When I returned to my desk with coffee a few minutes ago, my trackpad refused every attempt to make a two-finger swipe. A few weeks ago, my “J” key become sticky; now this.

First, I washed my hands to see if I was the cause of capacitance or conduction issues. Then, I carefully swabbed the area with a Q-Tip dipped in isopropyl alcohol before using a thin straw to puff air into the crevices… no joy.

Within moments, I was practically convinced that the trackpad on my 2008 MacBookPro was shot. I’d either have to get used to life navigating with my arrow keys or take the old thing in for a repair that was sure to cost more the value of the computer.

I sat back, sipped coffee and Googled “2008 MacBook Pro trackpad won’t scroll,” which returned several links to Apple discussion boards. I poked around for a few minutes and found a page where one sage shared a Terminal command that resets trackpads to their factory settings:

defaults write -g 2

I put down my coffee, copied the line, opened Terminal, pasted the command line and quit. I clicked Log Out and logged back in a moment later. The trackpad worked perfectly.

I’ve always been challenged when it comes to embracing someone else’s motivational phrases. Even when they sounded reasonable and resonated, I could never hear it in my own voice.

But as unique a snowflake as I am, I know I also need some backup from time to time. So, when I’m have trouble focusing on a solution or concentrating on a task, I break out a homemade mental flashcard that reads:


For me, panic isn’t just an emotional state; it manifests itself in ways that consume energy and attention. If you have time to panic, it means you have time to take a break from worrying about the issue at hand. Panic is a form of procrastination.

Yes, I still dawdle, but much less than I used to. My father’s death in 2013 clarified a lot for me; there are a lot of things I’d like to do, and none of us knows how much time is left on the clock. As a result, I have less and less interest in being waylaid by distractions; particularly those of my own making. I’m learning.


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