Sunday, 20 October 2013

What's with the helpless optimism?

I'm an optimist.  I've always been proud of it.  It's got me through some hard times.
Is this wine glass half empty? Or half full? 
When you're waiting for something, a delivery, a taxi, an exam result, it's always easier to think it's just about to arrive than thinking it's never going to come.

When you have a shocker, lose your purse or your phone, it's easier to find a bright side.  You know, lucky it didn't happen last week when I had more cash in it, my contract was about to expire anyway, you can cheer yourself up in no time.

Another example: every single day, I make a cup of tea when I get up.  Over 2 weeks here's what happens to it:

Drunk before leaving the house: 3 times.
Left on the bench, heated up in microwave and drunk before midday: 5 times.
Left on the bench, heated up and drunk by school pick up: 4 times.
Poured sadly down the sink at dinnertime: twice.

Why do I bother?  Based on those stats, it's clearly not worth it.  But I have stupid faith in the three times I do get to drink it.

Although sometimes I think optimism can go too far.

Like when I made a cup of tea this morning at 6:20.  I knew I had to leave the house at 6:25.  I was never going to drink the damn thing.  But it's so comforting to sip hot tea before going out into the world.  I sipped at it until I got a text message telling me to hurry the hell up.

It was unforgivably rude on my part to keep others waiting while I tried to inhale a hot drink.  Why is my cup of tea worth more than other people's time?

It's not.  And I'm sorry.  I just got lost in the sipping and optimism of the moment.

On Friday, my undrunk cup of tea took on a sinister role, when it was tipped over right next to my laptop (by a fridge door hitting a cupboard door and it could have been any of us opening the fridge).

Most of the cup went on the bench (the wireless router and the Sonos speaker copped it a bit but after a good drying and cleaning both remain in good form) but the keyboard was liberally splashed.  I know from painful experience that this is a very bad thing for laptops because they keep their brain just under their keyboard.

I stayed calm, and it seemed to be ok so I took the kids to school, went for a coffee with the girls and returned home to work.  It was only after spending a few hours on an important project with a deadline that afternoon that I realised it wasn't charging and was down to 20%.  Possibly (certainly) due to the fact that a river of tea flowed past the charger connection point that morning, no doubt killing it forever.

I went mad with the back up disk, saved a pile of things to dropbox and sadly closed the lid at 5%.  By that time it was too late to get to the Mac shop (yes I should have taken it earlier but it seemed OK!).  I took it first thing Saturday morning (that is, first thing after cricket, in the small gap before tennis).

The young (goodness they're getting younger), man at the shop said it didn't look good.  But he said I might get away with just getting a new something board, or maybe a new thingummy, but we would have to wait for the technician to come in on Monday and look at it.  He checked his files.  I had 20 (count them) days left on my warranty.

See! At least I didn't spill tea on it on the 9th of November!  Optimism!

And I'm staying hopeful.  Why?

Because it's not nearly as much liquid as this time last year when I tipped an entire glass of sparkling mineral water right into the keyboard.  (It died, immediately and a new laptop was the result)

Because it kept working beautifully all day long and I only stopped because it was about to run out of charge.  So it can't be that bad?

Because the kids have a laptop identical to mine, which I have appropriated and on which I am typing right now.  Sure, they're a little put out, but too much screen time is bad for them anyway.

Because I am foolishly, helplessly and unstoppably optimistic.

The twelve year old Mac expert said I'd probably made it worse by working on it all day.  I tried to look like I didn't care.

Tomorrow will tell whether I'm really an optimist, or just a fool.