My new computer just died. Only six months old, and it has to be completely refurbished because of some problem with the hardware. Luckily, I held on to my old workhouse, so I have a functioning machine while the other is being fixed. I was pretty frustrated when it happened, but then I returned home and turned on the news.

With all the tragedy in the world, I wasn’t going to let something like this make me upset or crazy. That being said, I woke up obsessed with getting back my data and transferring everything to the older computer. I was worried I might have lost some documents and photos that weren’t backed up.

With each phone call to tech support, I realized how easy it was to see this as a waste of time, but I was actually learning things about the computer that were all new to me. So I’ve chosen to let this be a learning experience. The lost files will be found eventually, and at least I can communicate with the world again.

The real truth is that my obsession ended when I sent out a tweet about it saying, “It was just a computer crash, not a car crash, and no one died or was injured (not even the guy at tech support). In these troubled times, we need to decide what’s going to twist us and what really isn’t worth getting twisted about.

Things break in life. As long as it isn’t your heart, then you have all you need to get whatever it is fixed without exploding inwardly or outwardly. A lot of people take out their anger on customer service representatives or whoever sold them the product. But blasting the person on the other end of the line will not elicit the help that you want. If you can just explain what happened, others will get your pain and will usually respond appropriately.

Most anything can be repaired. I bet we waste more energy worrying about what will happen if we can’t text for a few days than about the state of our families and our lives. I am not suggesting that you have to fret over things. Quite the opposite. The idea is to choose what needs serious attention and let go of those things that don’t or that are out of your control. I know doing that last part is not easy, but it really lowers your stress level.

The one thing that can’t ever break is you. Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to get caught up in worrying about what you’ve taken on, seeing potential problems and forgetting to consider solutions. I have a friend who, though he is quite wealthy, rents his home rather than owning one. His reason is that if he were a homeowner, he would worry all the time about things breaking. For him, renting is the right choice, regardless of the finances.

I want a low-stress life, and I want to live as fully as possible. I know that keeping things in perspective is a far better way of going on with this (mostly) wonderful journey than ruminating about things over which I have no control.

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