Life was chuntering along at Average Towers. Then all of a sudden it decided to play a little game with me.
Just as my workload began to gather pace in January, my 'average' technology proved it wasn't even worthy of that adjective.
First it was the printer. Which decided to only print when it felt like it. Not ideal when my work demands thorough proof-reading.
Next up was the laptop. Its operating system had a nervous breakdown. This necessitated an emergency shopping trip to Argos for a new version. Several weary hours installing Windows 8.1 added to the thrill.
I was back up and running until a storm blew in. No prizes for guessing what that did to my broadband connection.
And there you have it. A fortnight into January and I was already behind with my workload. Naturally I did not keep this state of affairs to myself. Oh no. I moaned about it to anyone who would listen until I was back online. Then I moaned about it on social media too.
It didn't end there however. As we approached the coldest weekend of the year, the heating at Average Towers decided to pack in. Best not tell you what I thought about that.
Just over 24 hours later, normal temperatures (and tempers) were resumed. Since then, I've taken stock of the events of the past fortnight. It's part of our culture to expect certain things to work. How we deal with it when they don't is quite revealing.
I'm not particularly proud of my surly humour and petulant attitude. Once Average Towers was cosy and comfortable again, I was forced to acknowledge that there are many people who can't afford to heat their own homes. And my technical issues and project deadlines? Hardly a matter of life and death compared to the work of our emergency services, aid workers and the like.
Which brings me back to appreciating how much I actually do have. It's so easy to get caught up with small gripes. And to take many, many luxuries for granted. Me? I think I need to reacquaint myself with gratitude lists. And keep thanking the printer when it performs on demand...