On Thanksgiving, prior to leaving my house to gorge myself with food at my brother’s place, I decided to make a few impulse purchases online.  The first was a new laptop, and I decided to buy this for several reasons.  One, it was at a price that I could stomach, and two, I had been planning on looking for a new laptop sometime around the holidays anyway.  While there is nothing specifically wrong with the laptop I am currently using, it is about four years old and has been doing enough odd little things to make me fear it is about to die on me.  While I don’t store massive amounts of information on my computer, I do have a fairly large collection of music in the form of MP3s that I would be very disappointed to lose should something go terribly wrong.  When I saw the price of the new laptop online, I decided I would buy it and transfer all of my music over before something happened.

The second purchase I made was a new phone.  Well, to be more specific, I simply upgraded to a new phone, so while my monthly payments will be slightly higher every month for my cell phone service, the actual phone cost me nothing out of pocket, so that was how I justified that purchase.  The phone is an iPhone, the most popular type of cell phones.  It is not the newest model of iPhone and it is refurbished, which hopefully won’t limit the device any more than would be expected with a brand new device.  In any case, while I have been a little hesitant to join the ranks of smart phone users, I signed up for the plan and this past Monday the phone arrived.  Now, I have confidence issues when it comes to new technology, so I decided my best bet was to take it directly to a local cell phone store and have them assist me setting it up.  The guy I spoke to at the store must have thought I was an idiot, as he had it ready to go in about five minutes, but whatever, I wanted a professional to do it so if there were any kinks, he could work them out before I was on my own at home.

So I got home with the phone and began playing with it, and it turns out, Apple wants access to just about your whole life when it comes to setting these things up.  Somewhere along the line, I had to use my Apple ID account which, up until now had only been used to purchase music through iTunes.  It’s very possible I made a mistake entering my password, I am not certain, but in any case, after several failed attempts to log in through the phone, my account was locked out and after several frustrating attempts to reset the password, I ended up creating an entirely new Apple ID.  Since then, my troubles have been limited, however, I was worried that creating a new ID would lock me out from being able to listen to any music I purchased with the former account.  I began to panic after my friend told me that could be a potential problem.  Of course, I overreact to everything in my life, so this now became an issue I could not leave to be resolved to the next day.  I checked my music library and everything seemed in order, but I didn’t trust it.  I started messaging my friend and asking him for assistance and despite it being well past the time I should have been in bed, I found myself sitting in front of my computer preparing for the worst.  I started thinking that even if everything was well and good on this laptop, what was going to happen once I tried to move everything over to my new laptop?  I couldn’t sleep, as I kept playing out all the different scenarios in my head. Even though I knew I needed to sleep as I had to be up early for work, I couldn’t stop thinking about it.  I was angry at myself for being so impatient with everything and I was made at Apple Computers for making my life so difficult.  I started feeling like I had been pressured by my friends and family to get a phone I didn’t really need just to be caught up with the rest of the world and I was resentful that I had gone along with it.  Finally, at some point in the evening, I fell asleep, but I woke up again around 3 AM and felt wide awake.  I knew I needed to sleep for two more hours before getting up, but my eyes did not want to shut.

It was during this time that I began to think again, but I began to think differently.  I started asking myself why I was so upset over something that first of all hadn’t even happened yet, as my new laptop hadn’t arrived yet and my current computer was playing all my music just fine.  I started wondering what good it was doing to lose sleep thinking about something that has such a small impact on my actual life.  Yes, I like having a large collection of music to listen to, and yes, I would be disappointed if I was not able to listen to a portion of it, but it turns out, at worst, I will not be able to play 608 of 6306 songs.  Yes, that’s ten percent of my music.  And while I still have the functioning laptop here, I can always burn CDs of the albums I want and then re-add them to my new laptop with no problem.  Also, it turns out, I probably already have some of those albums in the form of CDs as I made some for myself when I first purchased the songs.  So, basically, while it may be a minor hassle to rebuild my library, in truth, nothing drastic has happened to me.  In fact, it is also very possible I won’t have any trouble at all when I start using the new laptop and all of this aggravation was over nothing.

I realized all of this while trying to fall back asleep, and the next day I was in a much better mood.  I had a great time at work and when I got home, eventually I apologized to my friend for being so pestering the night before.  It just doesn’t make sense to get so worked up over the things we posses in our lives.  All too often we stress out over things we either can’t control, or are ultimately meaningless in the grand scheme of life.  If someday, my entire music library is wiped away, how will that effect me?  Will I be unable to function?  Will I not be able to go on without music?  Sure, it’s nice to have music to listen to, but days go by when I don’t listen to any of my MP3s and somehow I manage to float along.  I have this new phone now, and yes, I like it, but what would happen if it went away, or if it broke and I couldn’t text or call someone?  Somehow I think I would survive, even if it meant getting a new phone and even going without one for a while.  We worry about TVs, phones, iPods, cars, clothing, the newest this, or the latest that, and why?  I have never been one of those people who had to have the latest thing or the most popular gadget.  Sure, as a kid I often saw things I wanted and I would sometimes get my heart set on something, but for the most part, I don’t let things control my life.  I am disappointed in myself for getting so annoyed the other night.  My life still went on.  My friends and family and coworkers are all still here, living their lives.  My little melt down didn’t change a thing in their lives, and I suppose when things go wrong for them, it doesn’t really impact me in any way either.

I learned, or at least I am learning, that the things we own are not important so long as you have people around you that bring you happiness.  I think so many people try to fill the voids in their life by buying silly items that bring them temporary satisfaction.  My friends and I used to say, “Let’s go buy some happiness,” anytime we would go to the mall or some other store to buy a new CD or DVD.  Yes, it’s nice to have new things once in a while, but soon the novelty wears off and you see it’s just a thing.  I’m going to try my best to be happy with what I have, and by that I mean my friends and family, not my possessions.  Someday it might be nice to have a new TV, but I am not going to stress out over it.  I have what I need and for that I am grateful, as I think we all should be.  There are so many in this world who don’t have the things they need, and by that I mean food, water, shelter, not iPods or new Audi’s.  Maybe when we can see the world from their point of view we will begin to see that all these things are just that, things.


~ by James on December 4, 2013.

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