I decided to take the afternoon off so had spent some time chilling out by the river.
I forgot my headphones so just sat and failed to read my book, choosing instead to watch the rowers, the tourist boats, the cyclists and dog walkers all pass me by. The Swallows keeping hydrated by diving towards the river, skimming the surface to scoop a beak full of water. The Swan family; a mum who hissed at me when I got too close to her 3 cygnets as I tried to photograph their grey fluff.
Is it possible to die from cute?
All in all, a pretty perfect afternoon.
I got home to a dehydration headache, I should have taken the lead from those Swallows – I’m not used to 30 degrees so I decided to sit on the sofa and actually read my book.
At one stage I heard my phone buzz the arrival of a text, but it was charging out of reach so I stretched my toe out to wake my iPad which lay at the bottom of the sofa as my texts normally sync to both.
Nothing doing, I figured it was on delay so went back to my book for a while deciding it could wait (I’m practicing not being controlled by my tech).
When I went to check my phone later I noticed an alert telling my my cctv device I installed after being burgled had disconnected from the cloud which was odd as it had been on when I was out earlier. After tying to reset everything (switch it on and off), I realised my router was not playing ball and all my WiFi was gone.
So I reset the router only to be told my password was now incorrect (huh?)
With a sigh I conceded I was going to have to call for help.
So after 20 minutes of checking this that and the other, more switching on and off, the damn thing gave up the ghost entirely, no flashing lights of any colour. my router was DEAN, GONE! an EX-ROUTER!!!!
An engineer would have to be called to replace it. The first time available… Wednesday
That’s 2 full work days without WiFi.
I thought about kicking off. Demanding someone come sooner. I’m freelance. How am I meant to work without the internet? How is such a thing acceptable in this day and age? Do they not understand I need immediate assistance, TODAY?
But I took a breath and realised a) there was nothing they could do to magic an engineer and b) maybe having no WiFi for 2 days would be an interesting challenge… I mean I still have 4G on my phone. It’s not like I’m totally off grid, I’m not an animal!!
I quickly recognised this momentary change as a pivot in my thinking.
I took a look at my to do list for the coming week to see what I could do unplugged…
Pinterest scheduling? Nope that’s all web stuff… Some graphics work? nuh – adobe is on the cloud… Update my Facebook store with my patterns… sigh, on line….ooohhh… maybe I can finally catch up on my accounts? Nope, Office is cloud based too… Writing up my latest pattern… ditto re cloud software… BUT… I can grade it… there’s one thing!
So I re-wrote my list…
- Grade the Play Time top pattern (it’s coming soon folks!)
- Get ahead on some freelance design work
- Tidy that corner of the office that’s been making me itch for months
- Update my content calendar
- Plan my editorials for the next quarter…
The list started to get scarily long after this and I realised my two days were now looking even busier.
Here’s what I actually did over those two days
Cleaned the kitchen and caught up on my washing, finished making the Play Time top sample and graded it, sat in the sun and read my book for 2 hours, went to yoga
Tidied the office, took some photos of the Play Time top (whilst dancing to Club Tropicana on Magic Radio, the photos were pretty terrible but it was good to play!) chatted to my neighbour who has just had a baby (he gave me Polish beers from his village), went to a cafe (the one in Waterstones in Cambridge is great for local bods!) to get some work done, succeeding only in completing a job application which I’d seen only that morning (the closing date was the same day), went and met a friend for food and football.
So I think we can agree I didn’t really achieve what was on my list but that’s not really the point.
The point is that instead of wasting energy on a tantrum about broken technology, I pivoted, changed direction, adapted, reframed it to achieve a positive outcome.
I feel so much better for it too – being flexible instead of sulking. My office is tidy and I’m pretty sure that wouldn’t have happened without a broken router. All of June was crazy busy for me so taking the conscious decision to put some other stuff on the back burner and read my book for a couple of hours was a way of me keeping a promise to myself to take some time out.
We like to think we know what’s ahead of us but really we can only predict a limited amount. As I get older, I realise how important it is to be able to adjust your expectations, attitudes and responses when the unexpected happens. In my old office particularly, I worked with people who struggled to deal with change like this, who were a bit set in their ways, complaining about the new and getting themselves in a bit of a tangle. It’s a classic response to change but I think the more that you practice accepting instead of resisting, the happier you will be.
It’s the serenity prayer in practice.
“Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference”
Having practiced this approach for a while, I now actively look out for the opportunity to pivot. When I feel myself starting to resist something I stop, take a breath and think about whether I can readdress a situation before spitting the dummy. I’m not going to pretend it always works, I’m a work in progress, but when it does, like this week, I kind of feel an internal win… like “yeah, I handled that like a boss!”.
It’s a good feeling!
Well my internet is finally back up and running now so I’m off to play catch up but trying the pivot approach next time something doesn’t go your way, you may be surprised!
Big Love Dx
Oh go on… one more cute Swan picture then… These guys have teeny wings but with practice and growth they will learn to fly like their beautiful graceful mama… I just wish that I looked as cute as this whilst going through the growth process!