"It was very good writing," Steve commiserated, as he turned to go upstairs to go to sleep.
He'd just read my blog entry, which I'd created in the editor of the newly-created blog site for The Silent Project, and he was showing me some additional features. Our internet connection was slow and he X'd out of the window. While he was re-logging in to the site, I got up for a glass of water.
"It's not there," he said.
I knew instantly what he meant and my heart sank.
"No. No way. I saved it!"
And sure enough, as I came over and peered at the screen, the writing which had poured out of my heart into the keyboard and onto the screen had vanished. It was gone.
I wanted to blame Steve, the website, the computer, the slow internet connection, anyone, or anything, rather than acknowledging and accepting my responsibility in creating the results I'd gotten. I had clicked "save"-- but I had failed to copy the post and paste it somewhere as a safety precaution.
And then I noted the time on my mobile phone.
I understood it was a message, showing me my attachment to what I'd written and giving me the invitation to rewrite my post-- no, not an invitation, really... more like a command. And start from scratch.
How many times do I experience a challenge or obstacle and want to point the finger, find someone to blame? To chastise, criticize, berate, belittle, bemoan. Woe is me. To create evidence that I'm a victim and that it wasn't my fault. Dang. More often than I care to admit.
This is a big lesson. It's one I've worked on and can honestly acknowledge that I've made some progress. I didn't overreact this time. In fact, I was pretty calm as I honestly and openly shared that I was irritated and felt like I wanted someone to blame. (Steve was the only one around. The dogs are upstairs, quietly resting in the bedroom. They couldn't take the rap.)
It was just one of those things. An accident. A blip. A slip. They happen. And now I have the opportunity to rewrite what I had intended to share, or share a completely different message.
I'd entitled my previous post, "Life is Juicy."
And it sure is. I'm provided lots of juicy learning opportunities. Just like this one.
Today is day two.
Not just of this blog, but it's day two of a quarterly 10-day juice cleanse program that Steve and I co-created a couple of years ago and co-lead. It's called The WE Juice for Joy Experience. We're not only the founders; we're participants. For at least ten consecutive days every quarter, we consume all of our nutrients from fresh-squeezed, organic vegetable & fruit juices.
The first time we did this, we didn't go for 10 days. No, we chose 30. And they were 30 of the most life-affirming, character-developing, spiritually connected days I'd ever experienced.
On Christmas Day 2011, as Steve and I were quietly celebrating the holiday and my birthday at home, we shared what has become a Christmas birthday tradition. We watch a film. And because it's my birthday, I get to pick.
I selected a documentary on Netflix: "Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead."
Normally, we'd have gone to the movie theatre. But just a week before, we'd discussed how expensive cable TV had become. We were spending about $150 a month. Seriously. So we could be bombarded with media messages to buy more and veg out and become so absorbed by fictitious dramas and inane comedies that we no longer spent much time talking. We decided we were going to let it go. Forget about "the bundle." We didn't need a landline-- "oh, but it's a much better value!" exclaimed the salesperson who'd convinced Steve to sign up-- and we didn't want to continue the cycle that found us mindlessly spending, watching and being bombarded. For what? Some thoughtless entertainment?
So I returned the cable box and explained that we only wanted the internet access.
"No phone?" asked the customer service person at the counter, eyebrows raised.
"No, thank you."
"No cable?" she continued with disbelief.
I'm making up she wondered, "Who are these people?"
"No, thank you. Internet service only."
It would cut our bill to about $50 a month.
"Are you sure?" she persisted.
"Yes," I smiled. "We're sure."
She shook her head as she handed me the pink receipt, proof that I'd surrendered the cable box.
At one time, we'd had a TV in practically every room of our home. It's not a large place, but we had four TVs in the house plus one in the garage. We were addicted. We had "our shows" that we'd watch together, and Steve had "his shows" and I had "my shows" and life had become keeping up with the storylines on these programs. We'd been programmed. "Holy vegan cannoli, Batman!"
By the time we made the decision to release <ahem> our "habit," we'd given away all but one of the TVs in the house. Our 13-year-old Mitsubishi big screen-- not some sleek, wall-mounted flat screen, but a hulking mass that commanded so much of our attention remained. Steve had ordered a Roku external wireless device, allowing us to stream Hulu.com and Netflix.com through our TV, using our internet connection.
So we'd made the decision to stay home and watch a film for my birthday on December 25, 2011, rather than go out.
Steve grimaced at the name of the film.
"Really? You're choosing a film about a fat guy who's sick and nearly dead?" He rolled his eyes. "Ok. It's your birthday. Whatever. You'll owe me," and he pressed play.
And our lives changed.