Most of us who use computers have experienced the "Blue Screen of Death" (BSOD). According to Wikipedia "The Blue Screen of Death indicates a system crash, in which the operating system has reached a critical condition where it can no longer operate safely." I call it a forced shut down. And that is exactly what happened to me yesterday.
Sometimes we get moving too fast - trying to do too many things at one time. In my house when all the windows are open - there is a beautiful breeze, but when I have too many windows open in my life (too much going on), I know that at some point there will be an inevitable 'forced shut down'.
For some of us it may mean a headache or health issue that stops us in our tracks. For others it may be a family member needs us to drop everything and help them out. Hopefully it is not tragedy that forces us to stop our over-doing and running hither, thither and nigh.
For me the call to slow down usually happens with technology fail with an item that I use to do my work. AND - it most often happens when there is a holiday that I have planned to work through to get caught up. (as if that in itself isn't the first clue!)
One year it was a power cord failure for my computer on Christmas Eve - right in the middle of a web site build. Not surprisingly the exact thing happened one year later on you guessed it - Christmas Eve in the middle of a web site build. I mean how many times does one have to learn the same lesson over and over?
One year it was a delivery I was making on Easter week-end. My car decided it was time to stop running the roads and the delivery had to wait.
Last May it was a quilt I worked hard to finish for a friend to give to her mother in law for Mother's Day. I finished it early - and mailed it in plenty of time (a week early) to get to Saskatchewan. The Time Gods laughed at both of us and re-routed the packaged quilt to Rouyn-Noranda Quebec before sending it to its intended destination, a week after Mother’s Day.
Finally, yesterday, it was a "mother board" failure. (Not my mother, that happened a week ago). A friend asked me to assist her in a HUGE job that required a computerized program to create upholstery fabric for a BIG company with a SHORT deadline. Most of you know I learned to custom quilt before I added the computer feature to my long arm. The computer is a great feature for repetitive patterns and perfect for this job. I was happy to help and had planned to work through Thanksgiving to get it done.
"Not happening", whispered the Time Gods once again. Forced shutdown. For no apparent reason the motherboard on a key component on the computer part of my longarm self-destructed. The repair tech told me that it sometimes happens and there is no explanation as to why. I sighed and almost started explaining to him WHY it happened to me on the eve of a long holiday week-end. Forced shut down.
Then I thought - well I can always send out a message to my Newsletter list - and get some feedback. So I sat down and created a survey and sent it out to my list. The link did not work. Sent it out again. Failure. Sigh.
Lesson learned once again.
Yes, it is time to slow down and take a breath. As many of you know, this year has meant a lot of changes for me. A long distance move that we did ourselves. My longarm was only out of commission for one week - so essentially I just worked through the move. I launched several new parts to my business - which took a bit of work. And now I am working hard to expand in a new area. At the same time we have been trying to settle into a 33 acre bush property and get going on all the outdoor work that comes with it. And I LOVE it all! But I realize some days I just need to rest.
Sometimes the world can move too fast and many of us easily get caught up in the frenzy that really does not need to exist. I mean what if a marketing company began planning ahead for display items for Christmas in April, and realized that they needed 100 meters of upholstery fabric in June and ordered it in July for a late October delivery. No rush. No anxiety. No forced shut down for those who try to get it all done at one time. AND when you think of it realistically - all in the name of selling more product to a consumer hungry population. I sometimes wonder at the wisdom (or lack thereof) of it all.
And this is why I love quilting. No rushing. It's an art that takes whatever time it takes.
And so my forced shut down means taking time to leisurely brine and cook a turkey, make pies and concoct a new recipe for my cranberry sauce. In between creating in the kitchen I'll slip down to my work room and take my time, custom quilting a wedding quilt someone sent to have long-armed. And instead of a stock pattern, this customer will get a custom work of art that she will be delighted to give as a gift. Her lovely pattern and assembly + my custom longarming = wedding quilt masterpiece.
That is really what life is about. Taking the time to create a life of masterpieces. Thoughtfully. Taking one day at a time. Seeing the beauty in our lives. Finding reasons to be grateful.
Me - I am thankful for the motherboard failure and the 'forced shut down'. AND thankful for you - my reader, my customers and my friends.
Happy Thanksgiving to all.