Yesterday morning I sat down to write, looking out over a peaceful expanse of time that I carefully set aside. I felt such relief to be sitting down once again. I took a deep breath, wiggled the mouse and BAM. No connection. I wiggled it again in disbelief. I changed the batteries twice. Nothing. Then a message appeared in front of my writing page to state the obvious… “The computer cannot find your wireless mouse.” Three phone calls later it was clear that I would have to travel to the Apple store to meet with a “Genius”. A genius who just happens to have a mouse they can plug into my computer to reconnect my useless, I mean wireless, one. As it turns out, he felt sorry for me and offered up a new, smoother and speedier mouse (on the house). All was well. Perhaps even better.
It can be a bit challenging, to say the least, when a detour takes us away from our intended travel plans. I had to talk myself down during the entire ride, alerting my system that it did not need to fire up the cortisol. “This is NOT an emergency,” I said. “Relax and let it be.” “Maybe you can even choose to enjoy the experience.” I also remembered to be grateful that it was a tiny detour, in the scheme of things. One that I had the time to address, and a place, not too far away, where help was waiting.
I did pretty well considering what I was up against in my head.
- Why did this happen to me? Oh, I mean FOR me, damn it.
- Oh well. The writing isn’t worth anything anyway.
- Another wasted day.
- I guess that I don’t deserve this time because I don’t do enough for others or earn enough, and I probably need more exercise.
- I’m an idiot when it comes to technology and I shouldn’t be allowed to use the computer.
- Someone will probably try to take advantage of me because of the aforementioned idiocy.
Detours come in all shapes and sizes. Disease, divorce, death, and destruction, to name a few big ones (hmmm… maybe we should drop the letter d from our alphabet). Sometimes I wish that those familiar, bright orange signs would magically show up to guide us back to our original route. The problem is that if we are too intent on remaining on the same road, we end up missing out on spontaneous adventures and opportunities to become more fully alive. In addition, the vigilance required to protect us from the detours leaves us feeling anxious, irritable, closed-minded and totally exhausted.
Practicing mindfulness (actively bringing your attention to the present) is the first step in counteracting “detour madness”. The second step is to catch yourself taking the experience personally and blaming yourself and/or the world.
The third step is to choose a soothing voice in which to assure yourself that you are okay.
When it doesn’t seem possible to complete this process, stop and ask for help. Some of us are open to prayer and others need a buddy on hand who knows how to remind us that we’re okay. I’m a big fan of borrowing faith from others when mine starts to wobble. I know that I have loaned my faith out on many occasions with great results. As a matter of fact, I will offer it to you right now.
I believe in you and you are okay. Great, really.
So enjoy this wild adventure. I’m right here with you.