Only Planet

One Child, One Year, One Planet. A family of three traveling around the world...

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Goodbye, Old Friend

This week I say goodbye to an old friend. No, thankfully it’s not a person but my laptop. After five years, a half million miles on the road and thousands of pages and emails, it’s finally giving up on me. The modem is acting funky, certain keys no longer work, the battery dies after five minutes and I’m tired of troubleshooting problems every day. Computer years are kind of like dog years and my five year old Dell might as well be a hundred people years. We got it for our trip around the world and it’s been a faithful companion on trains, planes and rickshaws. In hotels, tents and apartments around the globe.

This has been a month of change and reflection in our household. Three weeks ago I was in New York City interviewing for a job and deciding through the process to start my own business. More on that later. Then two weeks ago a good friend and her daughter were hit by a car while crossing a very busy street in Portland. The daughter suffered a broken femur and had surgery the next day. She’s out of the hospital and recovering well. When her daughter was hit, my friend was knocked to the ground and hit her head. Since she is on a blood thinner, there was a lot of bleeding at the site. She’s been in the hospital, first ICU and now a recovery and care unit, while doctors assess her progress.

Meanwhile, I have been building up towards the 10,000 hours that Malcolm Gladwell states is necessary to master a skill, and mine has been writing. Tonight I was supposed to finish a 2000 word essay for my writing critique group. Normally that wouldn’t be too hard, I’ve been cranking out 15 pages of work per week for the last 7 weeks or so, but I can’t wrap my head around my latest work. I think it’s because I don’t know where I want my piece to go. I know I’ll figure it out eventually but by tomorrow—highly unlikely unless some bolt of inspiration hits from out of the blue.

As the year—and decade—come to a close I’m taking a deep breath because I know right now I sit in the quietest of moments before I have to jump back on the this ever-oscillating planet and get back to work creating, planning, scheming and sorting. I’m not ready to say goodbye to 2010 only because I’m worried it will seem bucolic compared to what 2011 may bring. But I hope I’m wrong. That this pessimism is due to a failed assignment and that 2010, may it rest in peace, is retired to the place where dead laptops, and wayward stories go to die.