Jan 142010
 

Distraction is a great way to cope with adversity, especially on those days when one’s mood sinks into the Mariana Trench, pain, physical or emotional, becomes too great, and psychic energy couldn’t be lower. For those really low-energy days, television is the best bet. All you have to is sit there, watch the program, and flip flip flip through the commercials. But what to do when you have some energy and are too restless to watch TV?

Judy Taylor, the subject of my book Lifeliner on her life without eating, immersed herself in her community. She volunteered to help her fellow patients learn to live on artificial feeding (TPN), to help at her church, to visit people in hospital, to bake for whomever (yes, I know, strange for a woman who couldn’t eat to love to bake and cook, but we the recipients of her largesse enjoyed it and she enjoyed watching us), to care for her family. Basically, she distracted herself by sharing herself.

But though I love baking for others, I say the best distraction is futzing around on the computer. Now, I know playing on the computer is not everyone’s cup of tea, but when you’re already in a bad mood, it’s a good time to do something that you know is guaranteed to frustrate you. And computers are really, really good at consuming your attention so that pain has no choice but to take a back seat.

So today — deep breath — I’m going to upgrade my Ubuntu to 9.10 and try to create separate data partitions so that future upgrades won’t require me to reinstall all my data and, hopefully, added apps. Wish me luck; I’m going under to Ubuntu land!

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