Wisdom from any source 

Published 6:44 pm Friday, December 13, 2019


Coffee with Mimi

There are definitely times when a person needs a little extra boost, assurance and guidance.   Well, maybe more often than not. The key to productivity without stress is to be open to offers of suggestions from multiple sources. You never know from whence will come the words of wisdom that just hit the spot.

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At the crack of dawn just a week ago, I was pushing a deadline. I needed every minute to be exactly as I planned. I had arranged all necessary tools in my workspace. The dog was walked, fed and watered. She had fetched her habitual two tossed toys and curled up at my side for an early morning nap. Oh, the life of a pet.

The coffee was brewing and the cups were warming. 

I powered up my personal laptop. My mind was turning. My fingers were ready. Up pops the login screen which always cheers me with a gorgeous, full color photo of some place I have never been. I gaze at it longingly for a brief moment before punching in my password.  Someday, when I have a moment to spend frivolously, I will Google the sources of those tantalizing spots.

All is proceeding nicely. The little flower wheel is twirling. And, then it happens.  

“Leave everything to us,”  so the message says. A computer update. Right here, right now. All may not be bad. How long can it possibly take? Usually, a little bar moves across the screen in a box with a percentage completion count for the portion of update in progress. Not today. The reassuring message remained on the screen. “Leave everything to us.”   

Someone somewhere is telling me to trust the mythical cloud sources and internet gremlins which were at the moment controlling my morning’s schedule. Seldom, if ever, in my life have I had a machine assure me there was nothing to worry about. The job will be done. It was like living in an alternate universe.

“Making sure everything is ready to go,” next message. Well, nothing for me to do apparently.  Sit back, refill the coffee and trust a machine, which takes up no more space than a magazine, to truly know what I need and execute it — all while I watch the sun rise and sip my second cup of coffee.

“It’s taking a bit longer than expected, but we will get there as fast as we can.” Well, of course it is. It always does. Why should you, inside the little box, know anymore or be able to make it go faster, than I could? At least you, out there in cyberspace, are politely and optimistically cheerful, which is more than I can say for how I’m beginning to feel about my task. I wanted to remind the machine it is supposed to work for me. My zen mood is beginning to wear off because the clock on my wrist is reminding me that time is ticking along and I have yet to begin  the thing I am supposed to be doing at this moment. The job I have written on my calendar for this time slot.  

Maybe the machine is taking care of that, too. I always wonder how the internet magicians know what I’m thinking. You can ask it one little question and you are inundated with articles about the topic for days. I just wanted the translation of “sous vide,” now I’m apprised of the cost, value and best and worst ways to use the gadget in ads and stories four or five times a day. If the computer is so smart, maybe I could teach it to organize the unsolicited information into coherent order.

“Almost there.” Are you sure and how can I be sure you are being honest with me? All I’m getting from you is a blue screen and a few words every few minutes. At the end of all this, will my responsibility be completed, too? Or, are you just in it to satisfy your own whims, witty and comforting though you may project you are on my side?

What is next? After our morning interactions, what do you have for me? I’m waiting. How will I know we are finished?

I don’t know whether to be disappointed or relieved. All my apps are up and ready.  Unceremoniously, the screen returns to its regular useful state. After all this time together, I was expecting a final send off from you. A few warm, fuzzy words to acknowledge the shared experience would have been a nice touch.  

You did your job. The machine is clean and whizzing along just as I expect and need. My task was completed and turned in before the actual deadline. Your little PR gimmick, if that is what it was, was productively distracting and much more encouraging than watching the little blue bar and percentage countdown in the box on the screen. Good job! Next time, I would appreciate a bit of warning. But, really, that’s on me. Perhaps I should warn you when I have just one time slot carved out for a time sensitive task.