apple Gods: “Hey, tech support is for only three years. Deal with it. Suckers will get pissed and buy a new computer. That will keep us in mega-bucks, and you in your cubicles.”
What has this got to do with writing? Really? Okay. A painful situation can be alleviated with satire, a hint of sarcasm, perhaps a sprinkle of anthropomorphism, and a little bit of creativity. Much more entertaining than the slush that ends up in the newspapers as vicious opinion, right? Remember Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels? Quite entertaining and a safer approach than a direct attack on the conditions of his times.
So, here’s your assignment. Take your finest pet peeve. Ruminate on it awhile and come back with a piece that makes us see things your way…or at least enjoy your humorous approach. Write on!
Some writers isolate themselves in little cabins on lovely mountain lakes, and in blissful hibernation write to their heart’s content. My recent hibernation hasn’t been like that at all. Being there for my husband as he underwent knee replacement surgery and the few hiccups in the recovery process that continues, means that we get to spend more time together. He was, is, and always will be, my first priority.
Much of the first week of seeing to his comfort has given way to mutual cabin fever. Between tending his needs, doctor visits and the comings and goings of nurse and therapist, I watched the chores pile up around me. There seemed not one spot in my line of sight that didn’t wave a mental white flag that screamed, “Yoo-hoo! I’m still here waiting for you.” That’s when I asked, “From whence cometh MY help? There aren’t any hills in Florida to look to!” And writing? Had my computer been the family dog, it would have starved to death, completely unnoticed. That’s when I got to thinking something was wrong with me. I couldn’t do everything. I had an image of me that was based on my beliefs and the beliefs and accomplishments of others.
The I-can-do-it-all types blog about how they’ve come back from death’s door to write a book (or two) a year, have six kids, three husbands, two dogs, four cats and a turtle; and they never miss a Little League game, music or ballet lesson. While typing all this info, they are kicking the oven door shut on a five-course dinner for seven guests arriving in an hour. And they are full of condescending innuendoes that anyone who puts his mind to it, should be able to do the same.
That’s when I said, “You’re right. You can’t do it all. You’re not Penelope Perfect. You are the perfect You. Take a few deep breaths, count your blessings, and give this situation into Divine hands.” Which I did. And do. Often. With many situations. When you can let go of your need for perfection, you can forgive the imperfections in others. And I do. Often.
See, it all worked out. It may be April 29th, but it’s still April, and my post is out!
So, do I hear an AMEN on that?