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Couscous In The Keyboard …

by Suzanne Hooley

"Suzanne Sez … " (Short Editorial Zone)

Yes, you read that right … not  in the “cupboard”.    The keyboard.   Couscous.   Tiny, seed-bead sized cooked grains of hot, gooey deliciousness … made all the more complicated by the invisible binder of butter, olive oil, and parmesan cheese with which the little grains were cooked.   Placidly residing deep between the keys of my computer keyboard.

Hastily gobbling a late-lunch yesterday, I placed the bowl of steaming goodness innocently in front of me, between my keyboard and monitor.   (Note to self:   “Self, in the future food needs to go to the left or right side of the keyboard.”)   Minutes later, I inadvertently dumped an entire heaping tablespoonful of my yummy lunch … right into the deep recesses of my keyboard.   Uh-oh …

And it wouldn’t come out.   Not by shaking the keyboard, not by gently clunking it upside down against the top of my desk, not by digging between the keys with a plastic knife.   The sticky stuff was IN there … and seemingly to stay.   BIG OOPS.

Fortunately, my keys were still mostly  functional … they sort of stuck together and responded sluggishly, but they were functional.   Of course in hindsight (hindsight always being 20/20 vision!), continuing to depress the gunky keys yesterday afternoon probably compressed the couscous even deeper  into the bowels of my keyboard … which wasn’t helpful either.

Anyhoo … I dealt with it as I had to … it was what it was.

So now fast-forward to this morning …

I don’t know what possessed me to again have the idea of gently clunking the keyboard upside-down against my desk … I suppose I was sub-consciously thinking “one more time, just in case it might work”.   Voila!   Wouldn’t you know, the dried couscous dropped right out!   No grains remaining between the keys either!   Wow … how wild is that?!

I’ve since been pondering the magic of my little misadventure … while I don’t at all advocate dumping couscous into your computer keyboard, I experienced an “A-ha! moment”  that I want to share with you!

While this was a literal experience (gooey-then-dried couscous) that made a sticky mess and had some rather unnecessary consequences … this morning I realized that “couscous in the keyboard” is a metaphor for “things not always going as you plan or expect”.

Which is often how it is in Life, right?

Our days aren’t perfect … our families aren’t perfect … our projects and plans are flawed and don’t progress perfectly.   Stuff happens.   “Couscous” happens.   And some “couscous” is a whole lot messier than other “couscous”.

But in Life, you just have to keep moving forward as best as you can … put some time, distance, or space between the “couscous” and your reaction to it.   Step away from it … physically, emotionally, psychologically.   Sometimes you just have to allow Life’s “couscous” to dry … come back to it later with a fresh attitude … and then clean up the residue when it’s easier to do so.

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