It was the last week of January. I was in my hometown, taking a walk around town when all of a sudden, everything that had been on my mind came rushing through. It’s difficult to explain what it exactly felt like. I could physically feel how overwhelmed I was with everything. So, I sat on a nearby bench, and I sobbed. Then, I figured out what I had to do, and I did just that.
If you’re adept or even remotely close to computers, you’d know that when the computer acts up and nothing fixes it, the general answer is to turn it off and on again. That is what I did in that one minute. I turned everything off for a week.
I’m sure most people from my audience know this, but a computer doesn’t turn on like the snap of a finger. It sure looks that way, obviously. However, it goes through the booting sequence. The sequence is a series of sequential steps. These steps make sure that a computer is turned on correctly, hopefully correcting everything that was wrong in the last run.
It has five main steps.
The power-up stage is when the processor executes some startup code as soon as the power comes on. This stage resets all registers (read: hardware stuff) to their default values.
I had felt incredibly out of energy lately. I can say with certainty that it was because I was stretching myself too thin.
“You have everything balanced and under control,” said a friend to me over coffee.
“The thing with balancing everything is that you’re always stretched too thin because you’re pulling all of it, together,” I said.
She smiled. I think she realized I was talking about how stressed I felt at the moment. So, the first step was to power up again, but since I cannot stop my life, I did what I could do best.
I stopped and rejected every idea I had but wasn’t working on. I removed most of whatever I did during the day, including this blog. Any course I had in mind was out of the question.
So, were all friendships and random calls for support. I disappeared for a week, only maintaining contact with family and one friend.
All of a sudden, I had time, and I had energy. I had way too much of it, but we’ll come to that later on.
Power-On Self Test
The next step is the Power-On Self Test or POST. This is the step where the processor checks if everything is working as it should; this includes all hardware and connected devices.
I took a couple of days and let myself flow freely among activities that required no time or energy. I watched a few movies, listened to even more music, watched all the shows I had missed out on and so on.
It seems I had almost forgotten how not having something to do in the evening felt like. So, I went around with friends from college, laughed about and enjoyed how being a 21-year-old undergrad feels.
Find A Boot Device
A boot device is necessary because it is mostly where the input/output operations are stored. A file usually called “io.sys” is on it so finding the boot device, which is generally a hard drive, is necessary.
I realized that I needed to do things again, albeit at a slower pace. In fact, by the third day, I was already tired of my idleness. I even wrote a post on my Instagram account.
This was a good week. It was a nice change of pace. The highlight was a long conversation with some friends about how “kids these days” aren’t really like how we used to be back when we were kids. We reminisced over how everything was offline, cyber-cafés were the go-to and how we were more sane than those who were handed iPads and phones in their cribs. I’m sure my brother who’s only four years older than me has something similar to say for my generation. Besides that, while this change of pace was good, I realised that the most I can go relaxing is about three days. That’s my upper limit really. As soon as the fourth day kicked in, everything turned to hell. So, for better or for worse, idleness is my sworn arch nemesis now. Not that I planned for this ahead but well, which superhero ever does? Also, “Damn Daniel, back at it again with the whitagram”.
Load The Operating System
Once the hardware is up and ready, the Operating System (OS) is loaded. It executes some basic commands that are required to start things up.
One at a time, I added things back. I declared how The Polymath would have just one post per week. Then, I started with working on On This One Trip’s Instagram account. This was enough for now.
As I progressed through the week, I finally added the course I was looking at for a while now. It begins at the end of February so I figured I’d be in better control by then.
Once everything is taken care of, and the OS is loaded, it takes control. The OS then starts handling any pre-configured routines and processes. The system then loads into what you see, a login page or a desktop full of icons you’re familiar with, ready to do your bidding.
As the week ended, I finally texted my friends. I called the closer ones. Then, I started settling into my usual routine. However, the changes I decided to make such as this blog’s frequency will stay where it is from now on.
That said, I will only focus on the two websites I have and learning. Now that I have decluttered my to-do list, I won’t fill it with things I don’t want to do.
I’m back in control now, despite how overwhelming the uncertainty of life feels.
Have You Tried Turning It Off And On Again?
So, I guess, the next time you feel everything spiralling out of control and cannot get a grip on your life, try turning it off and on again. It worked for me. Maybe, it’ll work for you too.