Here's something that would be useful for me to work with. I've been watching my mind latch on to an essentially trivial matter... and refuse to let it go. Not only will it not let go of this one thing, it refuses to make room for anything else. I guess you could call that obsession.
Here's the story. It started out with the passing thought that the time had come to replace our dinosaur television set. These electronics age rapidly, it seems. Five years is old. Ten, by my reckoning, already a dinosaur. Our must be more than ten. So, then, this passing thought grew up and became an actual idea, and the idea became a decision, and the decision led to a trip to the TV department at Best Buys.
We wanted to simply replace our old 26" Panasonic with a new 26" Panasonic. We don't have room in our little TV niche for anything much larger. But, wouldn't you know, Panasonic has stopped making the 26" model. The shelves contained an array of set whose makers we had never heard of, and we had no idea who to trust. The sales rep assured us that the maker didn't matter any more--which did not make much sense to my old-fashioned mind, but we took him on faith and came home with a 26" Dynex, whatever that might be. Made, surely, in China.
Brought it home. I don't want to have this thing hanging over my head, so I decide to install it then and there. I'm not at my best by late afternoon, and the installation proved more of a challenge than I had imagined. I thought I'd just need to pull out all the old connections and stick them into the new ports. I had not reckoned with the spaghetti hidden behind and underneath, connecting the television set with the speakers, the cable box, the Apple TV box...
A telephone call to the 800 number for Dynex and I thought I had it licked. The voice at the other end walked me through a couple of simple steps and, amazingly, a picture appeared. Sound happened. I hung up, rather pleased with myself, had some supper, and settled down to watch a British crime show on my new TV...
No such luck, of course. The damn thing refused to work. I fiddled for what seemed like hours. I reinstalled the old set, watched a while, and went to bed.
Could I sleep? No. My brain was entangled with the spaghetti, with this connection and that. Where had I gone wrong? The HDMI cable? Was the the cable box switched on? I found all kinds of plausible solutions, and plenty of implausible.
I woke early. Could I complete my half hour's meditation sit? I could not. Again, I was defeated by the obsessive thoughts that simply would not for away, despite my best intentions and my earnest efforts. Could I think about the blog? I could not, not until I had resolved my problem with the new TV. I could not turn my mind to anything else.
I went to work. I de-installed the old TV set, I re-installed the new one. Nothing but vertical lines in rainbow hues. I called Dynex. I fiddled behind the set, following instructions. I got a picture. I got sound. I hung up, fiddled some more... and ended up, wonders, with a working television, a working cable box, a working DVD player, a working Apple TV.
But then we decided that we didn't like the quality of the new set anyway, nor the way it sat in our small, dedicated niche. It just didn't fill it in the same way as the old one. It looked smaller, somehow, and a bit forlorn. We decided we could find something better.
So I de-installed the new TV set, re-wrapped all its parts, and packed it back up in its intricately designed box. I reinstalled the old Panasonic. In a couple of hours we're headed back to Best Buys. Wish us luck.
It has been, as you can imagine, a somewhat time-consuming and annoying project. But the interesting part, as I said at the beginning, has been the opportunity to watch how an obsession can invade the mind and, once there, occupy it with devastating success. At this point, I seem to be unable to entertain a single thought on any other matter before I get this silly matter sorted out.