The Yearly Reboot

rebootI’m not technologically adept. When I married my husband, little did I know that in-home IT support would be so valuable. Of course, I appreciate many of my husband’s qualities, but his ability to manage the morass of computer equipment in our household makes up for his unwillingness to use the vacuum or dishwasher.

When it comes to electronic hiccups, I have only one tool in my arsenal. The reboot. Turn it off, turn it back on. It seems to be the solution to many maladies, and there are many options for the reboot process–the printer, the computer, the router, the wi-fi, and the cable box. If rebooting one doesn’t solve the problem, chances are, rebooting one of the others will. I have learned that “Have you tried rebooting?” will be my husband’s first question when I ask for help, so even if I don’t think it will work, I’ll try it anyway.

This is why I love the new year. I hate “New Year’s” ®. It’s often a night of forced buoyancy shared with large numbers of people. But I love the concept of a yearly reboot. It’s an invitation to flush it, and move on. I am a resolution junkie. I thrive on goals. I crave accomplishment. Even staring down fifty, I have huge plans for my life, and I’m just getting started.

It is easy to keep moving in a pre-established direction. Momentum is a powerful force. Sometimes that’s a good thing. Sometimes, however, it’s an invitation to tread water and to continue investing energy into habits and practices that no longer fit or serve me. There is an opportunity cost to using one’s time and energy. Spend it one place, and you don’t have it to spend elsewhere.

My husband does not share my penchant for resolution-making, at least not tied to the January 1 date. The date is arbitrary, he asserts. Commitment to a goal is possible any time, which is true. For me, however, taking the time to consider what my priorities are and what I’d like to achieve is energizing. I need the articulation–I am doing this, but not that. It helps me to reconcile tough choices, and to define them as choices, rather than crap that happens. I generally know what the consequences will be. If I figure it into my calculations, I’m happier. It may be easier to blame the cosmos, but it doesn’t change where the buck stops.

So will the 2013 reboot entail? A wise friend has tuned me into the mantra of less. Don’t do more, do less. Create space for stories to grow, for dreams to grow, for love to grow. I’m simplifying, streamlining, admitting that I can’t do everything. All yesses must earn their place.

So it’s January 1st. Here we go. Reboot.

I flush the glitches, and the corrupted files and start again. The slate is clean. Happy New Year.

Words by J. B. Everett

Photograph by Derek Clark © 2001 Creative Commons


8 comments on “The Yearly Reboot

  1. Becca says:

    Happy New Year! I was just thinking that I needed to do something to start this year on the right foot: reboot. It is a brilliant concept. Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. elissa field says:

    I love this Jeannine — like we’re all feeling around for the “reboot” switches in our lives. (I’d be looking for one on the misbehaving 11 year old right now, but that’s another story.) That is one good thing about the new year: it gives us official permission to call an end to one cycle and start new. I was with you, when I posted my reflections today: so much of my ‘success’ last year had to do with what I let go of, not just what I did. Thanks for the insights!

  3. Khara House says:

    I love the idea of “reboot”ing the year, too. Starting fresh is such a wonderful gift from time, which so often isn’t exactly the kindest mistress.

  4. What a terrific piece, Jeannine! I’m not a big fan of making resolutions, but I do appreciate that a new year brings new beginnings! You’ve inspired me. (And you also reminded my that I’ve always hated New Year’s Eve parties! There may be a post idea there.)

    • Thanks Gerry! I’m glad you found it inspiring. I’m not a resolution maker in the “I want to lose 10 pounds” arena (although I could probably stand to lose a few), I think of it more like a road trip. It’s good to know where I’m headed, but I’m up for a few diversions along the way. After all, who can resist seeing the world’s largest ball of string?

  5. Veronica Roth says:

    Love it! I reboot and throw things out of my mental window all the time, but those tough choices are really…um…tough. I’m wrestling with getting rid of some toxic people in my life and some are family. I have to keep reminding myself that friends are god’s apology for family. 🙂 Good luck with the tough ones. Call on us for support whenever you need it. I’ll be there for you and I’m sure everyone else will be there for you too.

    • They are tough choices, but I am very fortunate that most of my tough choices are between things I’d really like to do. Sort of a no-lose situation, unless I get mired in too many things and don’t accomplish any of them. My friends and family are my energy source. I hope you can wash the toxins clear from your life (or at least use them as a really good story source!)

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