Wednesday: Day Three (and Ashtok)

I woke up this morning in a really good mood, excited about the things I wanted to do today; and found myself using that as an excuse to try and weasel out of my morning routine. 😂

It comes down to this: I find the maintenance parts of life — eating, grooming, sleeping, etc. — to be monotonous, boring wastes of time; but, they must be attended to if we hope to make it to each tomorrow. *Exasperated Sigh*

Yoga took twenty minutes, and I hopped right into the shower afterwards. I skipped the ritual Greek Yogurt this morning, but only because I was anxious to fix the damn Bluetooth issues on my laptop.

The driver went spontaneously missing yesterday afternoon, and none of the support articles I found provided any remedy to the issue. Nor did enlisting Mitchell’s expertise. Both tired, we decided that I would try and call support this morning.

After hours of rehashing all the details to both Lenovo and Microsoft support, I finally got routed to Ashtok, who accessed my system remotely, and set about completing all the tasks I’d already completed through FAQ article instruction… except this time, it worked!

I didn’t try to hide my enthusiasm or how impressed I was.

“How on earth did you make it do that, Ashtok?! I did the same damn thing, to no avail!” I exclaimed.

Rather than give some scripted answer from the fiendish individuals who write the hellish Microsoft support articles, Ashtok shared an anecdote with me.

He said that when children in India feign illness to get out of chores or school, they are often presented to a family elder for diagnosis. The child is looked at, asked a couple of questions, and then told that there is a remedy to their problem — an antibiotic injection. When faced with the sight of a needle, many instantaneously recover. He ended his story by saying, “Computers are very much the same, Ms. Cassie.”

Not gon’na lie, Ashtok’s fable — along with his IT prowess — made my day.

Sometimes it’s the little things that make all the difference… even from half a world away.

Friday: The Power of Conversation

If you want to change the course of a day, take the time to have an actual conversation with someone.

It sounds like common sense, I know; but we live in a world where the art of conversation (and yes, there is an art to a good one) is dying.

In the rooms of AA, we often stress how important it is to pick up that cell. “Reach out to another alcoholic!” we shout with enthusiasm. And then we leave the good cheer of that meeting hall, get in our vehicles, and commence our busy lives… with ne’er a thought of the phone, especially if we have some time under our belts, and no longer feel like every little thing is a crisis.

In truth however, with years of sobriety behind me, there is a moment every day when I don’t quite feel like myself. A second (at least) for self-doubt and disappointment.

This morning, it happened while forcing myself to get into the shower. (Yep, there are days when I have to force myself into the damn shower.) I got a glimpse of cellulite in the hallway mirror, and felt utter despair.

I texted a friend about it, but I didn’t feel any better.

And since my friend was not available to take a call, I called my mom. And my brother. And my kid.

Not to disparage over my weight, but to ask how they were doing. And as we talked about subjects that widely varied — the chunk of change to be made in waiting tables, my nephew catching the largest salmon in Alaska, the definition of an NGO and why I might like to work for one — my weight slowly slipped away (from my mind, not my body… though that would have been nice 😂 ). And it hasn’t returned.

In a world where we find ourselves isolated more often than not, the melodic sound of a voice soothes a lonely heart far more effectively than the store-boxed Ding! of a text. There is power to be found in the laughter of a friend or loved one, and commiseration to be had even in tears.

So go on! Look away from the screen for a moment and dial a number. Any number. Dare to change the course of this day. I guarantee, you’ll be better for it.