As I continue to recover from surgery this week, I’m quite taken by a comment on my last post: “Enjoy the downtime”. (Thanks, Eric!) In thinking of what “Downtime” means to me, a lot of phrases have been floating through my (almost drug-free now) brain. The term connotes both relaxation and restriction; a helpful rest, but a loss of productivity.
I turned to my old friend Wikipedia for further insight:
Downtime or outage refers to a period of time or a percentage of a timespan that a system is unavailable or offline. This is usually a result of the system failing to function because of an unplanned event, or because of routine maintenance.
The term is commonly applied to networks and servers. The common reasons for unplanned outages are system failures (such as a crash) or communications failures (commonly known as network outage).
The first paragraph applies, I think; a body is certainly a system, and my system was “offline” while under anesthesia. Following that, I’ve been somewhat “unavailable”. Although my entire system didn’t “fail to function” the gall-bladder portion of the system was heading for a crash! And it could have infected other system components also had it been allowed to continue as it was. The phrase “unplanned event” applies here, but I don’t know how one is supposed to “routinely maintain” a gall bladder other than generally looking after ones health.
How about paragraph two? Am I a network or a server? Again, the system known as my body contains a vast network of bones, muscles, veins, and electrical impulses which, ideally, function together so that I can type this post. I didn’t have an entire system failure, but what about a communication failure? Definitely. I’d been having symptoms for a couple of years, and while I did many things to address them, I realized I didn’t use any of several techniques I know to directly access the body’s wisdom. “Why not”, you ask? (I hear you!)
I have a one-word answer: FEAR (False Evidence Appearing Real). I never wanted to delve too deeply into what may be causing these things. I do believe that virtually any condition can be healed, and that healing doesn’t have to come from “outside” i.e. a surgery. I also believe in the body’s innate wisdom; that it, as a system, knows more about, well, just about anything, than our conscious mind does. So, when I wouldn’t deal with the symptoms directly because I had, ahem, “other priorities”, my system delivered an alarm; a wake up call. (They do that, you know.) I hear and heed the call.
Am I a server? (as well as a network?) That’s an interesting question. I generally don’t find the idea of “service” very appealing, in spite of times when I’ve surrendered all to help others, and felt very good doing it. The trouble with serving others from a philosophical point of view (in my opinion) is it carries an assumption that others are “needy”. This further translates to seeing them as “lesser” or myself as “superior”. Yet, this idea of service calls to me. I think I would much rather be “of use” than “of service”. This may seem a small semantic difference, but it changes the way I feel about it nevertheless. I must see others, and myself, as complete, wonderful beings (even if they’re missing an organ!) before I’m willing to extend myself to be of use.
For some reason I can’t read the last two words in the Wikipedia definition of “downtime” as they are: “network outage“. Every time I look, I see “network outrage“. It seems the network that is my body feels pretty “outraged” by this assault upon it. It’s up to my higher, better self to remain calm, and “source for purposefulness” as one teacher says.
On another note, whenever I hear the word “downtime” I think of the song Downtown, as the word sounds almost the same. The song reflects my current state of mind, and my seeking a higher mental state. Sure enough, YouTube has a great video of Petula Clark performing this (from 44 years ago, yikes!) It made me feel better to watch and hear it. If you can get past the extremely dorky choreography, perhaps you’ll also “forget all your troubles; forget all your cares!”
I did warn you I might get a bit odd contemplative during my Downtime!