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This guy Murphy was a genius.

6 January 2012


The first time I heard of Murphy’s Law, I was probably six years old, and thought it was an actual law that one could get arrested for breaking. I never said I was a bright six-year-old. Probably not long after, I learned it meant “Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong,” though Murphy sounds like an Irish name, so it was probably originally something about booze.

Anyhow — yesterday morning, at the tail end of a 28-hour-day, I went out into the garage to have a smoke. I pulled my Galaxy S out of my pocket (we’ll pretend it was to check the news, but let’s be honest — I was probably going to look at some silly autocorrects) and dropped it, screen down, onto the concrete floor. The results are shown above, though not well — several long, ugly cracks in the phone’s screen.

Then, on coming inside, my wife informed me that our smaller dog had decided to roll in the compost heap outside, so we had a tiny dog who smelled of feces and decayed leftovers.

Here’s the thing — yesterday was still a pretty damned good day. Sure, stuff went wrong, unexpected and not entirely pleasant things happened… but as my wife and I later discussed, that’s pretty normal. The unexpected is actually more routine than the expected — little problems crop up all the time. It’s how we deal with them that makes them a huge issue or not.

As far as yesterday: the phone still works fine, and it gives me an excuse to get a new phone (iPhone or Android, I still haven’t decided yet — I like both). I washed the dog, and that problem was handled. I didn’t get upset or freak out about either problem, and that made them just another story to tell rather than a roadblock that could have derailed my day.

It’s the same thing with writing — you’re going to hit walls. You’re going to have interruptions, or times when things just don’t go to plan. But it’s how you deal with them that determines if those roadblocks or issues turn into problems or not.

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