Sometimes Things Don’t Work

Yesterday I worked at home, which I sometimes do (although less frequently these days, as our home is “staged” for prospective purchasers). Twice during the day, the electricity went out – once for several minutes and once for a couple of hours.

My first reaction was irritation. I rely heavily on my computer for my writing, and its battery life is not the longest. And I had been working on something relatively time-sensitive. (“Relatively” because the world was not going to stop spinning on its axis if this was delayed by a day.)

Then I realized how spoiled we are, living with the expectation that everything is always supposed to “work” right. And I remember my time living in Buddhist monasteries in Nepal and India, where it was hit or miss whether flipping a light switch would result in electricity or turning on a tap would yield water. (The former happened more frequently than the latter.) We managed.

We live with with some amazing things we take for granted – in fact we don’t even think of them as amazing because they seem so normal to us. Last night I even sat in a theater here in the Twin Cities watching a life performance of a play performed by the Shakespeare Royal Company in England!

The thing is, occasionally, the internet will not work, the electricity may go out, or some other inconvenience may arise. Things will not always work, and sometimes their not working will be inconvenient.

We can let ourselves be irritated or just get up and do something else.

My solution to the loss of electricity yesterday afternoon was to get out for an extended walk. In the long run, that was probably a lot better for my body and my soul than an extra hour at my computer.


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