Where is My Reset Button?

Ever have one of those weeks when the tiny little CPU inside your skull starts to vibrate from the overload?

from steve and shannon lawson via flickr creative commons

from steve and shannon lawson via flickr creative commons

I swear I smell something burning.  While I uncoil a paperclip and jab the pointy end in my eyeball, let me explain how I got here.

Everything demands attention, this very minute.  Do this!  Make that!  Fix those!  Whoa now, slow your roll.  I’ve only got two hands and a ever declining number of brain cells to deal with all this before I start spinning like a dog chasing its tail.

This week, it was like my brain dropped a flywheel and created a constant buzz of new information coming in.  Something like writing without any punctuation, like this:

dogs need walking but the smoke from the forest fire means it is too yucky outside I need coffee dogs still want to walk and they won’t leave me alone maybe a quick one then I have to write at least another chapter on this novel because I’ve been a total slackass pick up dog poop coffee must finish blog interview questions need edits on blackout novel social media I don’t have time for you Tanner drop the ball get revisions back on recent novel and now I have even more work to do build a reclaimed wood table what did wife just say Pinterest can’t fix the damn stereo receiver iOS 8 write the damn words dogs want another walk what # should I use for this tweet migraine freedom for Scotland write the overdue book reviews you lazy ass

You get the drift.  One more thing gets piled on and I swear I’ll snap.

courtesy of huffingtonpost.com

courtesy of huffingtonpost.com

But, the opposite happens.  Because this new thing puts all the other things into perspective.  A nearby community is dealing with a 73,000 acre forest fire.  Billowing smoke everywhere, scorched landscape, constant air tanker and helicopter drops and 12,000 homes threatened.  Boom – a reset button.  All of the sudden my
“problems” don’t seem like very much at all.


Deciding when I should upgrade my phone to iOS 8 seems kind of petty and trivial now, doesn’t it?

I’m part of a local kennel club in the Placerville area and we were called on to assist with the animal evacuation center for 2,000 evacuees displaced in the King Fire.  We set up a temporary shelter for dogs, cats and birds to keep them safe in the fire zone while their humans tended to other needs.  Because of the unpredictable fire behavior, we had to evacuate the evacuation center the next day and relocate it, further from the flames.


In the face of losing all possessions, the evacuees wanted to make certain that nothing happened to their animals.  Uncertainty, fear, depression and anger.  You read it on the faces of those at the shelter. They are helpless and getting information about their homes is difficult.  Paper messages are pinned to bulletin boards in attempts to connect families and friends separated by the fire.  You can’t help but feel for these people, you give them a hug, care for their dog and hope for the best.  That’s all they have is hope.

Everything gets a jolt into perspective.  A reset button.  What was paralyzingly important a few days ago seems not so big right now.  Oh, it will all get done, the edits, revisions, and the constant picking up of dog poop, but it will happen when it is supposed to happen.  Picking up poop will happen first, but the rest will follow.

I’m putting down the paperclip for now, because things have reset.  But, I’ll keep it handy.

from Beatrice Murch via flickr creative commons

from Beatrice Murch via flickr creative commons

What reset buttons have you run up against which changed your perception on your priorities?




  1. I always keep a paperclip like that to use on my 2004 iMac that still works. Still is my favorite computer, just can’t run the new stuff.

    1. I know exactly how you feel. I kept plugging away on an old PC with Microsoft XP until very recently.

  2. stephanie710 · · Reply

    Your punctuation-free paragraph pretty much mirrored my brain for the last month or so. I’m right there with you, even down to the dog poop. My reset button gets hit any time I check the news and see the horrors going on all around the world. When I think of the big picture, my frustrations pale in comparison, and it gets me back on track. That’s wonderful that you were able to help the pets and their owners. Sending good thoughts to all who were effected. Great post, as always. 🙂

    1. I think I know what ADHD kids feel like. Thanks Stephanie, they seem to be getting a handle on the fire. We have a bunch of smoke down our way and the flames have moved further north. Lots of sad puppy faces at the evacuation center. They’ll hopefully, be going home soon.

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