positive thinking

When Life Hands You Lemons

You know, I had planned on writing a post on Monday, but fate (ah, yes, we love to blame it) took over my plans. By fate, I am referring to my computer. I use a conventional desktop and even though I have a laptop, I am not so comfortable with it. My desktop has a larger screen, more programs and happier posture. Also – I’ve placed it where I like it. Oh, slave to habit.
But first, before I get to the point of this post, allow me to rant a bit.
My computer is a good machine. But bad things can happen to good people – and imagine my tension when my computer kept shutting down every ten minutes. Never gave me enough time to save my stuff. Oh yeah, I’ve got autosave but Microsoft can freak you out on that front. And it did. I thought it was because of the weather – which is hot – at first. And repositioned the CPU so it had good ventilation around it. Didn’t work. Then I assumed it needed vacuuming. Cleaned it out – didn’t work.

Then – four days later – after trying a new trick each day – I finally called the techie I trust. He turned up and checked the system – and found it was overheating. The moment the comp was turned on, even before any application was started, the CPU usage would shoot up to 100% and stay there. Anyway, he said he must take the CPU to his office to check and I reluctantly agreed. A few hours later he told me the motherboard was faulty. I remembered I got it less than three years ago – so it must still be under warranty until May 2012. We both rejoiced. And then – he discovered that under the motherboard, was a metal wire like thing, which amounted to tampering and the manufacturer wouldn’t accept it. Which meant that the guy who supplied me the board had ****ed it up. Oh – that installation is something I’d rather not remember and regret.
Anyway – moving forward, I took the easy way out and asked him to get me a new motherboard. He did. With three years warranty. He installed it. And promised to return my CPU on Saturday. Ha. He turned up on Monday at 6.30 pm and said – all he had to do was activate the OS. Ha ha. The activation key did not work and neither did the phone activation. After a million tries, he said it is best to reinstall the OS and activate it. And guess what? My DVD drive had decided to die. CDs worked but not DVDs. So – OS installation DVD did not work. It was too late for him to go and get a new one, so he promised to return the next day. He did not.
In the mean time, I kept getting those annoying alerts from Microsoft about activating Windows and MS Office. Oh the irony. I had both – original versions and had an unexpected glitch in the form of the non-working DVD drive. I harassed the sh*t out of the techie who kept on assuring me it would all be okay. He promised to come this morning.
So yesterday, I decided to suffer and browsed online to see solutions to my problem. I told my best friend and he laughed his head off – saying oh come on – easy as hell to solve, and promised, if I couldn’t’ solve the issue before the deadline, he’d sort it out for me.  I browsed and saw all kinds of forums where they said that if the motherboard is changed, it is not possible to reactivate. It was a major WTF moment for me, I can tell you.
I continued to bug the techie – who promised to be at my place by 10 am. Of course he finally arrived at noon.  Brought a new DVD drive. Reinstalled the OS and MS Office. OS refused to activate. The phone activation did not work. Finally, he sought help from his office where they got in touch with the Microsoft fellas and – oh joy – my OS was validated. Now, of course, I have to re-install all the programs I regularly use. That’ll take some time because, dear Murphy’s Law – troubles will all come in a series. I do believe that it is better that way than periodic doses of it – but hey, while going through the series – it is not my chosen form of entertainment, much as I love to laugh at my problems.  I’ve also had to tackle some outdoor work – and am glad to say all that has been cool. There IS a God.!
Anyway, I am hoping that all is well that ends well. And what am I doing with the lemons life handed me during the last few days? I am making some ice cold lemon juice and enjoying it with Vidur – who loves it too.
Life has its ups and downs. As I love to frequently say – unless there are downs, how will we appreciate our ups? Again – experiencing it is not so much fun. Takes will power to be strong.
How did I stay cool?  What did I learn? Here’s what I learned:
Trust your techie 
Especially if he has successfully dealt with problems for you in the past.  And mine has. A few months ago- my hard drive crashed. I was in tears thinking of all my videos and photos – you know am crazy about taking pictures. I was miserable to think of the photos of Vidur that I treasured – and I could not turn back the clock to get them again. That’s when another friend of mine recommended this guy. He retrieved my entire data. There are a few more occasions when he sorted things out for me, both at home at my office. Sigh. So why did I get desperate this time? Only because he did not turn up when he said he would.
A computer crashing is not the end of the world
Let’s face it – it might LOOK like it is – but it is not. I’ve been practicing going offline once in a while and the inner peace that comes with staying away from the computer screen is wonderful. So – I tried to look at the bright side. A comp is just a machine. It can be repaired. So I used the time to have fun with my folks. Would have done it anyway –but did it without the pressure of work. Sury and I went and bought a bicycle. Yes, we did. I hope to ride it a bit. Got to do something about the seat though – hurts my butt like crazy, especially because I am used to the nice wide cushioned seat of my Honda Activa scooter. Also – pedaling is hell when one is out of practice. Still – I am looking forward to it.
Get out of the house 
Yes, this one works. In the middle of it all, we had an invitation to a fantastic program – a Yakshagana – which is a classical dance form of Karnataka, where they enact a story with song, dance and dialog. It is a famous troupe that had performed at Vidur’s school recently and he was in love with them. So – we locked up and off we went. We were rewarded with a three-hour experience that is unforgettable. Oh, the costumes were fabulous. And I also met some friends I hadn’t seen in a while, since the friend who sent me the invite is a mutual friend. We returned home late-ish, quite thrilled and had dinner. I only booted my laptop to enjoy some social media, check messages and that’s it! I just got busy with other stuff so I wouldn’t; sit and mope about my comp!. It worked! Why would it not? Here are some pictures:
Mr Shivananda Hegde in his magnificient costume
Mr Hegde and his troupe – all men 🙂
This is a guy dressed as a woman
A scene from the dance drama

A proud moment for Vidur – with Mr Shivananda Hegde

Sleep over it
Now – this is a strategy I use for all my problems. I never get worked up at bedtime. Sleeping over it always helps because, in the morning, it is a brand new day and time for – yes, you guessed it – a fresh perspective. Sleep relaxes you, makes you feel rested. Almost always I find that I have a solution in the morning, or at the very least, am ready to find one. So – as usual, I got up, did my usual stuff, made my list – and found that I had enough to occupy me. I decided to tackle all my pending outside work. And did. Quite happily. I caught up with some other errands too.

Catch up on your reading
I am an avid reader and have a vast library – digital and physical. We buy books like we’re stocking the British library.  We consider it our treasure. We are simple folks and don’t have much in the way of wealth. If there’s one thing we spend on generously, it is books and I am happy Vidur is a chip off the old block. He reads a lot, too. And this makes it a wonderful common activity for us. I am thrilled he has just begun to read P G Wodehouse – one of my all-time favorite authors.  It means we can discuss stuff we love – and enhance our enjoyment of the time we spend together. Ah. Bliss.
Shove the fear 
Yep, I borrowed this phrase from Tess Marshall of The Bold Life.  Fear is the key to unlocking the solutions to all our problems. We do tend to worry out of the fear that something we’re desperate about may not reach the outcome we expect.  Why not expect positive outcomes, instead? Here I must refer to my friend Melody’s Law Of Attraction principle. I say her principle, because I’ve been enjoying her posts about LOA so much. In fact, right now she’s running a series where she answers one of her reader’s questions – do check it out. You’ll love it.
Think positive
This mirrors the point above. My grandmother always said that there’s a guardian angel perched on our shoulder permanently – and this angel works hard to make our wishes come true.  This includes both positive and negative ones. So – if you think “Am sure this is going to bomb” she obliges.  (yes, it would have to be a she, right?) If you think “I am pretty sure this is going to be good” she obliges.  So – moral of the story – why not think that things will work out? Why not work towards making them turn out the way we want? Think about it. Life has obstacles.  But we can overcome most of them. Yes we can. So practice positive thinking. Open your heart to life’s abundance.
Take stock of the nice things that happen 
This includes the little things – since these add up and result in big happiness. This week, I had the privilege of being featured on the A M Experience blog again along with my favorite bloggers in a post titled “A Compilation on Love” Do read it. It is lovely. Another post that mentioned me – I loved this – was Joy’s post at Jess’s blog – I could’t help laughing – and of course I wrote a haiku for the picture of a rock washed by waves.
Invincible rock 
Bathed by waves of doubt, brings our 
Soul strength, hope, belief
So now that my computer is back, I hope to catch up on my digital reading over the next couple of days and get on track. And then, I’ll be fiddling with my Facebook page, since all pages will move to the new Facebook Timeline look. I don’t like it, but since Mark Zuckerberg didn’t bother to consult me on this one…so I guess I’ll have to let it go.
I believe life is to be lived, not worked, enjoyed, not agonized, loved, not hated.” Leland Bartlett Tweet this 

But life is good, wouldn’t you agree? 

I’d love to hear your strategies to tackle tough situations. What do you do? Do you get mad? Or do you get even? Do share!

Thank you for subscribing to my blog! Do consider leaving a comment – or just reply to this email! I’d love to know what you think.

Cheers!

Vidya

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26 Comments

  • Reply
    Rhia Roberts
    March 28, 2012 at 7:54 pm

    This post makes me realize how lucky I am. I married a techie (sounds like a blog title doesn’t it?) so when I have problems I just call, “Dan…” (he works from home) and, with seeming magic, they’re fixed.
    I must remember to tell him how much I appreciate him.

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      March 29, 2012 at 4:38 am

      Indeed, Rhia 🙂 I am lucky to be married to a mathematician – and frankly, I think that is a much better thing for me as I don’t have to relearn everything I learned to help my son study :P. Just kidding! Thanks to a mentality of enjoying tinkering with stuff, I can tackle minor comp problems. But then – big ones scare me to death. Still, thank God for techies! Thanks so much for stopping by! And stay lucky!

  • Reply
    Terri Sonoda
    March 29, 2012 at 2:23 am

    Loved your haiku and Bartlett’s quote! And of course the Amazing photos! Sorry to hear about all your computer issues. Sounds like NOT fun indeed. However, you managed to pull though and be all the better for the challenge. I love that about you.
    I’ve been faced with a lot of challenges lately and, admittedly, haven’t handled the stress of it very well. You, however, have re-energized my motivation and inspired me to push forward and make things happen….the lemonade and that sort of thing. Thank you my friend, for being you!
    Much love from Vegas.
    Terri

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      March 29, 2012 at 4:49 am

      Thank you, dearest Terri. You know what, I think we found strength in each other so cheers to that 🙂 That Bartlett’s quote is nice, isn’t it? I loved it the moment i came across it and saved it. I know you’ve been going through some really tough times – but believe me – we do become stronger from our challenging experiences. I hate to feel upset you know – and my Mom always encouraged me to close my eyes and meditate for five minutes when I felt the pressure in my head. I get headaches quickly – and don’t enjoy them at all – so the calming down works. It also changes the way I look at stuff. Hugs – and I always look forward to your visit – because you, Terri – are a big inspiration in my life. Love you!

  • Reply
    Bill Dorman
    March 28, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    The Mr Shivananda Hegde? Amazing….why were the guys dressed as women; what was the premise of the ‘show’?

    Life is good; I would very much agree. I have to pinch myself everyday.

    My son’s laptops have crashed and burned a couple of times; my IT guy at the office has had to wipe both of them clean at least once.

    Fortunately and unfortunately my ‘personal’ computer is also my corporate office computer. The good news is I can always get it fixed. The bad news is I can’t download iTunes or personal stuff like that.

    Glad all is well again with the ‘puter; that will test your patience.

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      March 29, 2012 at 4:43 am

      Yes, Bill, and I am thrilled you’ve heard of him. He’s very friendly. There’s no specific reason why the men dress as women – it is just that Yakshagana is dominated by men – and they also play the roles of women in the dance-drama. I’d guess that as a folk art – women probably did not travel independently with men – and so it was an all-men troupe. Other than that, no real reason. I did ask him 🙂 But I swear that I wouldn’t have guessed they were men from the graceful way they danced. The “props” were also pretty perfect.

      Amazing how technology rules our lives, no? And yes, when things don’t work, they do test the patience. It is a good think we come out as better people for the experience – mostly. Although I must confess that my “vocabulary” grows and grows with each such instance 😀

      Thank you for coming by, Bill. I appreciate it so much!

  • Reply
    Sibyl
    March 28, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    Really great post Vidya — just dripping with wisdom. I love, love, love the Haiku. Congrats on a great guest post:)

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      March 29, 2012 at 4:43 am

      Thank you so much, Sibyl! So happy you came by!

  • Reply
    Galen Pearl
    March 29, 2012 at 12:19 am

    Oh my gosh, I started hyperventilating and getting a headache just reading this! It’s all just too much. How did people live before computers? I remember actually going to the library to look up information, using a phone book to find a number, using a map to find someplace, picking up the phone to communicate. I didn’t worry about all the stuff I didn’t know, all the calls I didn’t get, all the connections I never made.

    I like your solution–go to sleep! Google “bear rescued from bridge in California” and see how smart that bear was!

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      March 29, 2012 at 4:46 am

      Galen dear – I did pretty much the same thing (hyper/headache/add cussing). I like to think I can manage without the computer – but unfortunately a bulk of my work involves using one. Sigh. 😀 And yes, I too remember sitting around in dusty dingy libraries in college. And I still pick up the phone to communicate 🙂 Hehehe.

      Sleep rules. My son often asks how i have the ability to doze off anywhere and i told him it is a gift. I did google “bear rescued from bridge in California” – amazing!

      Thank you for visiting, Galen! Love it when you come here.

  • Reply
    Paige | simple mindfulness
    March 29, 2012 at 5:04 am

    I felt like Galen reading this one! After so many computer issues over the years and no one to call for help, I’ve taught myself a few things to get myself out of binds like this. It’s part of my personal belief that I can figure anything out if I need to.

    I love your list of “brighter sides” of the situation. As much as I’m tied to my computer too, I relish when I can get away from it without feeling guilty, like I’m supposed to be working. Today was such a perfect day outside that I made myself get out with the kids and play on the swings and take a walk – without guilt. Hey! I deserve it!

    Love the pictures of the show. Looks like you guys had a great time!

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      March 29, 2012 at 5:07 am

      I am so glad you did that, Paige. There’s nothing like playing with children to get that adrenalin flowing and energizing us! There were times when things look so bad, that it is weirdly easy to stop thinking negative 😀 I too believe (and my son will endorse this) that I can solve any situation.

      And yes, we had a fabulous time at the show. It is a great story that they enacted.

      Thank you, dear Paige for commenting. You know how much I enjoy your visits!

  • Reply
    Kimberly
    March 29, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    Oh. No.
    I had a coronary just reading this.
    I’m like you. I love my desktop. My lap top is meh…but the desk top one, is my baby.
    She died a month ago.
    All my pictures and posts and whateverelseyousaveonthere was stuck in some computer labrynth. Luckily my husband was able to remove our beloved things onto another hard drive and then…well…had to reset the old girl to factory settings.
    But I get this. We get so wrapped up in this blog world, facebook etc that we tend to forget that we also have to live outside it.
    I’m taking more time to myself…for other reasons and it’s good. It’s good for my soul.
    xoxo

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      March 31, 2012 at 12:03 pm

      Hugs Kim – I can only imagine the scare of thinking that those photos being lost! When my hard drive crashed some months ago, I thought it was the end. I cried, I did. Then of course, funnily enough I took stock of what I had and it measured up much more than what might have possibly been lost (most of it was subsequently recovered). Still.

      I am glad you’re taking more time to yourself (your neighbor is there to remind you, no? :D)

  • Reply
    zephyr
    March 29, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    I do the same too — make some lemonade and drink it and sometimes fate doesn;t give me sugar to make it and I drink it sour but chilled and let the world envy me 🙂

    I deal with fate’s hand by going for a walk, calling up my best friend and chatting about all kinds of things, clear out my cupboard (and put EVERYTHING back in) while having hours of fun going through the various treasures and reading a great book. And of course, tell myself firmly, ‘Things could have been worse.’ And believe me, they really could be. That alone is enough to make me feel blessed.

    The Yakshagana photos are wonderful and the men look so feminine in their get-ups. And Vidur looks like great with his shy smile. 🙂

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      March 29, 2012 at 4:27 pm

      That clinches it, Zephyr! We are soul sisters. Cleaning is my favorite thing for these situations – two pronged benefit – relieves tension and cleaner place 😀 Hugs! And yes, I think “things could have been worse” and feel instantly better too! Looking on the brighter side – there’s always one, no?

  • Reply
    My Inner Chick
    March 30, 2012 at 2:50 am

    ~~~I actually believe you can make ANYTHING out of lemons, Vidya.

    You are one of the most positive, beautiful, kind people I’ve ever known…

    Great Photos. That dude is one gorgeous woman! Xxx Kissssssssssssssss.

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      March 31, 2012 at 12:04 pm

      Kim – You truly inspire me and make me want to be better! I love your confidence in me 🙂 I can feel your love! Hugs! Yep – I really couldn’t believe those men were dressed as women, either. They did look fab.

  • Reply
    Cathy | Treatment Talk
    March 31, 2012 at 5:30 am

    Hi Vidya,

    What a story! That is a good thing that you know how to make lemonade and made the best of the situation. Love your pics from Vidur’s school. Thanks for sharing them. You are so right about the inner peace of going offline for awhile. We all need that. Glad you found a techie that was helpful. Technology is amazing when it works, and so frustrating when it doesn’t, but you have a great list of tips on what to do.

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      March 31, 2012 at 12:05 pm

      🙂 Hi Cathy! 😀 Yes, I am grateful for the way things did turn out. My heart (and my purse) felt lighter but it was all worth it. Thanks for visiting and commenting. Can’t help thinking “it could have been worse” Hugs to you!

  • Reply
    Ken Wert
    March 31, 2012 at 7:59 am

    I wish I couldn’t relate, Vidya, but I can! Just a couple days ago I got a window pop up alerting me of some critical problems being caused by a couple viruses infecting my computer. I clicked to clean the problem and, yep, subsequently downloaded the virus. I was duped! I fell for the fake alert box that was actually the virus I downloaded when I clicked to clean it. After that, my computer was unusable. Luckily I waa able to take it to a tech guy at work who quickly clicked here and clicked there and it was cleaned up and working again. But it did reinforce the point you made about our dependence on our computers. I like Galen’s point about what pre-computer life used to be like with phone books and map books and libraries and all.

    But in the end, there are ways to better deal with those frustrating moments. I’m not sure there’s much getting around initial moments of frustration, but there are degrees of frustration and ways to move on soon after. I tend to say out loud to myself in circumstances like this, “Well, it is what it is.” Sometimes it takes a few repetitions, but it eventually sinks in enough that I can let it go and seek a solution.

    Heart-palpitating read, Vidya! While life gives us a whole lot of lemons, we’re lucky it also gives most of us enough sugar to help make the lemonade taste pretty darn good! 🙂

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      March 31, 2012 at 12:10 pm

      Welcome, Ken. (did you notice the flowers and the red carpet?) I got all worked up initially, but it wasn’t much worse than when my hard disk crashed a few months ago – that was really scary. I didn’t even mind my work being wiped out thanks to a friendly virus – but the thought of losing all the photos and videos of my son as he grew up, all those funny moments – was heart-breaking. And then, luckily, my techie managed to recover most of it (including every version of the file that ever existed!) At least this time the biggest worry was the cost of replacing parts – but it all worked out. And i realized that happened only when I quit worrying. I also owe it to my son for keeping me cool because he’s great at consoling 🙂

      You’re right about the sugar though – and I am grateful that life tastes good! 😀 I am so happy you visited, Ken! Do drop by more often!

  • Reply
    Betsy at Zen-Mama
    March 31, 2012 at 11:28 pm

    Love what you wrote, “unless there are downs, how will we appreciate our ups?” That is one of life’s truths, isn’t it?? It reminds me of one of my favorite Kahlil Gibran quotes.

    Hope you’re having more “ups” this weekend!

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      April 2, 2012 at 4:31 pm

      You are right, Betsy. It is one of my favorite lines too! And sure enough, this week we were rewarded with many “ups” 😀 thanks to the joy of our son!

  • Reply
    Unknown Mami
    March 31, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    Funny, I had computer problems too and I handled them better than usual. Usually, I freak the eff out, but this time I was like…it will work out, you will fix it, you have to do other things first so it must wait. I am my own tech person and most of the time I don’t know what I am doing, but so far (knock on wood) I have been able to solve most of my tech related problems. I was able to get rid of the trojan horse that was incapacitating my computer and all is well again. The best part is that I didn’t make myself miserable.

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      April 2, 2012 at 4:31 pm

      Actually, over the years, I’ve learned to sort out most things on the PC. Unfortunately, this time the mother board conked off. Couldn’t do a thing about that. Worse still, it had another three months warranty left – yet we couldn’t use it because the guy who installed it had tampered with the base. Some months back a virus wiped out my hard drive. Grrr. 🙂 One thing I completely acknowledge: it is a learning experience alright!

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