As we approach Yule faster and faster, tonight I am reminded by (in as hipster a fashion as can be conceived) my regular evening visit to Starbucks that technical difficulties strike the best of us at the worst of times.
It wasn’t a horrid malfunction– one of the credit card sliders had stopped working inside the cafe and they had to check me out via the drive through register’s, which was working. It added about two minutes of awkwardness and harmless chaos to my typical order as jobs and tasks which did not normally overlap or clash suddenly found themselves reaching over and across each other in a manner which they had clearly trained for, but were not used to dealing with.
The staff were superb as always, and apologized several times while I patiently smiled and assured them that it wasn’t anything to get worked up about.
“It’s no trouble at all,” I said back understandingly. “These things do happen.”
And they do. Not just with high technology like smartphones and laptops, or even dull as dirt low technology like wheels or levers.
The three weeks leading up to Christmas/Yule/whatever you identify it as, is one of the most hectic times of the season, and indeed the year. Stress climbs, both on us and the things and people around us, as we dash about to make preperations for the big day around the Solstice that seem to invariably come together at the last minute as they do every year.
In such a hectic and chaotic time, things are bound to break down. It may be a cash register, a car that has finally been pushed too hard, a store employee dealing with constant demands from rushed customers, or even us as we crack under the pressure of our own best laid plans (mothers and fathers are more likely than most to fall under this category).
In a rushed, chaotic environment, something will break. It seems like it must. It won’t feel good when it happens, and no matter who you are, it will happen.
Because technical difficulties hit the best of us at the worst times.
Maybe some day, a gifted poet, priest, or priestess will uncover the reasons that compel fate to operate that way.
Until then, the best we can do is not let the many difficulties of the season get to us. This is a time of celebration for countless peoples around the world, and it’d be a shame to let misery find the company it so loves at this joyous time of year.