Papercut and colored pencil art by Sheryl Aronson X 5

Friday, December 24, 2010

Keep Your Eye On the Prize

I got a new netbook.  That’s a good thing, right?  So far, I have been very frustrated.  First, it has Windows 7, which is quite different from Windows XP, which is what I am used to.  Then, of course, there are all the things that have to be done to get any new computer working smoothly:  all the programs that have to be installed and the data transferred.  So each step of the way is taking a lot more time than I expect, and I keep having to backtrack to figure out what the problem is, and how to solve it using an unfamiliar program.  The netbook is smaller than my laptop, with a keyboard 93% of the size.  Not a big difference, but enough to throw my fingering off until I get acclimated to it.  On top of that, winter has arrived, and with it my annual fight with the skin of my fingertips and thumbs cracking open.  I have Bandaids on one finger and one thumb, so I keep hitting the wrong keys with my left hand.
**Irony of ironies, in the middle of typing that paragraph, my computer decided to reboot itself, and it took me almost a ½ hour to get back to this, because it kept trying to start new security options, back up all my files, and various other tasks that were disrupting my ability to write.
So why did I want to get a netbook, knowing that it would be a hassle?  It’s little!  My laptop is larger than I really wanted because I wanted the high screen resolution that only came with the larger screen at that time (7 years ago, ancient history in the land of computers).  I use that computer for many functions, including for my art.  I take digital photos of my art, and make my own prints using an archival quality printer, and the high resolution makes it easier to work with the images.  It has a 17” screen, this netbook has a 10 inch screen, and is only 3 ½ pounds.  With my aches and pains, it is so much easier to move around and carry, as well as schlep back and forth between our cabin and apartment. 
Is all this frustration worth it?  Yes, and that is the point of this post.  Frustration is a part of life, and it is easy to let it drag us down.  We get annoyed with the driver in front of us, or with our loved one who did something we didn’t like or didn’t do something we asked them to do.  The list goes on and on, different for each of us, and different each day, but the list is frequently there, in the background, if not on the surface. 
It will take some time for my netbook and me to work well as a team, but I am sure that we will, once I get all the programs running properly, and I figure out the new features and processes.  I spend some time exploring, some time learning, and some time working with parts I already have set up. Little by little (no pun intended), I am learning how to use it.  
As with many areas of life, I know that ultimately it will be worth it.  I am keeping my eye on the prize, and whenever I feel like giving up, I refocus back to that prize.  By limiting how much time I spend on the frustrating parts at any one sitting, I limit my frustration.  I focus my attention on what is working, get some reassurance from that, and then look at what I need to do to get the next part working.  
Finding the prize in a situation and keeping the eye on it helps diminish feelings of frustration.  Any time I am working toward a goal, that goal is my prize.  What about the frustrating situations I mentioned above? That other driver?   Sometimes looking forward to arrival at my destination is enough to help tolerate the frustrations of traffic.   Other times, I find the prize by reminding myself how lucky I am that I have a car, that I can drive it, that I can afford to drive it, that the roads I am traveling on are relatively safe, and that I have the freedom to go where I want when I want.  As for the loved one not meeting my expectations?  That loved one him or herself is my prize.         


  1. As you ramble on through life
    whatever be your goal
    keep your eye upon the doughnut
    and not upon the hole.

  2. Thank you for that comment- I love it! We do tend to focus more on the hole than on the doughnut, don't we? Of course, if it is a box of doughnut holes, that would be worth focusing on.