Despite living the simple life of milking goats and knitting lace and baking bread and participating in all those homey, warm, homesteading goodness activities, I do spend a significant portion of my day on the computer.
Which isn’t simple at all. Or homey, warm, and sweet.
Yesterday I faced a day of updating our art website when I found that my wireless mouse was shutting off on a regular, itinerant basis. The initial solution to the problem was straightforward — I simply flipped the mouse over, turned if off, then turned it on again. It worked great for 35 seconds, then shut off.
I pursued this “solution” for 20 minutes, at which point I imploded.
“I’m calling the computer guy,” I announced to the Norwegian Artist, who has the remarkable gift of walking into a room with an exasperated me in it, assessing the situation, and remaining calm. One of us has to.
“Have you looked up, ‘Wireless mouse keeps turning off?'” he suggested.
Um. No. I imagine that would be cheaper.
Googling, or Binging, the sentence gives you a page full of suggestions, many of which are incomprehensible to people like me, and it looked like it was going to be a call to the computer guy after all when I hit the second page and saw,
“Wireless mouse turning off — batteries could be low.”
Batteries? These things use batteries?
Yes, they do — two double A’s. In no time the Norwegian had the batteries replaced and the mouse working again.
Rarely are life’s solutions so simple.
But come to think of it, frequently life’s solutions are simpler than we allow them to be:
- Assess the situation.
- Walk away from the problem for a minute and pour a cup of tea.
- Share the burden. I know, not all of you have a Norwegian Artist, but there must be someone in your social circle who thinks clearly.
- Try the obvious before the convoluted.
These five bullet points, while they may not lead to the solution, go a long way in not drawing us away from it, and when I practice them, I generally achieve success more often than I don’t.
The hardest bullet point for me is the one about sharing the burden, because — as a highly driven, over-achiever who doesn’t believe in perfectionism but insists upon really damn good — I see it as a sign of failure in my ability to think, analyze, propound, and move forward when I can’t solve the problem on my own.
But I never do, you know — solve the problem on my own. The latest issue is cheese — why the last round I made with our goats’ milk is hard and crumbly, and why the curds didn’t stick together the way they should have. Dining room conversation these days revolves around rennet, buttermilk culture, whey temperature, and the over stirring of curds, but the result continues to be cheese that is better grated than it is sliced.
Which brings us to a final bullet point: