Yesterday I found out that my website, the place from which I operate my business of coaching writers and offering classes, was taken down. Apparently, it had been attacked by malware. To access my site again, it will take a few hundred dollars, and then I will have to completely rebuild the whole webpage from scratch. This utterly frustrating, not to mention revenue-halting, news would have been enough to make most people want to pull their hair out. The unexpected cost and time that will have to be invested into a brand-new site when the old one worked fine could easily conjure up images of a fist being shaken at the heavens as a voice screams, "Why-y-y-?!"
Yet when I learned the news that my site was down and not coming back any time soon, my response was, "Well, I guess the universe thinks it's time for me to move on."
I'm pretty sure I've unknowingly fallen into a cult.
This is not a normal human response. And despite the fact that my leg can twist around in a freakishly alien way to kick myself in the face, I am undeniably human. When I uttered my Buddha-ain't-got-nothin'-on-me response, my husband looked at me as if I had two heads. Had I thrown a lamp down in frustration, unleashing shards of porcelain across the kitchen floor, he probably wouldn't have batted an eye. I mean, this was my website, my calling card, my virtual me! This was a violation of everything I had worked for by evil cyberpirates pillaging my portal to self-employment. Any reaction shy of detonating the state botanical gardens wouldn't have just been understood; it would have been expected. But I responded like The Dude from "The Big Lebowski," and my husband, in turn, searched the bathroom cabinet for the thermometer.
I can't blame him. I'm not this person. A kind person would call me energetic. A more honest person might call me determined. Most would put me in the "unrelenting" category. For all the fun and whimsy and magic I've been known to bring, it has never been delivered like a light zephyr. My intentions tend to come whipping in like a tornado. If I decide to connect with the Earth via meditation, I'm gonna be the best dang meditator the Earth has ever seen! I'm gonna meditate the shiitake mushrooms out of this blue planet! My "om" tends to come out more as an "om-my-gosh, why are we just sitting here breathing?" And I find nothing in life more enraging than yoga. How dare my body sweat so profusely when all I'm doing is standing still or moving at a snail's pace?!
That said, a calmness, a stillness, is something that I have sought consistently throughout my life. Actively sought. Which tends to defeat the purpose.
Last year, I declared that my word for the year would be "listen." In these complicated and often enraging political and social times, I have found that listening has been the best gift I could give myself. This year, to grow on "listen," I decided my word would be "pause."
I want to pause before I react. I want to pause to enjoy the moment before rushing to the next thing. I want to pause to think through, to absorb, to simply notice. And I want to pause to appreciate all of life's many gifts.
I'm not good at pausing. I've lost every game of "red light, green light" I've ever played. To help support my 2018 word endeavors, I relinquished my mind and free time to the billion-dollar industry of self-helpery. Since the start of the year, my Audible account has been a never-ending lineup of meditation practice, mindset mastery and some serious "om-my-gosh, I'm actually omming!"
And here I was, less than a month later, accepting that the universe had destroyed my website. Totally Zen. The truth is that I had outgrown the site. The business had grown bigger than the site suggested, but because it had been working fine, I was reluctant to change it. Now change will happen whether I am ready or not. And my first feeling was acceptance.
I had thought this oneness with the universe would be good for my spirit, but now I can't help but wonder whether Mother Nature herself isn't some super-secret cult leader.
Count me in for drinking the Kool-Aid.
Katiedid Langrock is author of the book "Stop Farting in the Pyramids," available at http://www.creators.com/books/stop-farting-in-the-pyramids. Like Katiedid Langrock on Facebook, at http://www.facebook.com/katiedidhumor. To find out more about her and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.