Why am I crying over a printer? Anxiety and how to battle the meltdown.

It is funny the things we cry about. I found myself having a minor breakdown last night over - of all things - my printer. (It was more of a major breakdown if I am being honest.)

And before a full blown anxiety attack could strike, over something so trivial, I had to take a breath and work through the processes. So I am being vulnerable and sharing my battle and my method in the hopes of helping someone work through the process too. And this, my friends, is how I get through trivial breakdowns.

I am crying like a foolish person over a piece of office equipment. And though there has been a series of unfortunate financial attacks on my life recently, I already know that this one isn’t about money. So instead of scolding myself and being mad at myself for something so frivolous;

I say to myself: Of all things to get upset about?! I know, it sounds so shallow and silly. So why am I so upset about it?

Answer: I loved my printer. I always say it is my favorite thing in my office.

I say to myself: The printer is gone. It is just a thing. People don’t love their printers. Why am I really this sad? People don’t get upset about inanimate objects.

Answer: Well, I did grow up in the era of Toy Story. People can get attached to inanimate objects. (Yes, I crack jokes even at myself.) No, seriously though... It is true. It was just a “thing” but it represented so much more. I have had it a long time. It has been reliable, dependable, efficient. But more than that: it is what it represents or did once. It represented the hope I once had.

I had this conversation with myself, like my own personal self-help coach. Does that make me crazy? No, I don’t think so, I think it makes me healthy. Asking myself these questions, getting to the root of the problem is how I channel my overactive mind, my overly passionate heart. It is how I battle off the anxiety and find the solutions, the calm, and let go of the hurt, instead of holding it all in.

I thought about it some more and I realized, it was so much more than a printer. It was a reliable, efficient, dependable constant that had been a part of my entrepreneurial journey, my life's journey; through some really rough times.

When I started my business over 10 years ago, my printer: this ridiculous, oversized, expensive printer was one of my first purchases. I had to print A LOT for my last business. Like a whole lot. It was the purchase of this printer that proved my faith in myself. It was not the cheapest or best value; which is what I usually buy. This one was a really good piece of equipment - made to last. Like my business was going to be, made to last. It represented the faith I had when I started that business. It was something of value.

I always bought the least for myself. No name brands, nothing designer, the cheapest of anything - used, if I could find it. But not my printer. I needed a really good printer that would last. It was expensive and valuable. Valuable as I was trying to see myself, and the business, the future I was building - valuable.

It was a purchase of faith and one I never regretted.

That is the other thing that is important to know. I always regret things. I make a lot of mistakes that are crystal clear in hindsight. I agonize over what I didn’t know. The things I got wrong. The costs of my missteps. This high priced printer was one thing I never regretted. A shining beacon in my home office representing that someday I would do something valuable. That I made a good choice. It may have been extravagant but it has been worth every penny. Reliable and efficient. I could count on it. It has never let me down - ever! Well - until yesterday.

Yesterday it beeped and puttered and beeped some more. Yesterday was its last functioning day. Oh it is funny the things we cry about.

It is just an object, a thing. But a thing I know I will never replace. I mean, sure I will get another printer eventually. But at this time in my life, it will be different. It will be cheap. I will look for the best sale and the cheapest printer. I don’t need a great printer like I used to. Because I don’t have that business anymore. That chapter of my life is over. And it was a hard chapter. A really hard chapter. Not all bad, but not a lot of good. It was a challenging time in my life and it changed me as a person. And my printer had been there, loyal, reliable, through it all. Ten years, Three houses, two states and it was always a part of my office. My next step, my next goal, my future hope for the next business.

So I know it is a sill, trivial, “thing”. But it was the last thing I had left from that old business. It was the last thing I had left from that chapter. It was something that reminded me of the faith I had once had in myself. It was something I never once regretted buying. And now it was gone.

So what is the point of this story? I will tell you. Sometimes season change. Sometimes things end. It is okay to cry over them; just for a minute or few. It is okay to be sad for a minute or few. But don’t stay there. Ask yourself why it hurts so much. After you find that answer, you can let it go. I did and now it is time to find a new dream. Remember hope. Say a new prayer. Remember what was learned. Seek a new direction. Remember your value. Buy a new printer.

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