In the spirit of honesty, I’m admitting that I had very grumpy thoughts today, so I shall be donating 50p into the box. I managed to refrain from voicing them, but I was definitely grumpy for an hour or so. After spending several days setting up my new computer at work, which involved battling with Ubuntu installation, the rather unusual display settings I need due to my sight, upgrading my Java installation, fighting SVN and, worst of all, trying not to be OCD about the fact that things don’t look quite the same as they did on my old machine, I finally lost the plot with trying to get the sound working. It turned out to be a combination of a broken headset, ridiculously poorly designed sound software tools and the usual Ubuntu magic to get anything to work. And then an hour after everything worked, I had a skype call and the microphone suddenly stopped working. I said nothing, but I was seething inwardly with rage at the frustration of it all.
To be honest, given the fact that I’ve been feeling ill all week, had battles with uncooperative blood sugar levels, not been able to get to the gym since Tuesday, and slept terribly, I’m amazed I managed 2 1/2 days without being grumpy. I guess it takes time and practice to get good at it. Meanwhile, I read an interesting article this morning about embracing failure, which reinforced my belief that happiness is all about internal factors. Every decision you make is a scientific experiment: sometimes it’ll work, and sometimes it won’t. It’s disappointing when experiments don’t work the way you hoped, but you can always learn from them. Something happened to me recently where the outcome was not what I’d been hoping for. It left me disappointed and a little sad, but the truth is that it wasn’t a failure on my part, and I’ll never know if it would have worked out for the best had things gone differently. A failed project proposal at work? Maybe it opens the door to get involved in a different and better proposal. Cooking disaster? Perhaps I’ll invent a better recipe next time instead. Didn’t make selection onto the sports team for a match? Perhaps it’ll encourage me to work harder on my fitness or skills. There are times when it’s the right decision to give up, but most of the the time, failure doesn’t mean you should quit.