Monday, June 7, 2010

When the brain waves slow down

This morning a lot of us were getting this message:

Blogger is unavailable right now. We apologize for this interruption in service. Please visit Blogger Status for additional details.

And many of us were extremely frustrated because for hours Blogger Status didn’t even tell us what was going on – or when we could expect a fix.

Having been married to a computer security analyst for so many years, I don’t feel nearly as angry about receiving this message as the other 500 or so bloggers who were complaining to Google about the interruption in service. Our internet has been flaky for a couple of days now, and I suspect there’s some sort of minor hack happening that’s keeping all of us from sharing our thoughts for the day.

What does intrigue me is the disruption our inability to communicate seemed to be causing – I mean, we could still write our blogs: we could always enter our thoughts into a word document and save it for later publication.

But there’s something about the immediacy of blogging; the sense that what we’re thinking and what we have to say is time-sensitive – and of course important – to someone, at least. But I suspect the real issue is adaptability: I know it is for me. I’m used to sitting down and transcribing whatever’s on my mind after my morning’s reading and meditation, and I’m convinced enough of the synchronicity of things to believe that something that’s on my mind this morning might be on someone else’s mind as well, and there’s a chance that synchronicity will bring someone comfort.

So even though I could see that Blogger was going to be offline for a while, I didn’t just automatically move into Word, say what I needed to say, and go on with my day. Instead of milking the moment for the thoughts and directing them onto a different surface, I got caught trying to make the usual process work, and wasted lots of time looking and poking to see if I could figure out what was happening, and of course checking back to see if I could get through to Blogger. We are creatures of habit – or at least I am -- and slow to set up alternative behaviors if our normal patterns are interrupted.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t change. Because, in fact, we are changing all the time, just as life and circumstances are changing all the time. But the adaptations are never instantaneous -- especially as we grow older. We need time to realize something is different and something needs to shift inside before we can actually go about making the appropriate external adjustments. Once my shift happened, I opened Word and began writing. But of course by then I’d completely lost whatever brilliant thoughts may have been animating me when I started, so I just talked about Blogger and went back to rearranging the kitchen and paying bills. So although I did eventually switch paths, it took so long that the original moment -- and any wisdom it might have contained -- was sort of lost.

Which may be why we thought for so long that “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” It’s not that it’s true, it’s just that it takes patience – and probably more patience the older we dogs get. Eventually the patience runs out, and folks assume it’s just not possible. But we old dogs ARE trainable, really we are – it's just that these days adapting and learning new tricks just takes a little longer.


Maureen said...

I seemed to have missed all the to-do about Blogger and by the time I went back on everything was as I'd left it. My dirty little secret is that I write most of my posts in advance of the day they appear.

Great wake-up energy in the image!

Louise Gallagher said...

LOL -- I missed the kerfuffle too! And I don't write my posts in advance -- but then, I don't do as much reasearch and treasure troving as maureen does!

Joyce Wycoff said...

If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, is there a sound. I missed it too so I'm glad, Diane, that you "heard" it and could share your wisdom about it with us.

Louise... thanks for kerfuffling us this morning. What a great word.