I can’t remember pushing the button. I pressed of lot buttons, but I couldn’t remember pushing the one that caused all the trouble. God why did I press that button? I thought it would have been easy to fix, that I would be laughing about it by now, but it was now two days later and they were still trying to fix it. They didn’t know how to fix it. How could they not know? They were experts. What were they doing? Why did someone have to invent something that was so easy to break and so difficult to fix. I just wished it would be over now, I could not think straight about anything else and people kept asking when it would be fixed. They were working on it, I told them, I would let them know when it was fixed.
I was exhausted, I had to stay late. I had to stay for hours. There was nothing I could do. I was helpless. Why was this happening to me? What had I done wrong this time to deserve this punishment? This was just a nightmare. I had let the worry take over again, I did not know how I had let it happen, but now I was in the middle of it and I could not breathe and I could not stop the thoughts coming. I just kept thinking of when it would be over and I could be normal again. Why was it taking so long? It was excruciating. Why did I push that button? Why? I wished I could go back and think about what I was doing. That was it – I had to know how I would stop myself making the same mistake the next time. I would not let myself get frustrated about something so small and just start randomly pressing buttons. They said it was ok, but that did not stop me beating myself up about it. There was nothing reasonable about how worked up I had got myself about pushing the button. Really it was not that big a deal but it felt like it was to me. If it was such a small thing, why was it not fixed? When would they fix it?
I decided I was never touching anything near the button again. There was no one to ask at the time and I had been trying to work it out for myself. They all thought I was good at figuring things out. This is what happened when I messed about with things I know nothing about. I realised that actually, I knew nothing. I should not have been messing about with the button.
Oh for god’s sake would they just fix the god damn button, how hard could it be. I was over this now, I could not be bothered stressing about it anymore. Why was I getting so distressed? It would get fixed eventually. Everyone would forget about it soon enough. I would be laughing about it soon. What was the worst that could happen really? They would just have to reinstall it. That was all, it would be a hassle but it was not the end of the world.
I decided to stop obsessing about the button and let myself think about other things.
They fixed the button. I breathed out and felt better. I was exhausted but I had a good sleep and the next day they laughed about it.
Like many people who have posted a story about this I found that it is difficult when you are a philosophical or spiritual person to regret any of the mistakes you have made in life. I have done many things that I am not proud of and some that I am most definitely ashamed of. There are many things I would never repeat. However I do also understand that they were all necessary. Particularly the ones that make my gut plummet to my toes. Memories of things I have done and choices I have made often come to me at the most random moments and the feelings awaken all over again. However after that sickening feeling, I think about what that led me to do that thing and about the things that I did afterwards. I think about how those things made me choose to be the person I am today who I am proud of and do like.
What I regret still though are the hours and hours of constant worrying about truly insignificant things that felt catastrophic at the time for no apparent reason. The story above I wrote about temporarily putting my office phone lines out of service. I was filled with immense anxiety about this and I have no real idea why. These periods of time you spend fretting about nonsense are what I regret because I could of been doing something much more productive. I could have said “Woops. Really should not have been messing about with the computer programme for the telephone lines. I won’t do that again”. Instead I spent two days in a state of panic about it when now looking back, it was perfectly obvious that it would be fixed fairly quickly. I still cannot explain why something like that is capable of making me feel so stressed and this is something that I do try to work on. I guess it is about having the confidence to admit quickly that you have made a mistake and not beating yourself up about it. Being a typical Capricorn I have higher standards for myself than for other people (and those standards are pretty high). I am learning to forgive myself more quickly and without hours of deliberation.