I was sitting down at my desk, ready to start a very busy day on a high note. My dad frantically, but calmly walks to my room, saying: “Josh, the printer broke, I would appreciate your help.”
At this moment I was at a crossroads
Either way, I was going to go downstairs to help fix my dad’s printer. But I had 2 choices: I could resist it, thinking about all the work I had to do today. Or I could simply enthusiastically fix the printer, trusting that the day’s work would take care of itself.
I went with the latter. I went downstairs to fix the printer. After about 15 minutes, including a hulk-like lifting of the heavy printer and trying to “dissect” it in the living room, no dice. Very unusual.
I would be back.
After doing a little bit of work, I went downstairs for a second go round with this evil paper jam. I decided to reach inside the printer with my hands, and attempt to get rid of any paper in the mechanism. My hands became sweetly coated with ink like dark chocolate. It was a beautiful sight, and I felt liberated. Having an illness like Crohn’s Disease limits me from doing a lot of the “dirty work”.
I missed you, dirty hands.
I still couldn’t fix that printer. Unbelievable. After my mom and dad “shared their concern” for my ink-covered hands, I put on a glove and made a third go-round at this evil paper jam. I started hitting every mechanism that I could find on the inside of the printer. I hoped not to break anything, but I secretly wanted to. I wanted it to be over with.
After about 35 minutes of this, the printer started squeaking and screaming and sheepishly squimering. Yes, I know that squimering isn’t a word. But I can’t think of any other word to describe the cacophony of noises that the printer was making.
Somehow, the printer was fixed. We printed some sheets, and everything was back to normal. Until the next paper jam.
Why is This Story Important?
I could have been incredibly frustrated at the printer for choosing to have a monstrosity of a paper jam on my busiest day of the week. A few weeks ago, I probably would have.
This time, I just rolled with the punch, and let go of any mental resistance. It was amazing.
The paper jam was incredibly persistent, and I could have literally grabbed that 40 pound printer, slammed it on the ground, and begun to unleash an unequivocally raging fury of kicks and punches and throws. I DIDN’T. I remained calm, and the problem was fixed.
I EVEN GOT A WHOLE BLOG POST IDEA BECAUSE OF IT!
Thanks, evil printer!
Now, I know this is a tiny problem, but it really wasn’t.
That paper jam was so persistent. I could have given up at any time, and ordered a new printer. I could have given up after the printer made no signs of progress and my hands were coated in ink.
I could have given up after I made a third attempt to fix it, when my gloves were coated in ink. I changed my day’s schedule in an attempt to fix a printer that looked to have no hope of seeing the light of another day. It was a risk.
But it has been salvaged. And I am very happy about my persistence in solving this problem. I needed to keep my reputation as the computer guy who fixes everything. I needed to live up to my message of perseverance and Optimistic Wellness. I am so excited to have this ink on my hands to prove it.
There’s a very popular phrase, “roll with the punches”. I like it a lot. But I find that sometimes I misinterpret the meaning. It doesn’t mean DODGE the punches that life throws at you. That’s futile.
Rolling with the punches is about absorbing the shocks of the punch and going with whatever life throws at you on a particular day, even if it messes with your plans.
It’s about letting go of any resistance you feel.
This is one of the toughest habits I’ve been attempting to develop. But I find that the more difficult a habit is to implement, the more it will be worth it.
Where could you get some ink on your hands? And where could you start rolling with the punches more?