Well, I didn’t do what I should have done, and now I am paying for it.

I didn’t back up my work

I didn’t back up my MacBook or use the iCloud. Others had warned me to use the cloud and DropBox for safety’s sake. I often thought about it, but didn’t take that leap. I don’t want to use iCloud because of hacking concerns, and I am just not quite ready to give “them” that much power over me and my stuff. It’s not that I am a conspiracy theorist, but I do not believe technology and “modern age” require I do things the way “everyone else” does them.

So, it happened. My MacBook’s hard drive crashed. Kaput. Can’t even retrieve ONE document! Many things were on both my laptop and my desktop, and all my clients’ documents have been sent or received by e-mail, so some things are retrievable–as long as they weren’t on the MacBook alone. I think the one most important book I am writing has a printed rough draft somewhere in the house, but I lost all the revisions to it. At least I can retype what I have, which gives me a good start. It may even jog my memory and give me a better second draft than the one I had.

What did I do when I received the call from the Mac store? My first reaction was to cry. I teared up, but I held it together and accepted the facts.

My next reaction was to nap. It’s what I do in a crisis. Almost always. This time, though, it wasn’t out of peace or a refusal to worry. No, this time, it was because I just too exhausted to think about anything else. I had just spent the night in the hospital with my daughter and 11-day old grandson, who has not been able to come home from the hospital yet. The additional bad news from my computer tech was the final straw, as they say.

Then, I got my “new computer” home. It is the same computer, but with a brand new, completely blank hard drive. Not a document or Microsoft Office app on it.

Three things I learned

  1. I will always back up my computers. If not to the cloud then to an external hard drive, like G Drive. I have one; I just don’t use it on a regular basis. I will now!
  2. My work is just as important as everyone else’s. The reason I don’t use the cloud is to protect my customers’ work. It is one thing to lose my work, or get it hacked; I can’t take the liability risk with my clients’ copyrighted works. Since my clients’ documents are all in my e-mail software, it’s really only the personal pictures, videos, and books that are lost, if they were only on that computer. But, my work and I are just as important as my clients and their work are. I need to act like it, and protect my work.
  3. Having a clean computer is kind of freeing. Instead of feeling overwhelmed at all the downloads I haven’t read yet, or keeping up with documents on two different computers, I get to start all over again and put only the most important, need-to-travel-with-me documents on my new MacBook hard drive. The desktop (a Mac mini) can continue to be the catch-all of everything that needs to be kept for myself and clients. And, yes, the Mac mini and the MacBook both will now be backed-up daily.

I wish I could say I am an “eternal optimist,” always looking for the silver lining. The truth, though, is that I have learned that sometimes you just have to find a way to cope with the things you cannot change. I can’t change the fact that my computer crashed. I refuse to beat myself up for my lack of diligence in protecting my documents. And, no matter what has happened, at the end of it all, I must move on in what I can and must do. I cannot let something (however major it might be at the time) keep me from getting the job done.