By Mark O’Neill
Today has been a particularly rotten day. I sometimes have these kinds of days in which nothing ever goes right and everyone irritates me. Clients make unreasonable demands, I drop everything I hold, I am constantly banging into walls, poking myself in the eye… I’m sure you have these days yourself. The kind of day when you wonder why you bothered getting out of bed in the first place. I even stabbed myself in the hand with a knife while washing it.
But recently my neurologist surprised me with a suggestion. He made the rather geeky idea that I should consider my day to be a computer operating system and that if things were going badly, I should “re-boot” and start again. He continued by saying that there are days when I will feel like an “early virus-ridden version of Windows 95 but I should get my frame of mind to the point where I am Windows 7. By this point, I was looking at my doctor in amazement. He must be in his 60’s, hardly the generation where you expect computer analogies. I had previously tagged him as still being a typewriter kind of guy. If he had said “consider yourself a Corona typewriter and if you’re having a bad day, change the ink ribbon”, I wouldn’t have raised an eyebrow.
His theory goes like this. When you feel all is going wrong with your day, stop what you are doing and sit down. Take a deep breath and then close your eyes for a fifteen minute nap. The nap is the re-booting of your “internal operating system” (as the doc liked to compare it). Then when you open your eyes again, the re-boot is complete and you must now pretend that it is a new day. Tell yourself that all the problems and crap was yesterday and that this is a new day with new possibilities. Then start your day again.
My first automatic response was “if it takes fifteen minutes for your system to re-boot then you must have a pretty heavy startup process and you need to make some adjustments to your msconfig menu”. Then I wondered why I had said that to my doctor as it wasn’t particularly relevant. Sometimes my mouth runs ahead of my brain. He just looked at me with a bemused look as if to say “this is my kind of guy!”
I am normally sceptical about “alternative ideas” like this but I decided to give it a go anyway. So today when the world was going to hell and my clients wouldn’t shut up, I just walked away from it all, sat down and did a mental “re-boot”. I told my girlfriend to tell all callers and visitors that I was “upgrading and re-booting Marko 7” (which she actually did).
After my fifteen minute nap (well it was actually closer to twenty minutes), I got up and started again. And you know what? It actually works. You can actually fool your brain into thinking it’s a new day. Try it yourself sometime and you’ll see what I mean. Yes it is a rather geeky idea but if it works and you feel better, then so what if people laugh?
To complete my amazement of this computer-savvy doctor, as I was leaving his office, he asked me if “I was a digger”. When I gave him a blank look, he said “you know, Digg.com? I digg all zee time! I’m a BIG digger!”.
So there you have it. A geek writer with a geek digging doctor. Can this world get any weirder?