Recently an older couple’s GPS system guided them down a remote, impassable forest road on their way from Portland to Reno. They ended up stranded in eastern Oregon in a foot and a half of snow for three days.
I also feel let down by technology this week. As I mentioned in a recent post, my Internet connection was down for over a week. Last Wednesday I was thrilled to finally have it up again, almost giddy.
Then my computer crashed.
The infamous Windows “blue screen of death” popped up … then blackness. I restarted the computer and was greeted by: “Missing Operating System.”
We rushed the computer to some local computer wizards, and we’re hoping they’ll be able to recover some of what we lost. (No, we did not have everything backed up.)
Of course, I vow to be better about backing up my hard drive from now on, but this whole dreadful episode left me with a few other things too:
- Clear priorities
The first thing I thought of when the blue screen popped up wasn’t my work, or even the two novels I’ve written and rewritten and rewritten again, which resided there on that crashing hard drive…* It was an adorable series of photos of my son in a terry-cloth frog robe that I took when he was about nine months old. A lot of the photos of our son are stored in other places. But the frog-robe photos and quite a few others will be lost forever if those computer wizards can’t recover them, and that’s heart breaking.
On the other hand, the pictures I still have of my son have suddenly taken on a lot more meaning, and I have new plans to organize them into albums.
(*Yes, I backed up those novels, although I may have lost some more recent edits.)
- Mission: downsize the data.
Part of the reason I was not as good at backing up my hard drive as I should have been is because there was just so much data on there — non-essential documents, blurry photos, outdated information, etc.
I lost some things I wish I still had. But what surprises me is that I also feel a bit lighter without all the junk that was on there. I’m on a new mission to keep my hard drive from becoming a dumping ground again – to only keep data that’s meaningful, to delete all those blurry photos, and to regularly purge outdated files.
- Mission: Organize the data
Starting afresh has some other benefits. I’m already being much more systematic about the way I store my computer files, and I plan to keep it that way.
This whole episode has made me realize that the stuff contained in my computer files is not that different from the other stuff in my life. It can be tempting to keep everything, since there are so many more gigabytes of space to store it in these days. But virtual baggage is still baggage.
I’m ready to pare down, to simplify, and to organize.
(This post is for Steady Mom’s Thirty Minute Blog Challenge.)