Tag Archives: problems

Everything is relative

As we get closer to Christmas, you hear many people complaining about the holiday pressure, crowds in the stores, traffic on the streets or difficult family issues.  Just the other day, I was talking with someone and expressed my belief that troubles and inconveniences are all relative.  It seems whenever I have something to complain about, it is very easy to find someone who has difficulties much, much worse. In perspective, my worst problems and lowest days are much better than many people’s best.

I was so reminded of that today.

I have a work-related friend I got to know at my previous job. We were not all that close, but we did a fair amount of work together. He helped run a meeting center in Savannah, and would reserve me a parking spot there on St. Patrick’s Day. One year, he, his wife and two young sons joined us for our St Patrick’s Day tailgate party. We haven’t been that tight, but we’ve stayed in touch.

Via Facebook, I had heard that his two young sons had been in an automobile accident early in December. One son was in rehab and recovering well. The younger son was “making progress.” Today, I learned the sad truth. The younger son has a severe brain injury, from which he is not expected to recover. This afternoon, the family is transferring him from peds ICU to a hospice to spend his last hours or days.

Don’t you know those parents wish all they had to worry about was last minute shopping or crazy traffic?

Count your blessings.

Too much stress too early in the morning

There are times I love and am amazed with technology, and there times a loath it with an intense passion.  This morning at 7:30 a.m. at the First Christian Church in Guyton was one of the latter.

Despite my relatively advanced age (late 50s), I am moderately proficient with computer technology. I am just old enough, however, to continue to be amazed that I can carry my entire work life around with me on my laptop. With my home WiFi and my cell phone, I am about 95% as efficient sitting at my kitchen table as I am at my desk at work.

All is wonderful…until it isn’t.

To make a long story short, I was out of bed at 5 am this morning for a breakfast Rotary Club talk in a small town about an hour away. When I arrived and turned on my laptop, I discovered the folder with all my Powerpoint presentations, was empty. It was not a great piece of news at 730 in the morning.  This particular group had already heard my basic overview talk. I had borrowed a presentation from our director so I would have a fresh act. It was not something I could ad lib without the Powerpoint support.

My hosts said, “Why don’t you just take a few minutes and tell us about some of the things going on there?”

OK. I can do that. So I got up and talked off the cuff for about 15 minutes. I repeated some basic background information about who we are, and talked about some of the current projects I have written about over the past couple of months. I doubt if I would win any “best presentation” awards, but it filled the time and no one walked out or threw the remains of their breakfast at me. I guess I came out ahead.

(For you technogeeks out there, the problem turned out to be a sync problem between my laptop and the server at work. I don’t understand it, but the files are now back and things seem to be working again. In the future, I’ll also have my presentation on a flash drive as a backup.)

And speaking of technology, I ran across this very funny blog post about a journalism professor who forced his class to put together a newsletter using 1980 technology like manual typewriters. It is funny. I can relate.