Two Cents Worth

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Linda Hoffman - Two Cents Worth

You never know what you’ve got until it’s gone!

We all know this saying and have felt the truth of it many times. It’s not always a sad thing. Sometimes it’s a really good thing. Often we are just living life without realizing just how overwhelmed we are, how frustrated, how smothered or bogged down we are. Space and time can often illuminate reality offering a clearer perspective and understanding of what our life has become.

Can you just imagine how peaceful and quiet your life would be if you didn’t have your cell phone attached to your hand. Try it for a week or maybe just a day to see how much easier you breathe, how good it feels to be undisturbed. It is good to not always be on call for everyone. I haven’t turned mine on for weeks.

More often the adage is attributed to the feeling of loss. It doesn’t have to be anything serious to remind us just how dependent we have become to our things, our gadgets, our connections.

The other day I was taking a lunch break and heard a series of beeps – a truck backing up. It was a sound I recognized from the construction of homes in the subdivision across the road. A bit later another series of beeps.

After lunch I went to the computer to finish up some letters I was writing. All was black, unresponsive and where the green light usually is, a red one flashed. I tried to shut it off and nothing happened so I pulled the plug which is the limit of my technological expertise when it comes to computers. I plugged it back in and turned it back on only to have a series of beeps and a red light. I now realized it wasn’t a truck.

I unplugged it again and left it hoping maybe it was tired and just needed a rest. I went on about my day finding lots to do with the studio tour coming up this weekend. The next morning I hopefully plugged it back in, turned it on and beep, beep, beep, beep. It was now Sunday.

Monday morning I drew a detailed diagram including colour codes of how the thing is hooked up to all the wires before I unhooked everything to take to my computer guys. Beeping, as stated on my work order, is a “big problem.”

I never realized how often I consult my computer during a day at home. I don’t surf the Net, do Facebook , Twitter or any of that stuff so I didn’t think I spent much time on it at all. I may check my emails a few times a day. I might play a game of spider solitaire or do an on-line puzzle – gotta keep the mind active. I work on my column. I look up things like how many ounces are in a litre, how far it is to Exeter, what to substitute for baking soda in a recipe, what temperature and for how long do I roast broccoli? I check my bank account, pay bills, read the paper and find out what’s playing at the theatre.

Anything you need to know you can find on the Internet. Listening to the high school sports report on TV I had to check to see what an S Jam was and had to wonder how Sir John A. Macdonald would feel about being called S Jam.

I could not believe how many times I headed to the office to do one of these insignificant types of things only to remember I didn’t have a computer. It’s all just so easy.

Thank goodness the “big problem” was only dust (imagine, in my house!) so had everything back and hooked up by Tuesday afternoon and I am again as smart and informed as almost everyone else.



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