This is perhaps my most important Gratitude post. We all know how easy it is to feel grateful when all is well. But when life throws a series of shockers without losing momentum, that’s when the way we respond really matters.
“No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks.” – Unknown
I am a big believer in the balance of life . . . and always take my happiness with a secret pinch of salt. My Mom often marveled at how I would seem a bit detached in the face of a tragedy and focused on finding a solution or coming to terms with it, rather than grieve. Let’s just say it is because life has been an excellent teacher, even if the ride has been bumpy at various points. It is a good thing I enjoy adventure, but sometimes even I reel under the impact of a nasty and unexpected shove.
I confess I was a bit restless when this month, March, began.
So let me tell you what happened.
7 March was a day like many others. I went about my usual routine of work/ housework/ reading/ cleaning/ writing/ listening to music/ feeling guilty about playing hooky for a little while . . . and so on.
Just before dinner, I decided to complete something I was working on and got busy.
A light rain started up outside. The pitter-patter was a relief, as the weather is quite warm and as my fingers typed away, I thought–maybe that will bring the temperature down a bit.
The rain got heavier, and thunder followed.
Looking at the clock, I thought, just fifteen minutes to finish this and I’ll go veg out with my dinner in front of the TV.
Flashes of lightning ripped the sky, as if in tune to the thunder.
The next moment, my computer screen went black. No sound, no warning, no beep.
Thinking that it was one of those protective shut downs, I tried turning it on.
My cpu didn’t respond. Deciding to leave it for the moment, I went and had dinner.
Came back to check again, but nothing happened.
I saw my router’s lights were not on, and checked for wifi on my phone–and realized there was no internet. Sometimes this happens when there’s heavy rains.
As I ran to my bedroom remembering the window that had a tendency to let the water flow, I found there was already a flood there and packed the area with mats.
When I got back to the “study”, a shelf on which we keep our vacuum cleaner just crashed.
A couple of hours later, I called my internet service provider, who confirmed that cables were down and would be attended to, the next day.
So anyway, the next day, I called my computer techie and the ISP.
To cut a long story short:
- My router was fried
- My computer was fried
- My backup hard disks and pen drives, connected to the system at the time, were fried
- All my data and backups, gone.
- I needed to get a new system since the motherboard and even the processor fan and RAM were gone.
- I had to buy a new router for internet to be restored
The shock of this hit me gradually as my mind was a bit frozen.
To think that everything I had saved–my work, book drafts, photos, videos, house stuff and other information — were ALL GONE was devastating.
The irony is, I had a load of post drafts – all lost now.
It seemed as though my life had come to a standstill.
Then the new router wouldn’t work properly. So I got another, because it turned out that this particular router came with no warranty. Arrrgh!
I’ve now replaced the motherboard and other parts in my system, but am yet to get a new hard drive.
How will I cope?
Will things ever be normal?
I decided to take a walk, and take stock of my life.
“If you want to feel rich, just count all the things you have that money cannot buy.” – Dean Bunn
I am so grateful to have:
- A home I love
- A family I love, that loves me back
- Wonderful neighbors who are practically family to me and did everything they could to cheer me up
- Decent health and healthcare
- Food to eat
- A comfortable life
- Work I enjoy
- Friends I love, who love me back
Which is a heck of a lot compared to most people on the planet.
I am presently managing with an iffy laptop. What’s more, I am also participating in the April A to Z Challenge, because, folks, I want to pretend that everything is normal. I am enjoying handwriting my posts and will type them up.
Also, feeling sad and stressed is not good for my health. Double also, I am just not the type to sit and cry. I prefer to find ways to cope. Too bad the posts I had worked on have gone–but I am resilient. And I still have my brains left.
You’d think that’s all, right?
Two days after all this happened, PayPal locked my account, which meant I could neither receive nor send money. They wanted me to explain a couple of transactions as they felt these might be in violation of their user policy. After a week of correspondence, because they kept on asking for info, they reinstated my account, with an apology. I am grateful it is resolved.
Today, I am grateful for my life, such as it is.
I am focusing on what I have, not what my life lacks.
I am grateful for my loving relationships.
I am grateful for my ISP who replaced the router in two days.
I am grateful for the bus-stop that was close to the point where my cab broke down en route to the airport when I went to receive my son.
I am super-grateful for my son’s short visit for 5 days, which kept me sane and focused, and cooking.
I am grateful that the metal blade we found in the khoya packet to make my son’s favorite sweet was not consumed by anyone.
I am so grateful for friends who rallied around, helpless, holding my hand, hugging me, a little nervous about telling me everything would be okay, because how is complete data loss okay? Their presence is a gift.
What goes down, bounces back up, folks.
I’ve faced far tougher situations in life than data loss. It definitely hurts, but I am thinking, this too shall pass. The loss of the photos hurts the most, but I’ll cope.
No matter what, I know the power to feel better must come from me.
What a wake up call it has been! I know I will respond by focusing on all that really matters, doing things that bring me happiness. Back in October 2011, I wrote about my Happiness Jar. As I added to it today, I was thrilled to see this video on Facebook. Take a look.
I will live even more mindfully.
I will continue to practice Gratitude.
To quote Sylvia Boorstein,
‘The mind is like tofu. It tastes like whatever you marinate it in.’
So . . . tell me two things you’re infinitely grateful for.
Make it a post and join me for March’s Gratitude Circle blog hop.
Here’s your badge.
Link up below.
The beautiful featured image at the top of the post is from Shutterstock – and yes, I am crazy about watercolor art.
And remember, love is always the answer!