It’s been months since I’ve been able to work from the front porch.
I know it’s my fault for not making the decision sooner. After all, my old laptop has been non-responsive for months. Yet every time I would start to research new laptops, I would hear a voice in my head. And it would remind me that I still have a PC in my home office that I can use.
So why am I thinking I need a new laptop?
Then I hear “you have other obligations, projects around the house that cost money, and don’t forget, you have a computer that works.” All of that is true and for months those thoughts have silenced me. It is easy to see all the other needs around the property, and it is easy to put what others are prioritizing ahead of my own needs.
I began to feel I don’t deserve a new laptop; other’s needs are more important.
So for moths I have been writing in my office, looking out the window at the porch, the birds, and the out of doors in general. Don’t get me wrong, I set up my office in a way that I can see out of the window. In the middle of winter, sitting in a warm, cozy home office, is marvelous.
But when the weather is warm, my body craves being outside.
Plus, I don’t know about you, but I can get inspired working from a different venue. If I sit in the office and work on my PC, my output can be different than when I work from the porch. Different thinking, different outcome? A different venue, a different train of thought? Whatever the reason, I find it stimulating to be outside as I write.
Then why did I let my depression keep me from buying the new laptop sooner?
Of course it is easy to say it’s depressions fault. It cannot defend itself. But that is exactly how it operates. Depression sets up the idea and then steps out of the way so that I can carry it forward. It is happiest when I take the lead, carrying what it suggested so that it ends up being my idea.
Even with all of the new tools I have, depression is still able to influence me.
Sometimes, I am able to see that even as it happens. Unhelpful thinking has become my new friend and I can recognize many of depressions attempts to have me think in unhelpful terms. All or nothing comes to mind, as does time traveling. Pushing my mind to the past, I would relive every situation, beating myself up for not doing better whatever it was. Or, just as damaging, I thrust myself into the future, and agonize over things that may happen.
Thankfully, I am much more in the moment these days.
Yes, I can still wander off the path and get stuck. I proved that with my slowness to purchase the new laptop I am writing on. I know I want it, even need it. Yet I made every excuse to avoid making the decision. It has been easy to say I don’t know enough about which laptop has the features that I need. Or I say I will wait until next payday, or the next sale flyer, or the next week.
Putting off the purchase has nothing to do with the cost, and everything to do with my attitude towards it.
As I just listed, depression helped me justify my indecision in 100 different ways. In the end, I was letting depression decide how I would act. I ceded control of my mind to it, and did not take any responsibility for my actions, or lack thereof. Blaming others, is easy to do.
Standing up for myself, and taking control is sometimes difficult, and sometimes it feels impossible.
That’s the takeaway from this. I know in the end; I control what I think about events. And I finally took back control from depression and made the decision. I had a catalog for an upcoming sale and waited patiently for two weeks until the sale date. I made the purchase on Sunday night, at the beginning of the sale.
And then I got an email saying the vendor had overextended its commitment and they did not know when the laptop would be delivered.
Suddenly, depression is in front of me taking a victory lap. I told you so was plastered everywhere. So I called the next day and the operator said even though I had not gotten an email about it, it had been pulled and was ready to ship. I should receive it within 24 hours.
What I heard was “cool your jets you filthy animal, it’s coming.” (Credit for the take-off of the line goes to Home Alone)
So I did wait. But I also took the time to look at possible alternatives in the store which I verified where in stock and ready for me to take home and use. And while I was engaged in deciding if I wanted to buy something else, the laptop was delivered.
Suddenly, all is right with the universe.
I have navigated the set-up screens designed mostly for HP to get information about me. Even choosing a language gives them clues as to my ethnicity. Opting out of most tracking, I am sure that I am being watched. Having been on the internet for as long as it has been around, I am certain there are files on my activities. But I am getting lost in my thinking.
I accept these intrusions as a cost of doing business on my new computer.
My depression has left for vacation, having finally exhausted everything it could lob in my direction. I am sure that it’s unhappy I finally broke the indecision and guilt I was feeling about purchasing the new laptop. Once again, I am on the porch just before 7 AM. The birds are at the feeder, the squirrels are under the feeder, doing their squirrel things. And some of our local rabbits are in the yard, enjoying the clover as they have breakfast.