That title is how you’re supposed to lure people in these days. Every time I see “you won’t believe what happened next…” tagged onto a video or title, I roll my eyes so hard I nearly get a sprain. It gets up my rebellious side, and I bypass the video BECAUSE it has that tag. My apologizes to those who do the same. Shock and awe, my hind foot. (Insert derisive snort here.)
Meanwhile, back at the ranch… I hadn’t intended to start off with a rant. I’ve been busy. Very, very busy, and enjoying my summer by ticking things off the To Do List. I’m working on a 30 Day Decluttering challenge that I have gone all Type A Personality on and am accomplishing in 2 1/2 weeks. It’s merely economizing my time, like opting to drink one espresso instead of four cups of coffee.
After the decluttering comes The Epic Yard Sale. I have an Epic Yard Sale every year, so perhaps it’s not epic, just very well done. But that doesn’t really attract people does it? No one ever puts up signs that say “Quality Yard Sale – Organized and Well Done.” That’s like trying convince people that accounting is exciting.
Once the purging of all the cabinets and shelves and rooms and closets is completed, it’s time to organize all that stuff. I clean everything, wipe off the dust and grime. I wash all the clothes and HANG THEM UP. (I burst out into a Hulk-like fury whenever I drive by a yard sale and people have laid a blanket or tarp on the ground and dumped out all their clothes in a giant heap. I call this type of sale Sh*t on the Ground. Only the most desperate, or the most die hard optimist, will go through piles like that. I could go on and on as to why it’s so wrong, and I do when driving past them, but I’ll refrain from it here.) Everything gets priced, grouped, and placed on tables. I even have prepackaged snacks & drinks, free coffee and take debit cards. I do it up right, but need to finish the decluttering.
You might notice that one of the lines on that decluttering challenge reads “Data in Computer and DVR.” We don’t have a DVR, so it’s just Data in the Computer for me, and not exactly in the computer because we recently got a new computer and I had oh-so-smartly transferred all the files over to an external hard drive for safe keeping until I could sort them out and put the important ones on the new computer. Patted myself on the back for that one.
I went transfer and delete files this past Sunday, and much to my horror, discovered the external hard drive wasn’t working. They always work. There’s no operating system or software to go bad or be updated. It’s just storage. It would be like your closet suddenly not working. It’s a closet, it holds stuff, that’s HOW it works. Why aren’t you working, you stupid, stupid storage device?
I tried really hard not to vomit in my absolutely panic-stricken state. The computer wouldn’t even acknowledge that the drive existed. I tried another computer. Same thing. Changed the cord. Same thing. Ohgodohgodohgodohgod nooooooooooo!
See, it’s not just files, it’s pictures and video. It’s ALL my pictures. It’s every picture of my child since he was born. I have printed out a few things, I have a completed baby book (ok, books, it spans 3 volumes), but it is EVERYTHING from his life. Every vacation, Easter, Christmas, first day of school, EVERYTHING.
Did I mention it’s EVERYTHING?
I tried not to panic further, or vomit, from fear and loss. I cried, because that’s what one does when they’re sad and feeling helpless.
I’ve watched CSI and I’m a reasonably intelligent person who knows that data can be recovered. There’s software and pasty-complexioned, sun-starved computer geniuses out there who can coax fragmented files from damaged computers. We can get it back. It’s not like the horror one of my cousins faced when she lost everything in a house fire AND her child. I have, temporarily, lost access to every documented thing from my child’s life. Deep breath. It’s gonna be okay. (Isn’t that a great lie to tell yourself?) Deep breath.
The solution is to find the mad geniuses who retrieve the data. Throw some money at them and get it all back. Right? Right. My darling husband got a quote on what it would cost. I was too distraught to think straight.
So, yeah, we’re looking at $1800 to get back all those precious 0s and 1s of data.
I’m having Mom Guilt over this. I know I shouldn’t, it’s most likely a hardware failure. I didn’t do anything wrong or irresponsible and it’s (probably) completely fixable. Still, I feel guilty. Maybe I’ll get mad later, but for now it’s sadness and guilt. I’m much more accomplished with sadness and guilt. Anger makes me uncomfortable, even my own, even when it’s justified.
I had read something years ago that basically said we really have very few problems in life, because if you can throw money at it to make it go away or fix it, it’s not a problem, it’s merely an inconvenience. That eliminates pretty much everything except your health, emotional well-being, relationships, and death. I’m trying to hang onto that and convince myself it’s true while I slog through all our unnecessary, accumulated crap. I’m keeping busy.
That hard drive was one of the few non-living things I would have risked life and limb to save in the event of a fire or earthquake, and it’s the one thing I have (temporarily) lost. The fact that I lost it while going through the process of decluttering and prioritizing all the other stuff I would have walked away from … Oh the irony.