May 20, 2012

The Love/Hate Relationship

How is it that we can love something at the same time as we hate it? 

Everyone has these types of “relationships” in their lives.  I know I do.  It’s not a matter of loving to hate something or hating that you love something.  It’s purely that you love and hate at the same time. 

For me it’s computers for one thing.  I have loved computers since I first got my hands on one at the young age of eight or so.  That was back in the early ‘70s and the computer in question belonged to “Uncle Robin”, not my own uncle but rather the uncle of a much older cousin’s wife.  He lived in the basement of their house and was kind of what would be called a geek or nerd today.  It didn’t matter to me because he showed me how to play chess on it.  Each time we’d visit their home, I’d inevitably make my way into the basement and ask Uncle Robin to set up the chess.  I’m not sure who was prouder the first time I beat the machine.  I couldn’t even begin to tell you what kind of computer it was, possibly an old (state-of-the-art at the time) Commodore 64 or something, but I was in love. 

As I ascended into the teen years, I had several part-time jobs and three of them involved spending time on computers.  My love affair continued and I absorbed everything I could.  Some friends in high school had their own and even spent time chatting via the internet, making me more convinced that I wanted one.  Mind you, it was a vastly different internet than we know today.  There was no such thing as the world wide web back in 1980. 

It wasn’t until I was in my second real job after high school that I finally started using a computer in my daily life.  While I still absolutely love them, now I learned to hate as well.  I quickly learned – the hard way – that a computer crash can be a devastating thing.  I also quickly learned the value of backing things up. 

Since those early days of computers on every desk and the advent of the home pc, the world wide web came along, as well as ever smaller computers like laptops and netbooks.  I still love them to death, but I hate some of their issues.  I’ve had hard drives crash, busted keyboards, burnt out power supplies, dead cooling fans, litters of dead mice, and a variety of other issues which are pretty unexplained.  For example, I love laptops for their portability, but I find that they start getting too hot.  Literally too hot.  I’ve tried various remedies from replacing internal fans to elevating the laptop and putting external fans under it.  When this happened with my first laptop when it was about two years old, my husband got me a new one and adopted the old one for himself. 

Sure enough, within a couple of years my “new” laptop was getting too hot to handle.  Meanwhile, the old one that my husband had adopted was working fine.  He keeps it powered on all the time and never has a problem with it.  I turn mine off whenever I ‘m not using it, but it still gets hot when I am.  We can’t figure it out.  Maybe it’s me.  Perhaps I’ve got too much excess electrical impulses running through me.  For whatever reason, it soon makes me hate the laptops. 

Another love/hate I have is moving.  We moved so much when I was a kid that I’m willing to wager we used the same boxes every time.  It seemed like we’d just get settled in a place and out would come the boxes and we’d move again.  I hated it.  Aside from the whole process, there’s the added bonus of being the “new kid” at some new school every few months.  We weren’t military and my dad’s work wasn’t transferring him around.  Perhaps it was bad choices.  I don’t know, but I do know that I detest moving. 

However, as I’ve gotten older, even though I still hate the process, I do love the possibilities that a new place represents.  Going to a new place presents a whole new blank canvas for my creative juices.  Not only that, but it’s something I’ve come to consider as an adventure; a kind of leap into the unknown.  When we made the move to our current location in the country on a quiet little river, I was happy to paint murals on our unborn baby’s walls, create happy spaces in our own room and the guest room, and to turn the basement – which was dark as a dungeon – into a light and lovely space. 

When my husband first broached the subject of selling this house and relocating, I was adamantly opposed.  After all, I hate moving.  But, smart man that he is, he’s learned that the best way to convince me of something is to have all his arguments prepared well ahead of time.  Personal considerations aside here, it would be a really good move for our son if we moved into town.  Our little neighbourhood is only us and two older couples, only one of which we see with any regularity.  There are no children of any age around and he suffers loneliness with being an only child.  Of course, my husband knows I’d do anything for our son so he won that discussion fairly easily. 

Say what you want about me, but when I endorse an idea, I endorse it fully as if I came up with it myself in the first place.  And having made the decision to move, I’m looking forward to the adventure.  I can’t wait to see what our as yet unfound new home will inspire in the way of decorating ideas.  I can’t wait for my son to be running next door to play with his new friends or to bring them home and play in our own yard.  I hate having boxes invading my home.  I hate them.  But soon enough they’ll be gone and our next adventure will be starting.  I love that. 

For now, though, it’s a beautiful day outside.  The computer can sit for a while and the boxes can wait.  I’m going out to play with my son.