This morning arrived with a dark and heavy sky. The rain was already falling and when I let Lucy outside, it appeared as if it had been raining for some time. The deck, the trees, the streets – everything in sight was drenched. During the brief moments I was holding the door open for Lucy, a cold blast of air snuck inside. Just a little more than an hour later, before I left for work, I could see ice forming on the wooden decking. It promised to be an intense day.
At work, I had my head buried in a ginormous Excel workbook. I was looking for a few needles in a haystack and was several hours into my task. I’d pinpointed the data I was looking for and had isolated it to its own worksheet when the unthinkable happened.
That’s what I get for being too confident. I was feeling pretty good, thinking I was on a big roll. I was getting all impressed with myself for tackling such a big problem in so much less time than I’d imagined. (I’m pretty new to this particular work. I like it and have a knack for it. But I need to learn to be patient!)
Had I saved my work? Not recently enough to let this roll off my back. Microsoft Excel was trying to recover my document and I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. Fifteen minutes later when the recovery progress bar seemed stuck at about 10%, I went in search of an IT guy and made him look at my screen.
“PLEASE tell me you can do something,” I pleaded.
“Eh,” he said. “If your document is really big, your system probably just doesn’t have enough horsepower to recover it quickly. Just leave it be. Hopefully it can be saved. You can work on something else while you wait.”
So I sat at my desk and willed my document to recover, but it didn’t appear to be making any progress. I knew I’d saved my work at about the half-way point. I’d learned enough by running my process the first time that I could figure out how to shortcut my work to get to the same results. So I went back to it, setting up match formulas and filtering results.
Just as I’d pinpointed all of my “needles” again, the original document recovered.
Save your work! How many times have I heard that warning? Next time I might actually remember. I think this lesson was painful enough to make it sink in.
During a brief break, I glanced outside to see that it was still raining. It was coming down steady and sideways. Later in the day, the snow began.
I buried my head again in more Excel stuff. By quitting time, my brain felt like mush and the outside world had become a winter wonderland.
The drive home was slow. The freeway was a slushy, sloppy mess and the snow seemed to be shooting from the air at my windshield. But I made it home safely. When I’d pulled into the garage, I had the strangest experience. I could hear a chorus of birds singing from the tree in the front yard. If I closed my eyes, I could almost imagine the color and warmth of spring. Except for the sound of cars slicing through the frozen muck out on the street.
We joke about the never-ending winter at work and among friends. Earlier this week, while discussing yet another forecast of snow, my pal, Lori wailed dramatically, “How will we go on?”
We all laughed, but really, I know we were all thinking it. “How will we go on?” This is crazy!
I’d be better off if I had an attitude like Lucy’s. She doesn’t even know or care what month it is. Snow makes her happy, no matter when it arrives. Maybe I could learn a thing or two from her.
Then again, Lucy licks her butt. What does she know?