I recently shifted my work from home set up so rather than my desk being immediately in front of my bed, it’s in front of a blank wall. Prior to this shift, I kept my computer charger and phone charger directly under my desk, separated by the orange lacrosse ball that I stretch my feet on during meetings.
But in the shift, I realized the charging cords would look strange and get in the way if they remained under my desk, so I tucked them off to the side, making a mental note that I’d have to be careful to not run my rolling chair over them too many times less they get damaged.
And so it goes that for weeks I was mindful of my cords. But as things became busy or I became forgetful, the cords—specifically the thinner phone cord—would get caught in my chair.
The first time I gasped and jumped up from my chair delicately fixing the cord and tucking it further against the wall. The second time, I rolled my chair off the cord and went back to work. The third time came at a moment of frustration and I found myself grabbing the cord to move it from my chair.
But it wasn’t just “in the way.” It was stuck. And as I yanked the cord it only got more stuck, wrapping itself around the wheel of my chair and lodging itself there.
So I did what any rational, level-headed, calm person would do in that situation. I remained firmly seated on the chair, muttering about technology, and vigorously pulling on a cord that physically had no way of meeting my demands.
Finally, after several seconds of this, I leant over and gently moved the cord through the wheel cap and placed it to the side. What a simple, pain free, reasonable solution.
I wonder how many things in my life I’ve tried to muscle through… how many things I’ve assumed I could fix or solve by just “powering through.” How many times have I led with the reactionary, instead of pausing to fully evaluate the situation. And I’m not talking about phone cords under desk chairs anymore.
What if we could take better care, intentional care, to recognize when we feel the blood rushing to our face and our palms starting to sweat and our nerves entering fight or flight mode? What if we could pick a third option? A more peaceful option? An option that gives space for pause and reflection?
And an option that maybe, just maybe, will help my charging cords last a little longer.