"Your account has been disabled." This is the message I get when I try to log onto the blog during my vacation last week. I read through the email and it says something about security, blah, blah and terms of service, yada, yada.
I am stunned. I've only been a "blogger" for three weeks and they cut me off! I haven't made my mark yet! I am still finding my voice! My audience numbers around three and one of the readers is my own mother.
After the initial shock wears off, I'm angry. I try to put it out of my mind but I feel helplessness, frustration and irritation seeping into everything I do. "I don't deserve this," I think.
Soon my anger turns to questioning. I am indignant. WHY did they do this to me? I am a rule follower. I actually sit and read the Terms of Service. The whole document. OK, really I skim it. But nothing jumps out. I wrack my brain for anything in my content that could be offensive.
Oh no! The last thing I wrote in my blog was "Michelle Obama, watch out!" That's it! I've been red-flagged as a potential terrorist! Here I am at the beach and the CIA is probably at my house right now wiretapping everything and taking pictures. I knew I should have made all the beds before we left for vacation.
I return to my account and fill out a short on-line questionnaire summarizing the issue. Nowhere on the form does it indicate "Check this box if you are NOT a threat to our Nation's security." Soon, the response comes. Apparently, when I tried to use my father-in-law's computer logged under his name, Google was worried about my own security being breached. I just needed to reset my password. Whew. Crisis averted.
How do you handle life's little challenges? Now back to blogging, I can reflect on how I handle such problems. Basically, I panic first, think later, and stress and stew in between. I wish I could learn how to pause...and think first. I'd like to handle life's inconveniences with a grin, some grit and a bit of grace. This time, it was more like a grimace, some grit and a bit of grumbling. Well, at least I persevered.
I'm sure I'll have a new "opportunity" to practice soon. I'll let you know how it goes.