Monday, June 28, 2010

Hold Loosely

For years I have feared the crash of my hard drive, so we bought an external hard drive a little over a year ago from Costco. Right away we had trouble saving to it, then I thought I had saved photos and writing to it, but when I checked I couldn't find anything on the drive. I found this frustrating, so I left it for another day. Every day that my laptop functioned normally was a good day, and it was easy to push it to the back of my mind.

Yesterday it crashed. The screen went black, and the lights were still on, and after removing the power cord and battery and resetting the power for 60 seconds like the techie told me, there remained that ominous DOS message: no operating system found. I am easily frustrated by technical glitches. I want all electronics to work at all times, and when they don't, I am usually overcome by a sense of blind rage at the personal injustice done to me.

Yesterday was different. My attitude may have been different due to the garage cleaning day, where I realized I wanted to simplify my life, but somehow I experienced a calm attitude to this computer crash. I told myself, "Most of my photos are on Facebook, and all of my writing is handwritten in a binder and can be re-typed, and there is no sense panicking over something I can't control." This zen-like outlook is not the norm for me, but I didn't force it. Like some kind of miracle, it was there when I needed it.

Thankfully the laptop is under warranty for one more year, so the kids and I made an unscheduled trip into the city to drop it off at Future Shop. The seventeen year old behind the repair counter told me what I already knew, "The hard drive is likely fried." He did say that for an $80 fee they could try to recover my photos and data, so of course I asked them to try, but I had already reconciled myself to their loss, and realized that I must hold loosely to these things which are not under my control.

The techie told me that hard drives crash for no apparent reason, and he said he bought a back-up for everything he had since 1998, and three months after he bought it, fried it out and lost everything. This information was a further balm on my worry. We can't control electronics. It's better not to be too dependent on them or wrapped up in what they can give us. Our information is not always secure, and holding loosely to that fact helps me relax into life. It's a good lesson.

Future Shop will call today and let me know if my hard drive can be recovered. It would be helpful if I didn't have to re-type all of my work, and if I can keep older pictures of the kids. If it's gone, I've already accepted that fact. What's important is that my kids are right here, to hug and squeeze and love on, and that the sun is shining and it's the last day of school, and we are going to the splash park for a picnic. I will focus on what I can hold and taste and see today, and try to let go of all that I can't control.

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