|Lance Shields, Flickr|
If an alien was about to land on this planet and asked you whether life on Earth is good or bad, what would you reply?
You might have a good life, or you might have a difficult one. If you're like most people, you might have gone through periods of both.
If you have a difficult life, you might still have a positive outlook and find reasons to smile and even laugh every day.
If you have an easier life, you might feel sad or guilty that not all human beings were born as lucky.
In either case, you probably have moments of elation in alternance with moments when you feel completely overwhelmed.
Take my most recent translation assignment, a long, complicated, highly technical, somewhat stressful, sometimes interesting but mostly tedious one that involved 4 full days of scratching my head and digging into the most specialized of dictionaries to make sense of the electrical engineering gibberish.
The topic was a challenge (as I usually stick to translations in the field of health), but I was up for it. However, a series of obstacles made it all the more difficult!
On the first day, my main computer kept crashing.
On the second day, after uploading the translation software on my second computer, I lost my Internet connection (which I need to use my online specialized dictionaries and to upload my work onto the main server).
On the third day, I woke up with a terrible migraine (probably from all the computer induced stress).
On the fourth day, I just threw everything out the window and started crying...
... NOT! Instead I took a few deep breaths and kept going.
If I was to answer that alien's question about life on Earth, I would simply make a list of things that make the fabric of a «normal» life (based on my past few days or so):
- A wonderful and useful tool that unfortunately cannot be trusted to be reliable (aka my computer)
- A job that allows me to work from my couch, in my PJs
- A naughty cat scratching said couch
- My oldest scoring for her basketball team
- A debilitating headache that even the strongest meds can't keep under control
- My youngest also scoring for her basketball team
- A mischievous dog that won't calm down
- A cat sleeping in the sun, very peaceful (scratching is over, it seems)
- A saucy preteen playing with everybody's nerves
- A sinfully good chocolate cake for my youngest's eight birthday
- A whiny 8 year old also playing on everybody's nerves (turning 8 doesn't solve everything, apparently...)
- A pleasant visit from relatives who live far away
- A bad cut on the finger while prepping vegetables (still tender a few days later)
- A great night's sleep
- Snow and strong winds on April 24 (You read that right! SNOW!)
- A bottle of delectable Chinon rosé, dry, mineral, citrusy (my attempt at convincing Mother Nature that it's time for Spring!)
- Noticing that I forgot to water one of my favorite plants and that it might be dead
- My youngest playing Minuet in G major by Bach on the piano
- An injured knee that makes running almost impossible
- A fruitful phone conversation with a like-minded person
- Existential thoughts that leave me slightly depressed
- Existential thoughts that leave me slightly euphoric
- Favorite sneakers now good for the trash
- Wonderful things that take place in the world
- Horrible things that take place in the world
- Great friends spontaneously offering to take my kids, which allows me to work peacefully...
- ...if it wasn't for the computer crashing!
- A nice hug from both my little monsters
- All the while D is running all kinds of errands and doing all kinds of chores that I won't have to worry about
- And the meds finally working their magic...
- ... reminding me that not much is life «tastes» as good as the absence of a migraine!!!
In retrospect, my problems seem rather small.
- So, what do you think? Is life good or bad?
- Any examples?