I had just about had it when my kindle decided to not turn on. I had it plugged in so that it would be able to power up. Along with that, had my phone plugged in to recharge too. Then tried to turn on this laptop…and everything seemed to freeze up. I unplugged, waited, plugged back in. nothing. I checked with the company to see if there were power outages anywhere near me since we had a storm the night before. Nope.
I started to get angry and snippy with all things electrical in my place. Nothing seemed to work…of course except K’s DS system. UGH. I proceeded to yell at them. That didn’t work either. I stomped around the apartment trying to figure out if outlets weren’t working. I checked the switches in the fuse box. Flipped them a few times. Nothing happened.
Checked out the wireless router. Played around with settings, unplugged it, plugged it back in a few time. Still nothing. So I just decided to unplug and shut off all the electrical “play things”. Turned the phone completely off. Turned the kindle completely off. Turned off the router. Unplugged the tv. There I sit in utter silence. My thoughts getting the best of me, once again. I started to think in the silence. God doesn’t give me more than I can handle right? Next thought was, “I wish He didn’t trust me so much.”
I took this few minutes to thank God for the little things. For giving me money when I had none. For making ends meet, when I didn’t think they would. For bringing K back home to me. My perspective started to change. My attitude started to shift. The whole situation with the electronics didn’t change. I did. It turns out that when I unplugged my equipment, I unplugged myself at the same time. And when that short, barely noticeable minute had passed, I felt different. Renewed. Ready to speak softly and gently to my wireless router instead of yelling at it. Maybe even joke around with it a bit to lighten up the tension.
This unplug and stop everything for a minute strategy might be a pretty good solution for whenever things aren’t working in life.
This also got me to thinking about the times K and I can’t seem to get on the same page. She is mad at me. I am frustrated with her. We both need to take a time out, unplug for a little bit. We separate for a little bit, her in her room, me either in my room or the kitchen. Doing nothing, or putzing. But it’s time to refocus. Then when we get back together, the tone has changed. Moods are different. I am more loving and hearing more of what K is saying to me. I am able to understand better what it is she is feeling and going through. She is more able to see where “mom” is coming from too.
Unplugging and waiting for a minute is an unexpected strategy because it appears passive. You aren’t actively developing new strategies, arguments, or viewpoints. In fact, you aren’t actively doing anything. When you unplug and wait for a minute, you restore yourself to your factory default settings, which for most of us tends to be generous, open-hearted, creative, connected, and hopeful. That makes us more likely to be effective when we plug back in.
This is not a strategy that requires practice and skill building. All it requires is remembering to do it. Sometimes, life requires active, willful engagement. But sometimes, the smartest move is disengagement. That magic minute of not doing anything has the power to change just about everything. It really helps change your focus.
Which is what happened with my great and wise teacher, my wireless router, my phone, and my Kindle. Miracle of miracles, when I plugged it back in after that minute of waiting, my wireless internet starting working again. And so did I.