This whole laptop-has-crashed-and-burned-in-a-mighty-conflagration thing is, as usual, providing me windows of opportunity I might have otherwise missed. (Despite the fact that I really did not want this sort of window--or maybe, come to think of it, because of it? Hmm...philosophical brain twisting in the morning.) Some of the windows include these gems:
1) Forced to either write on my friend's computer (which is okay, but I tend to keep my writing very private and secured), or by hand, such as journaling more. Ah, the old-fashioned way. It does bring the writer closer to the words themselves, makes me think about my choices more carefully, because there is no delete button, nor a backspace....There is only commitment.
2) Strongly encouraged to stop freaking out about this potential loss and simply enjoy what I do have, which is plenty: loving family, generous friends, a spectacular place in which to live at the moment, my mind and its endless machinations & cool new ideas, on and on the list goes. I really am blessed--just have to remind myself of that at times.
3) More time to read! Watch movies! Hike during this amazing fall weather, which is perfect! Talk to friends and acquaintances! Visit and play with my horse! Practice yoga & meditation! Etc., etc. Gifts, indeed.
4) Space to explore the quiet, patient side that I generally lack. I have been a downright hermit lately, and it's been grand.
A friend (thanks, Dan) sent me a quote I want to share here, because it's really apt in this moment:
"Let us spend one day as deliberately as Nature, and not be thrown off the track by every nutshell and mosquito wing that falls on the rails." --Thoreau
I'm letting nutshells and mosquito wings veer me off-course, which is silly. Things happen, and we all really do go on--just perhaps not in the way we expected before the calamitous event. Another friend pointed out my ability to find gifts in the challenging moments, which was a great compliment and meant a lot to me (thanks, Shelley!).
One last gem, the kind that will nurture me for years to come: the other day, I was sitting in a local coffee shop with a friend, grousing a bit about the unpredictable nature of the wilderness therapy industry and proclaiming my own personal doneness with it. Then one of my recent students from the field, one I'd worked with for two shifts (16 days), came in with his parents. He'd graduated, and they'd just finished up their family workshop. I met his folks, noted how centered the student seemed, and we had a brief conversation.
And during that short time, he said to me not once but twice, "Thank you, Julie." And I heard and saw the sincerity resonating through his every fiber, and it just meant so much to me, and brought that sort of smile to my face that can only come from the recognition of right action, of having done something well that touched another life in the most positive of ways. And my last week out with that particular group had been so, so difficult! You never really know how your presence affects another.
At any rate, I want to thank broken laptops (sigh), unforeseen opportunities, a young man named Thomas, and my dear friends, all of whom have helped me in these past weeks to get up, brush off the dust, and just keep going, even if the smile has sometimes slipped from my face.