I am in the habit of dragging my laptop with me to every occasion where I might be afforded five minutes to work on my writing. Sometimes this means that I lug around a laptop in its bag for a few hours and then unpack it and watch the accusing orange light as it recharges. Sometimes it means I have something to do while I wait. On (fortunately rare) occasion, it becomes a form of needed stress relief. I’m not talking about serious emergencies when all you can do is sit and pray.
I’m talking about the annoying ones. Like expensive car repairs.
(Granted, I probably shaved years off my life with the stress from that event, but really in the grand scheme of things it’s not that bad. Really. Bear that it mind.)
When trauma like this happens, when you’re stuck in a waiting room, you have two choices. You can use the time, or not. Both sides of it have merits.
Option A) Use the time. Refocus the mind on something useful, use the anger/frustration/sadness to power through another task, make use of the nervous energy, avoid stressing about the problem, be able to say that at least I did the stupid thing.
Option B) Relax and calm the mind, distract yourself, think through the problem, call family/friends, say at least you kept calm and didn’t have a meltdown in front of the repair guy.
Both have pros and cons. Both are good options. Best to pick one and go with it.
Congratulations! You are now past a problem. Pat yourself on the back because you didn’t have a meltdown. Or maybe you did. I’m not judging. Personally, I researched the price of catalytic converters and listened to superhero movie soundtracks for an hour.
(Also, it turned out that the repair needed for my car could be completed by a mechanic I actually trust for a third of the price the other guy was estimating. Never going back there again, even if I did finish editing two pages of story while I freaked out.)
And now, I leave you with this song.