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Day 21: A Technological Breakdown on a Sunny Day

The sun was out in Eugene today. Sometimes a sunny day in the northwest is like an epiphany. After days of dulling gray, an open blue sky makes your shoulders feel like they are an inch higher. Actually everything seems to lift and nature’s small details are all tiny miracles assuring you of the permanence of life cycles. The buds are already showing on the trees and tiny blades of grass dare to show up in January. I was full on my quest this morning, so grateful for a morning walk that could show me how beautiful the earth actually is.

The walk was interrupted twice by calls from my office about the printer that I so proudly installed for three hours last night. Turns out, after hours of fruitless troubleshooting, it was a lemon. A few more hours to return the old printer and reconfigure the new one and then a few more hours to completely uninstall all the work from yesterday and do it all over again. Some days it is hard to remember what you had intended to do to begin with.

A small business without the capacity to print or fax is barely in business, and so everyone was involved to the degree that they could contribute, waiting for the printer to come on line. Most technological advancement is measured first in imagination, “how cool it would be to…” and then in the patience of waiting for you and the device to know how to make what you imagined real. It is an easy place for me to lose my positivity, partly because it is hard enough to deal with techno details once, but the second time feels like corporate abuse. Also it doesn’t help that the learning curve is so steep in technology that I question my basic intelligence, as do some of the phone technicians.

As the day wore on, its beauty didn’t fade; the air sweet, the temperature mild, the blue sky glorious, and the sun warm on your face. Even racing to the copy shop to pick up a fax made me stop and take a deep breath. I watched myself struggling with the re-install and went outside and wondered why.

Work life often does that to me, where I forget the pace of things and the deadlines create a sense of urgency instead of grace about providing love products to the people. This is especially true when we are running out of product and I am in the crazy cycles of producing large quantities of love products. I have a talent for self-imposed stress anyway, (thus the positivity quest) and trying to get so many pieces just right and having them all coordinate is enough to make me forget that it is just love products anyway.

Today, one of my suppliers, who even though we have never met face to face, I consider a dear friend went way beyond the call of duty to make our new formulations possible. His generosity of time and attention was all over my desk today along with all the printer manuals and cords. Each moment gave me a chance to decide again how to think about my day and what I am doing with the hours I have.

How I felt was so clearly about how I looked. I think that is progress on the quest and at the end of the day the sky was filled with rose light, the magical color that only sunsets know how to make.