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Friday, June 06, 2008

Shuffle Songs

Last weekend, I spent a number of hours riding in a van listening to my iPod. Since the last time I listened to a portable music player on a long car ride was ten years ago, that's probably why this notion didn't hit me until then.

I recalled many hours listening to my Discman and hoping that I didn't accidentally bump it and make the CD skip. I also hoped that we'd drive on smooth roads for the entire trip. Well, riding around with my iPod last weekend, I didn't have to worry about bumpy roads, songs skipping, or a lack of music to listen to. All the difficulties with the Discman went away thanks to the iPod, right?

Then I was reminded of this notion that goes beyond portable, personal music players: when things work in your favor, you can easily take them for granted. When they don't work in your favor, they can feel heavy and impossibly difficult to get past. When you get past them, they don't seem as heavy as they did before.

Reeling that vague statement in, I offer the following examples:
-Having an A/C unit that blows cold air all the time is better than a unit that blows hot and cold air from time to time. Yet the annoyance of having a faulty A/C unit doesn't match the joy of having one that works correctly.

-Having a full-time job that you enjoy is better than being in job limbo or having no job at all. Yet the uncertainty of not knowing when you'll have another full-time job that you'll enjoy while you're in job limbo pales in comparison.

-Having a stable Internet connection sure beats waiting a few days for a technician to come out and fix a line that a fellow technician accidentally cut. But knowing when between the hours of 2pm and 6pm the technician will come (or if he or she comes at all) on your day off feels incredibly hard.

This notion seems so basic and duh, but it's something that I've found to be true with so much of life. Frankly, it helps me have a stronger sense of hope during difficulties, whether it's dealing with car troubles, job woes, or personal relationship woes. Hindsight can make the big seem so small, but that's life.

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