A couple of weeks ago I spent my day attending community events and was meant to be reporting on the findings. And I had every intention to do so. I snapped photos. I recorded everything. I did not write any notes.
At the end of it all, I downloaded the photos to my computer and shut off my brain for the day. I’ll write the pieces tomorrow morning then submit to my editor. Where’s my beer?, I thought.
The next morning, before I even had a coffee, I grabbed the basket of wet clothing to hang them out to dry. I must say, I NEVER do laundry in the evening but another family member decided to do so. I’m not blaming, I’m just saying.
As I picked up my floral embroidered jacket, the one I wore to the events….the one I was wearing when I met a member of the state government, it felt a bit heavy. As I reached into the pocket, my heart just about stopped. I knew before I saw it. It was my loyal assistant. The one who worked so hard to capture every word and every sound of the two meetings I was to write about. My world came to a violent halt.
Recalling the events now, it comes to me in slow motion. The kick to the stomach, the desperate attempts to revive the drowned machine, the tears and screams that escaped as I lay in a fetal position back in my bed.
This may all seem extreme but to me, it felt like the end of my writing career.
How could I have let this happen?
How will I ever work again?
If my editor finds out, he’ll lose all respect for me!
After letting the fear of failure weep from my eyes and into Mr M’s t-shirt, I calmed down. I had a coffee and went on with my day. I didn’t get much accomplished…..I obsessed over the fallen machine. I decided I couldn’t play the waiting game.
I go on the web and then the phone in search of a savior. I found a place in Perth and with 5 minutes to spare before the post would leave for the day (on a Friday no less), I sprinted on my bike to the post office. Then, I thought little more of it. It was now out of my hands and in the hands of God, otherwise known as Felix Kohdrata of Spectrumdata.
Monday and Tuesday came and went with no word. I knew anyway that it wasn’t going to be good news so on Wednesday, I had to come clean with my editor. I took a deep breath and sent the email confessing my error. His response?
“Don’t stress, it’s no big deal. Just forget it”
It was a relief. But that only solved one issue. I had hours of content on that little device.
Believe it or not, as I was typing my woes about the voice recorder mishap, my Mac computer crashed. It is now 3 days later and I’m on my wee laptop to finish this post. It turns out the my hard drive (on the Mac) is stuffed. And no, I didn’t have my files backed up.
If WordPress had not saved this draft automatically, this too would have been lost. I’m confused and angry that this stuff is happening to me at a time when everything else is coming together. The knocked-out pessimist in me is coming to and wants to kick and scream and punch and spit. She even gorged on 3 chocolate biscuits in an attempt to feel better about everything. It lasted 2 minutes. Now she feels worse.
Everything I need to work productively is on that computer. I don’t even know my schedule or what deadlines I have or what I need to pitch or follow-up…….I feel like I’ve been slapped in the face. This time there were no tears or extreme emotions but I do feel angry with myself. So again, I ask myself….
How could I have let this happen? Seriously, what the bleep was I thinking? I wasn’t….
But I do realise that there are lessons in all of this. Here’s what they may be:
- Slow down and think things through more: Stop rushing
- Take better care of all digital technology – they are NOT toys
- Always back-up your files (even emails if you use Outlook)
- Keep a written diary
- Don’t use Oreo cookies to fix emotional issues
- Did I say, ALWAYS BACK-UP YOUR FILES?
The computer is going to the city today for a new hard drive and hopefully, my files will be re-stored when I get the computer back.
Once again, I have to let it go. Again, it is out of my hands and in the hands Mitchell at Mac Works.
I could just say stuff it and take the week off work but I don’t think that will help my productivity. I’ll press on. But first, I better go in search of some optimism and consider my wellbeing before I add too much more on my plate.
My mantras for today are:
All is well.
Everything happens for a reason.
Back-up this computer!