January of 2011 proved to be a rather heavy month. I wouldn’t say it was morose, but it wasn’t whistling show tunes either. Given that fact, I decided to lighten up a little for February. Once I’d decided this however, I realised that getting from heavy to light was something of a challenge in itself.
So, I turned to my most well-worn source of advice, my consort when I have sticky questions, my confidant when I have embarrassing rashes, my research buddy for the terminally stupid stuff I wonder about … Yes, I turned to Google. Without even thinking about it I trotted to my computer and I typed in the phrase “How to lighten up”. Thank you Google. You answer-haver you!
On that blessed first page of “How to lighten up” Google entries I found “Lighten up Black Friday and Influence Consumer Behavior”, I saw “How to Lighten Up Naturally – effective weight loss strategies”, I read “How to Lighten Hair with Home Products”, “How to Lighten Your Teeth”, “How to Lighten Skin”, “How to Lighten Up with Feng Shui” … So much lightening to be had everywhere! But where to start?! I needed to sort out what it was I wanted to lighten. Obviously. I was immediately and eternally grateful that I live in a time where Google even exists – “What,” I thought, “did people do before Google?”.
One thing I knew on my own, was that I would need a strategic planning session in order to fit all this lightening into my schedule. I searched quickly under “strategic planning” and then added “easy” to the search when I glimpsed some of the management babble I’d have to endure … I started to feel a little hivey as I realised the commitment it was going to take. Thinking quickly, I opened a third browser window and punched the words “effective scheduling” into the search bar … I felt a little twitch in my eye when my beloved Google offered me 6,730,000 results.
I laughed at my own folly and added the word “fun” in front of “effective scheduling”… 30,400,000 results! My bottom lip quivered. I took a deep breath. I reduced browser windows one and two, and decided I’d just make some preliminary notes on How To Lighten Up and get a feel for the scale of the project.
I had just read the Answer Experts advice “to lighten up, you need to be more positive and make time to relax during the day” and was jotting the keywords and phrases (“Positive” and “Relax”) down on my notepad. I paused and underlined “Relax” twice to emphasize its importance. My pen went through the paper because I was pressing too hard, and I suddenly noticed a strange scraping sound. It took me a second to realise that it was my grinding teeth.
I opened a fourth browser window and typed the question “how do I stop grinding my teeth?”. I knew Google wouldn’t let me down on this one. Hopefully I’d find a YouTube video on it. “C’mon Baby” I whispered to the computer screen as the search page loaded. My foot was tapping like a woodpecker after a double-espresso. On quick glance, the first of the 225,000 articles suggested that I invest in herbal tea, eat more apples and chew on a wet face cloth. I scribbled a shopping list on the notepad and realised I’d have to fit the anti-grinding shopping expedition into the schedule. I felt a little bit of moisture gather on my brow. “I’ll have to work out the schedule first then” I mumbled as I went back to the “fun scheduling” page. I heard myself giggle a little, but it didn’t sound light-hearted at all.
Just then I heard the little pinging sound of a message arriving in my in-box. At this point I yelled an expletive very loudly and followed it up with some incoherent raging about being “too busy for this”. I clicked on my email icon with all the resentment I could muster.
There in my in-box was a string of emails from a couple of dear friends. Upon inspection I found that they were discussing at length what one should do when one is so excited about something they wet themselves. Various options had already been covered in the discussion, and one link to a “diaper chair” had been provided.
I spent the rest of the afternoon laughing like an idiot as I used Google Images to find various pictures of adult incontinence products and email them to my friends with subject lines like “Does my arse look big in this nappy?”. I couldn’t remember what I’d been so stressed out about. I couldn’t even remember what I’d been researching. However inadvertently, Google had helped me lighten up. With each new image of plastic underpants, I just kept thinking “Thank you Google – You answer-haver you!”.