“What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.”

There are many times in my life when that quote, by German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, has rung true, both literally and figuratively – such as when I had breast cancer, followed by severe heart damage from chemotherapy. And when my kids were teenagers.

It happened again recently, when my email address went bananas.

The first I knew of a problem was when I got a phone call from a friend who said she had tried responding to an email I sent her, but it was returned as undeliverable. She then tried typing in my email address, rather than simply clicking “Reply,” but the same thing happened.

Shortly after that, people started telling me that email from me was being delivered with the warning message that it could be spam or malware. Soon, I was unable to either send or receive email. Both incoming and outgoing mail was marked “Undeliverable” and returned to sender.

The problems were caused by a perfect storm of several things happening around the same time, with different companies that were switching software, migrating data, and sending me instructions that I didn’t fully understand. I obviously made things worse when I tried to follow them.

Finally, a friend who is much more tech-savvy and patient than I am helped me work things out and get them running fairly smoothly again, although it took many hours on the phone with her and with the various companies involved – including one time I was on hold for an hour and a half, when the initial recording said it would be a five-minute wait.

I still have a lot of updating, importing, exporting, and relearning to do, and I feel like I’ve been out of touch and living in never-never land for much of the last few months. Plus, I have a nagging worry about what emails may have been sent to me by people who didn’t know I wasn’t receiving them, and are wondering why – or upset because – I never responded.

But the worst is over now, and I’m mostly back up and running. And when I step back and take a deep breath, I realize that as frustrating as this was, the stress and headaches it gave me were nothing compared to the real-world problems many people are going through right now. And even though I have more things I need to figure out and fix, most can be done from the safety and comfort of home, sitting in front of my computer.

Just this morning, with the help of a tutorial from my tech-savvy friend, I managed to fix one of the issues that was still causing problems – without any screaming, swearing, crying, or calling or texting my friend with a loud and desperate “HELP!!!”

I’m feeling stronger already.

July 31, 2022
©Betty Liedtke, 2022

I welcome your comments, but please be aware that all comments will be moderated and approved before appearing on this blog. This is to protect all of us from unwanted spam.