I ordered a new computer the end of April. I’d dragged my feet long enough; I had to get set up on a new laptop before the old one bit the dust, taking all my files with it. Ready or not, I was going to have to deal with Windows 8 and everything else.
But that unopened box sat under my desk most of May, taunting me. If you don’t hurry up, your old computer will die before you’ve transferred everything to my shiny new self. Better open me, I might have a defect that you need to return me for (remember, that’s what happened to the first Windows 8 computer you bought?). Seriously, you are a techie kind of person—aren’t you supposed to enjoy trying to software and stuff?
It was the slowly speeds of my old computer that forced me to open that box. We could hardly get anything done on the old computer any more. It was time, whether I liked it or not.
But using a new computer means transferring files, which necessitates going through folder after folder and deciding whether I really need to keep these things any more. I know I’m a file junkie—but I just can’t bear to delete something I might wish I had not. There are entire websites archived there on my old laptop, both ones I created and those of others that I loved. And when a site or two went down, I was always glad I’d saved it there. Archived blog posts that are no longer available on the world wide web (and you know, I just might want to reference them some day). Every picture I’ve ever taken of my man. Every letter and every email to every pen pal.
The last two weeks I’ve been using both computers side by side. Jumping back to the old laptop when I need a code editor or FTP program, because I haven’t set up those on the new one yet. Using the new one for anything I wanted to get done within any sort of timely manner. Syncing any file I might need in the near future to DropBox so I can actually access it on whichever device I’m using at the time. Treating Evernote like I used to think I’d treat my Household Notebook. And watching countless videos on inbox optimization and to do list apps in search of the perfect way to set up every system in my life on my new laptop.
There’s something so disorienting about switching to a new computer. Even the keyboard has a different layout, and I type a few sentences of gibberish each time I switch back to the old laptop now. No wonder I put this off for so long. Forget trying to work or to write—I think I’ll just go read a book.
But I’m realizing I treat seasons of life the same way. I want to avoid drastic changes, because I’ll have to learn the ropes all over again. Just the moment I get comfortable in our wintertime routine which involves delicious mornings of sleeping in and sitting down to breakfast all together, it’s spring and light at five o’clock each morning and my husband is out the door the moment he grabs his go-to breakfast of yogurt and granola. Just when I’ve figured out how to layer for my winter wardrobe, it’s too hot for layers and I am back at GoodWill once again. Just the moment I’ve grown used to assigning tasks to my current helper, her visit with us is coming to an end.
Maybe it’s just like I was telling a friend the other day: so often God seems to break us out of the little boxes we create for ourselves, to upset our plans we’ve made so carefully—because it’s then that we have to lean hard into Him to get through each day.
When my work area (aka my computer) is in a state of flux, it forces me to evaluate how I’m doing things and what I should streamline next. When the weather changes, I have to jump into grass or the mud with both bare feet in order to embrace the new season wholeheartedly. And just when I’ve gotten comfortable, I know something will change again.