It’s only the middle of the week and not even halfway through April but I had to share my gratitude list for just the last couple of days. Because I truly believe that when we look at the little things, they add up to make a significant portion of the bigger picture.

On Tuesday, my trusty laptop of 3 years began to smoke (literally) and I saw no way of retrieving my precious files. For a person whose work depends on technology working favourably, this was a big blow. I won’t deny that I was upset and visibly so.

At one shot, I was looking at incomplete client work, inability to blog or engage with other members in the community, missed deadlines, the loss of my manuscript which I’d worked on for over 3 years and much more. This was stressing me out way more than it should have, probably because I place way too much by way of expectations on myself.

Enter my knight in shining armour aka my husband. After trying to get the laptop to start, he suggested that I use his old laptop instead.This is a Linux machine which I am not familiar with so he patiently walked me through the steps to enable the Windows virtual machine so I could work. Stressed as I was, nothing registered and I confess I began to cry a bit. Yeah, I am a mess at times.

He reached out, consoled me and said, ‘Don’t worry. I will explain again.’ Miffed, I retorted, ‘How? You’re traveling tonight, for 5 weeks! How will you explain?’ He just smiled.

In the meanwhile, he set up the laptop and asked me to work on it during the day. I did, but not without stress creeping up my shoulders and settling with a smugness on my forehead. Feverishly, I worked to make up for lost time and before I knew it, it was close to lunch time and both of us hadn’t had any time to cook. V walked over to me while on a call and mouthed, ‘Shall we go out to lunch?’ I nodded gratefully.

The next couple of hours were spent in a new restaurant, laughing, joking and listening to some English hits over the speakers. When we returned home, a tiny bit of anxiety re-surfaced when I realised I still didn’t know how to turn on the laptop’s Windows interface. V assured me he would help me figure it out. I nodded glumly and listened while he explained it step by step, while every single instruction went over my head. He observed this but said nothing.

Sighing, I went about my chores for the next hour or so and came back to him when he asked me to check e-mail. I opened the app on my phone and there was a detailed e-mail, with step by step instructions he’d written down painstakingly. Right from turning on the laptop to figuring out how to switch between the virtual machine and the Ubuntu system, he had covered everything!

And I cried again, but this time out of sheer gratitude.

I still am not out of the woods. I need files that are on the other laptop and I am not sure if I have an online backup of my 50,000-word memoir’s first draft. For someone who prides herself on taking regular backups, I never imagined that I would face this situation.

Lessons in everything, eh?

But today, I am grateful. For the man in my life who was so patient and even in the midst of his travel plans, found time to explain things to me. For my clients, each of whom assured me that a marginal delay would not derail their plans. For my daughter, who hugged me as I cried in despair and frustration at the entire scenario and said, ‘It’s okay Amma. It’s okay to be sad.’ For the old laptop that is helping me work and meet my deadlines.Β For a God in heaven who watches over me, even when I don’t ask for it daily.

‘Help will always be given to those who ask for it’, says the headmaster at Hogwarts. But, I’d like to add that sometimes, help is given even when you least expect it and never thought of asking for it.


Gratitude is in the little things. Are you making gratitude a habit? Look for the tiny signs that make it possible. #Gratitude #ShailajaV

22 thoughts on “Little things that add up

  1. Praying that you recover your memoirs. At times like these, it is difficult to look on the bright side and find gratitude. I’d have been on a bad low eating chips and watching sit-coms for a while to deal with it all πŸ˜€

  2. Surely a laptop crashing is the biggest pain. Hope you do manage to get back your draft back. Lucky to have a partner who came to your aid, atleast work can commence and you could get things rolling. Hoping alls ok soon for you. πŸ™‚

  3. Husbands are also gifts of God. A couple is made in such a way that when one of them is low, the other one takes charge.
    I have myself experienced that help is showered on you even when you didn’t realise.

  4. First of all, a tight hug to you, Shy.
    Sometime back, Cat had also described how her computer was on fire in the basement of their house. After you said there was smoke coming from your laptop, I had this horrid image in front of my eyes and so I was really worried. Thank God you weren’t working on the laptop at that time!
    I feel so bad you lost all your work on your memoir. What a blow!
    But, as you said, thank goodness your hubby was at home! God bless him!
    Hugs again, dear one.

    1. Thanks Shilpa. Absolutely must thank my stars for so many things. I hope the memoir is intact but if it isn’t, ah well, it wasn’t meant to be.

  5. Amazing that you could call upon Gratitude even when so many things were going wrong. It takes a strong person to count her blessings in hard times.
    I am sure you have a backup of your memoir. Hope you have the laptop up and running in no time.

    1. Thank you so much. I’ve been conditioning myself to be positive and affirmative at all times and this definitely helped. Your good wishes and kind words made me smile. Thank you so much again.

  6. Ouch ouch ouch!! A crashed laptop is an absolute nightmare specially if you’re running on deadlines. So glad you had your knight in shining armour around. He’s quite a multipurpose man πŸ™‚ – shoulder to cry on, fixing work problems, taking you out for lunch, great company – what more can one ask for? Knock on wood.

  7. Hugs, Shailaja.
    And V is so wonderful.
    Don’t worry, I’m sure everything will get sorted and since you have V and Gy with you, you’ll be fine πŸ™‚ Don’t stress too much
    I know it’s easier said than done but try.

    1. I’ve more or less let go, Naba. I mean no point worrying, right? Will focus on what I can do for now and yes, V is absolutely wonderful. Blessed to have him around.

  8. My blood ran cold when I read your message last evening. The stuff we have on our laptops! But thank heavens that you have most of it stored in the Cloud. I am also fervently praying that you can retrieve your data especially your book. I am pretty sure you will. So, I can imagine your panic and how upset you were. I have a spare laptop too that belongs to Sid and it has Windows. Let me know if you need it.

    About V, just kala tikka to the relationship the two of you share. God bless you both! Seriously what would we do without supporting partners! Take good care of yourself and message or call if you need anything or just to talk. Hugs!

    1. Thank you so much, Rachna. How incredibly sweet and generous of you. I’ll reach out if I run into troubles with this one.

      I’ll definitely call if I need anything. Thank you. Your message made me smile last night. πŸ™‚

  9. Technology gives up on us on the day we need it the most. I remember during our vacation to Sikkim last year, all the details, all the contacts were on Cal’s phone and it just conked the day we reached. With no back-up of the data, it was so difficult to get in touch with the travel operators and plan the day ahead. Finally they called the hotel we were in and we shared my number for the rest of the trip. So I know exactly how it feels when technology gives up on us!

    I hope you retrieve your memoir, Shy! I seriously pray and hope you do. I don’t pray often, so I know that the Big Man up there is listening. In the meantime, I have a spare laptop that I can come give you where ever you are. Its a windows one and you will have no problem using it. More details on Whatsapp!

    You are blessed to have V in your life I tell you, again. Nothing like a loving and supporting partner to guide us through our bad days. Stay blessed, both of you!

    Lots of love! I’m sure everything will be retrieved soon. Just wait for it.

    1. You know I love you, right? And this just proves why. Thank you so much, Soumya. Words are insufficient at the moment. ❀️β™₯️

  10. The computer not working is the worst nightmare – especially the loss of data. I am told there are experts who can retrieve data in almost all circumstances.. maybe you can locate one in your city. Its great that your hubby found time to make notes for you! Stay blessed!

  11. A laptop going kaput is a bloggers worst nightmare come true! Really hope you can manage to save everything on it.
    Having a partner who understands and helps is a blessing indeed. Stay blessed.

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