I need routine, no matter how pathetic

For about 30 years I’ve taken apart, put together, programmed and modified more computers than I can remember, and I’ve even been tech support for a network while working as an assistant to a CFO (where the hell has my brain gone?).

I was converted to the world of Apple a few years ago and reluctantly gave up all my fiddling around with Windows. Since them I’ve had two MacBooks, the first of which I couldn’t leave alone and upgraded the memory and hard drive.

Never in these thirty years have I come across a problem I couldn’t fix or a crash I couldn’t recover from. There was a point where I believe I was crashing my computers just for fun, a challenge to see if I could bring them back to life. My relationship with computers had been relatively trouble-free until last Monday when I bungled things up so badly I had to leave my computer at the Apple Store for a couple days.

All I wanted to do was change my name on my computer to my maiden name to reflect my new lease on life. I had no idea how set in its ways an Apple computer could be. It doesn’t want to change its name, it balks at a name change, it kicks you in the stomach if you change its name.

I tried doing what I’ve always done in the past, which was finding tech support info on line and following it step-by-step and ultimately fixing the problem. That approach didn’t work this time, and I humbly made an appointment with the Genius Bar at the Apple store. I went home with some suggested instructions, but that seemed to cause more problems. By Tuesday night I raised the white flag and made another appointment with the Genius Bar. After trying several different solutions I was given two options: I could receive detailed instructions on how to fix it at home, or I could leave it for two to three days while someone that knew what they were doing would restore my system, with all files intact. I thought about it for a moment and pictured myself diligently following the instructions and then one week later bringing it back in even worse shape than it already was. I swallowed my pride and acquiesced to a professional.

Then the two day nightmare began. I’m a creature of habit and routine (scientists have found a link between bipolar disorder and OCD). Since I have to take my thyroid medication one hour before I eat, I use that time to exercise, check my email, TweetDeck, Facebook and a variety of websites including Cute Overload (that makes me sound so shallow). Then I have breakfast, shower and attack my to-do list. Suddenly I found myself with a very different routine and became very stressed because I was missing a big chunk of my morning. No email, no daily podcasts, no infusion of cute. I wandered around the house, staring outside at the pond, thinking about all the things I should be doing. Odd hypotheses would pop into my head like “If there was a pristine tree, would a dog automatically pee on it?”

When I escape to BFE for the weekend, I don’t miss using a computer, it’s expected and there’s not much of a routine. But take me out of my element during the week and all hell breaks loose. In total, I was only without a computer for four days, but those were the longest days of my life (ok, that’s exaggerating a bit). Everything is back to normal (as normal as my life can be), and none too soon because I have a great deal to do before I visit my daughter and her little family on Thursday. Now it’s off the computer and on to my to-list.

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