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. 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.