Friday, December 23, 2016

December Thoughts: This Week

This Week

Jennifer E. Miller

This week as been rather disappointing. A few unfortunate and annoying events happened one after the other. 

First, I had to restore a few household electronic gizmos. I noticed the wi-fi was intermittently disconnecting from our devices. I was able to successfully get onto the internet via a hardwired device even when the wi-fi was interrupted, so I determined it was a router problem. We also needed a new PC, so I hopped in the car and headed to the store for both. (Our credit card company is doing away with the gift card rewards, and we had to cash out our points quickly. Too bad we didn't know before we purchased our Christmas gifts!) Luckily, I remembered our ISP provider had recently sent us a new modem (which of course, I had to install). A quick call home to my other half confirmed some good news: a built-in router in the new modem. Thank goodness! One less thing to plug in and connect. I got the computer home and spent most of the day setting it up and restoring the wi-fi problem. The wireless printer connection was more difficult than I remember. It took about three or four tries, but I finally got it. Why can't I just touch the computer and the printer at the same time, say "abracadabra," and poof! they are speaking to each other? Geez, if I had a 3D printer I could make a dove fly out afterwards, too.

A new PC is fine and dandy, but the set up process is such a chore. T is lucky I know an iota about computers because he is completely lost in this department. I have a husband who can build sheds, finish basements, fix electrical problems, and work on boat motors. When a computer goes kaput he hands it off to me! Really, why can't a woman have a man who does it all! :)

Second, as I took a break from all this computer setup, I noticed an issue with our pet betta fish, Blueberry Jewel. His stomach was very swollen. He also wasn't eating his food; quite unusual for a little guy who always gobbles it up. He spent most of the day resting at the bottom of the tank. The condition worsened overnight. He was even plumper, and his scales were sticking out. Kinda like how a pine cone slowly opens. He couldn't swim to the top of the tank easily; and if he did, he sank right down often head first. I did an internet search and found his condition, dropsy, was not something he would recover from. I broke the news to G, who was devastated. Blueberry Jewel made it through another night. In the morning, I couldn't believe he was still alive. G had an appointment that afternoon. Sadly, when we returned home we found he had gone to fishy heaven.

G had apparently become quite attached to Blueberry Jewel. She cried and cried. She had already placed a stocking over the fireplace for him and now he was missing Christmas. She remembered the employee at the pet store saying that a betta's lifespan is approximately three years. We only had him for one and a half. This kid has watched hundreds of fish get gutted and filleted in our front yard. And then eats them for dinner! But the tiny two inch finned creature living happily in a five gallon tank sent her emotions over the edge. She wanted to bury him the yard. Which would be fine except for the tundra-like conditions brought by ole Jack Frost. We found one small soft spot near a window well that became his tiny grave site. G placed Blueberry Jewel in the hole with more tears flowing as she said her final goodbye. 

I know her heartbroken state is good sign. It tells me she has a conscious and feelings that run deep. She loves with a big heart. 

Third, a short story I submitted to a contest was not selected as a winner. I realize my chances of winning were quite slim, but I had high hopes for this story. It's one of my best/favorites. Losing means relatively nothing. I'm no worse off that before. It doesn't mean my story sucks because I KNOW IT'S FREAKING AWESOME. Just, for some reason, it hit me hard. I was feeling good vibes about it, but they were wrong. Imagination, love, and commitment went into that story. Rejection came crashing down like meteor destroying my sowed garden. I guess I put so much love into my work, like G does with her pets, that I was a teensy bit devastated. But you know what? Other writers, and ordinary folks, I have shared it all gave favorable feedback. My story gave joy to other readers. That's really all writers want.

With each mishap, I have learned something. A dying router pushed me to finally get a new computer. Our old one was operating Windows Vista. The new one is faster and more secure. And it's pretty darn cool to have it at no cost with those gift cards! The death of our fish helped me see how big and wide open my child's love is for the world around her. When I see her cry now, I know a little piece of her heart has been taken away. I realized how sensitive she really is; and that I need to be more sensitive to this fact. Lastly, losing a contest is not a measurement of my ability or self worth. I will continue to work towards new chances at being awesome. 

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