Mercurial silliness on a Sunday

I have discovered, a site that provides a valuable public service!

Mercury retrograde is an astronomical event that occurs three times a year and lasts for three weeks each time. (All the planets have retrograde periods, actually. The Wikipedia page at that link includes an animation showing Mars retrograde.) The planet Mercury appears to stand still, then move backward, then stand still again before moving forward in its usual orbit. In astrology, Mercury rules communication, awareness, thinking, the expression of thoughts, and the tools we use to accomplish all those things. How exactly that manifests depends on the sign Mercury is in; during retrograde periods, something from the past could be dredged up or communications will go wonky, for example. You might lose e-mails, gloss over or misunderstand an important piece of a contract, feel like you’re talking past people, get stuck working through some issue you thought was settled, or be plagued by computer problems. The usual advice for surviving Mercury retrograde is to avoid signing contracts, starting new projects, installing new software, or any of the other tasks affected by Mercury.

I care because Mercury could rule my entire business, practically. I can’t stop everything for three weeks. And if you go down that Top 10 list, I believe I have done every single one of those things since Mercury went retrograde on February 6! Making agreements, signing contracts, starting new jobs/projects? Check. Scheduling meetings? Check (I’m actually supposed to be in one now, but there appears to be some kind of miscommunication about it!) New software? Check. I bought the full version of MathType and had an awful time trying to get it to work on a different computer and version of Word. Auto repairs? Check, lolsob. We had to pay for jump starts and unexpectedly replace our truck’s battery. I even bought something that I regretted: a shirt whose design turned out to be mostly made of sequins, which I didn’t realize when I bought it. And, naturally, when I washed the shirt a few of the sequins and ruined the design anyway.

So instead I try to appreciate the benefits of Mercury retrograde (which may come naturally to me, as an Aquarius with Mercury in Libra). I had a couple of old clients contact me to start new projects when I hadn’t expected to hear from them again. I’m a terrible procrastinator when it comes to cold-calling (or its e-mail version, which doesn’t have a snappy name), but something about Mercury retrograde tends to light a fire under me, and I find the inspiration to send a lot of those e-mails plus a few that weren’t on the to-do list yet. I get all kinds of ideas for new projects and new ways to organize information — and half the time, something gets screwed up and out of the chaos comes an even better way than I had planned.

Which is why, when I looked at my screwed-up e-mails and the 31 tabs I have open in Chrome and this installation that isn’t working right, and I couldn’t even find the bill from the towing guy and this, that, and the other thing were completely going sideways… I searched “is mercury in retrograde” and the answer was YES.

(Mercury goes direct again on February 28. The other retrograde periods for 2014 are June 7 to July 2 and October 4 to October 25.)

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