A friend of mine was investigating his home heating system. It was making a terrible squeaking noise. Fearing a fan motor that was going bad he dissected the necessary components, cleaned them, put them back together and then hit the power switch.
Pilot would not lite. Fan would not come on. No hum. No noise. Nothing.
Concerned that he must have missed some detail he repeated the cleaning process another time or two. Same result: nothing.
In the dead of winter this is not good; so, he called a technician to diagnose the problem and offer a solution. When the technician arrived he reached around the side of the fan motor where the reset button was located. He pushed the button. Suddenly, everything fired up. Problem solved…except he was still needing a new motor. The terrible noise was back.
With computers we call them reboots: “If all else fails, reboot!”
Modems and routers, power tools and electric motors…many appliances have reset or reboot buttons. Why? Well, sometimes commands get crossed, power brown-outs or surges occur and the engineers build in a simple mechanism that shorts out before the motor or appliance is destroyed; the computer reboots to straighten out software conflicts or memory overloads. It is a means of putting everything back on track and to protect more expensive components from destructive overloads.
Life is filled with resets or reboots as well. Personally, we need new year resolutions to help kick us off the couch and into healthier living. New days offer new opportunities to change routines, alter bad behavior patterns, create new opportunities or to simply settle down and center our lives to face new challenges.
Many changes we can do on our own, privately. Other changes may require another friend with whom to confide, to hold us accountable, to give us alternative ideas or suggestions or to just listen as we work through our own thoughts and feelings to get motivated. Some changes are best made in a group setting with others to cheer us on as we reboot aspects of our lives to lose weight, stop a bad habit or instill a new value that changes the priorities of our lives.
The truth is that rebooting or resetting seems to be a consistent reality in all areas of life. From the changing of the seasons to the ‘circle of life’ there are times when it is good to start over, to refresh and to give it another shot.
Hence, this dynamic can be true for individuals, groups, couples, families, etc. It’s just good to make a fresh start now and then. When the challenges seem more complex than expected or when those changes effect other members of a family or one’s partner it is sometimes good to consult with someone who specializes in communication and behavior change such as a marriage and family therapist.