The Monday of all Mondays

Maybe it's my imagination, but it seems like every Monday has been dreary and rainy lately. Granted, since I took a vacation day last Monday, and the weather was actually nice enough for me to do yardwork, I can't complain about last week. Tuesday may or may not have been a rainy “Monday”. The week prior, Monday did fit this bleak description. And this week, the cold drizzle returned with a vengeance.

I’m one of those people who find days without meetings to be the most productive. I'm one of those people who, when faced with a clean slate, will inevitably face a barrage of interruptions. I used to think I was unique in such improbability, but as time goes on, I realize I'm no different than the rest of you. We all have bad luck and bad days, some more than others. We all have our challenges; it's how we face them that sets us apart.

Other than crummy weather and a few interruptions, my Monday wasn't all that bad. I didn't get done as much as I wanted to, but then I never do. Part of it is setting my goals too high, and part of it is reality. And for some reason, my most productive hour is often between 5 and 6 PM. I accomplished quite a bit in that key hour on Monday afternoon, but I did notice some images in the file I was working on were not displaying properly. It looked like some kind of memory issue, and the fastest solution in those matters is to save, quit, and relaunch the application. That's exactly what I did, and that's exactly when my Monday became a MONDAY.

“Your file cannot be opened with this version of _________” was the message I got when I tried to reopen the file. I wasn't panicking yet. I opened a few other files to make sure it wasn't the application, then I opened an older version of the file from my manual backup folder. I've been burned by this particular Program-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named before, so I make a point of saving copies of my work at various points of progress. My older version was fine, but of course didn't reflect the work I'd done in the past hour. And I'd done a lot.

I looked online for solutions. I tried renaming the file, and changing its extension. I even found an auto-backup on my harddrive that the program creates. For some reason, this file was 250X bigger than the original, and gave a new and (in hindsight) hilarious error message every time I tried to open it. “You cannot anchor that item to text box.” “Thank you your trial version has expired.” Not one message made any sense, and finally I gave up, went to the gym, and ran four miles.

The weather was still crummy when I drove home, and Chuck was definitely the high point of my day. Technology burned me again when I checked my digital converter box and discovered it was off. Apparently, we'd had a brief power outage during the day. It wasn't enough to mess up my VCR, which was still recording, but with the box off, all I got was static instead of How I Met Your Mother. And then the reception on my box began to act up during The Event, during crucial scenes. I think The President's advisors told him a group of people were aliens, but I'm not sure. The scene was like, “These people are R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R...” and suddenly it was like I was watching Max Headroom. Thank God TV shows are also available online nowadays. As much as technology was the bane of my existence on Monday, it also helped me.

Tuesday is another day. Remembering what I'd designed, it won't take an hour to get back to where I'd left off. It's just annoying to have to do the same work twice. But these things are bound to happen. Whether I'm doing work or watching television, a storm, surge, or random glitch can make for a bumpy road. The question is, am I a slave to the technology, or a slave to fate? The one thing I learned from the casinos is that the longer you do anything, the more likely you are to lose. Maybe I should have left work at 5 PM. No matter what, I'd be doing the same thing Tuesday morning, but it wouldn't be a second time. Or maybe it simply would have happened then, setting me back to Tuesday afternoon. You can't predict fate. You just have to learn from experience, and make an educated guess as to when it's the best time to jump. Then jump, pull the cord, and pray to God that the parachute isn't a knapsack.



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