02 May, 2007

Many Minor Miracles

...Add up to one big miracle.

I sit here typing on a brand new laptop mere days after I lamented that it would take a lottery win to equip me with a computer of any kind. Unfortunately, no lottery win. But frankly, I'd take what I have over a lottery any day. What do I have? I have generous friends and contacts that are dearer to me than I can express, plus a pleasant surprise paradoxically arising from my employer's less-than-competency.

Last week I got sick again (ultimately missing 3.5 unpaid days of work and shelling out more money for uninsured health care). There went my spending money for the Conference again, I thought. When I subsequently turned my computer into an expensive doorstop Friday afternoon, I was in shock as I pictured the forseeable future without a computer and regular at-will Internet access; I couldn't begin to imagine how I was going to pay for an new computer.

But we can't see the future, can we? And there were erroneous assumptions and incomplete information embedded in what I was imagining. I had underestimated the generosity of friends and readers, and Saturday morning I was informed that sick leave had been applied to my work absence (given their track record, I shouldn't be surprised that HR had misinformed me of my date of eligibility). Add to it some money I'd been given to repair the laptop before I completely killed it, and thoughts began to take shape as I added it all up and checked and re-checked...

I called up my local tech-geek Doc for advice and before I'd said two sentences, he offered to be my computer shopping adviser that very day in hopes we could find something in my price range. I'm pretty tech savvy, but my knowledge is inconsistently deep and I get very nervous about spending money on technology, requiring me to constantly check and recheck before I commit. So, having Sean to help and advise me made it effortless, which was good considering I was fever-free for the first time in a week, but didn't have a lot of endurance and was doped up on prescription decongestants (poor Sean winced in sympathy every time I coughed. He was a sweetheart, worrying about me like the caring Doc he is, and even driving me around so that I could rest).

The end result? I have a computer!! It's an "open box" deal from Fry's on a Compaq laptop at a price that makes me feel like a thief. It's not the "latest and greatest," but it's brand new and it's good, and it does what I need it to. As Doc says, it'll last me.

Wow. I still can't believe it. I am indebted to so many people in so many ways. Sometimes I can't believe you guys...

And strangely, this may actually be good in the motivation department, too. As unreservedly glad as I am to have this wonderful laptop, I find that I am very tired of being in as much need of others' financial assistance as I have recently--I think realizing I'd not have this laptop but for others' generosity brought it to a head. So, this reinforces my sagging motivation when it comes to finding a better job that will help ensure my independence (job-hunting... ugh!). As wonderful as these expressions of appreciation and support are, I'd like to be in a position to "pay it forward," instead of always being the receipient.