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