• Natalie Hodge

System Crashes: What to do When Nothing is Going As Planned.

A few weeks ago, I got up excited to have a productive day and when I opened my dear old laptop, it quickly indicated to me that it had other plans.


A nasty error message was on the screen and no matter what I tried, it refused to leave.


Panic ensued.


With each passing minute, frustration bubbled up inside until I reached a boiling point. Signals of my internal system crashing began to appear – the slight headache throbbing beneath my furrowed brow, the urge to wash down a large pizza with a bottle of wine, and finally, the thought that scrapping the whole day and going back to bed would be the ultimate solution.


Before I transitioned into the latter options, I did some internet searches on my phone, which led me down a path to fixing the issue.


Unfortunately, the fix created another challenge and I was right back in the rabbit hole of tech work for which I was ill-prepared.


Like with everything in life, lessons were embedded in the struggle and once I came up for air, I was able to clearly understand why this was happening to me.


I jotted down a few notes for you to ponder to avoid and/or minimize the impact of system crashes in your life.

  1. Pay attention to the signs. Long before my laptop faltered, it showed signs of weariness. A few times I saw some faint screen blinking out of the corner of my eye. However, in my feverish pace to get things done, I ignored the issue. I needed it to work around the clock with me on impending deadlines and new project development. Both of us needed a break, but instead of taking the time to respond to that need more immediately, I kept pushing. Take note when this is happening in your world and give yourself the breaks you require to avoid crashes.

  2. Remind yourself of your power. I am resourceful and smart. Anything I don’t know can easily be researched on the internet. At times when I’m not in the right headspace to figure it out on my own, I have a long list of contacts who can assist. My power is not in my tech ability, but it is in my ability to find solutions and stick with a process until its conclusion.

  3. Chill. “Whoa is me” is not the mantra of uber-successful people. I remind myself often that my 99 problems are lightweight. Feeling like I was somehow being picked on because one of my devices decided to check out was a bit silly in retrospect. The moments when I was in meltdown mode represented lost time. Nothing at all was gained. The turnaround and the inspiration to write this blog came when I chilled out.

  4. Put it all in perspective. A dying or dead laptop is not a life or death situation (except for the laptop). Certainly, I was not interested in searching for thousands of my files scattered all over the cloud and external storage devices, but it wouldn’t have been the worst thing ever. After some deep post-crisis reflection, I would say the incident doesn’t even rank in the top 100 challenges I’ve faced. A decade from now, the only proof I will have that it ever happened is this blog. Much of what we freak out about is like that – high stakes for that moment and low stakes in the grand scheme of things.




Hopefully, there are no system crashes on your horizon, but should you start to see the signs, this blog, and many others will be available at www.NatalieHodge.com to help you through.


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