That Old-Time Rock and Roll

I don’t study a whole lot of Buddhism, or Taoism, although I am familiar enough with both to feel perfectly comfortable to insist I admire some of the practices both forms of spiritual enlightenment provide. In fact, a long time ago, a Very Wise Man told me, during a particularly difficult time in my life, that one of the teachings of Taoism is to learn to bend like the reed in the river, *with* the current, but to be unchanged *by* the current (compared to the rock in the river, which is gradually worn away to nothing). That Very Wise Man also told me, that like the scene in The Tao of Pooh, I was looking through the entire forest for a particular pinecone, without realising the pinecone I’d been looking for was right beside me. “You’re looking too hard,” he told me. “Just be.”

These are things I have taken (and I feel a bit guilty about having taken them, even though they were freely offered) and they have made me, if not a better person, then certainly a better lover, a better wife, a better mother. That particular man told me that sometimes, you need to just let what needs to happen, happen. In retrospect, what I learned from his teaching is a skill at that time, I did not have. It was the ability to let go. The ability to recognise that everything happens in the manner in which it is supposed to happen, and there is no sense losing sleep over it.

Particularly if it’s something that happened in the past.

So when my computer stopped being able to boot last week, and wouldn’t show any image at all on the monitor, I thought I must have acquired some kind of nasti virus, and so I tried using the restore program the computer folk had installed. When I purchased the computer, the fellows told me that you had to be very careful with the restoration programme, because it could reformat your drive. If you knew what you were doing, though, you could restore just only your OS and settings and leave your data alone. Eventually, I came to the realisation that in fact, I had to take my computer to the fixit place.

They did a “full restore” on my primary hard drive.

I lost all of my writing
I lost all photos and videos of our children from about November 2007 to Christmas 2008
I lost all of my email, including addressbooks
I lost all of my children’s writing
I lost all of the game stuff I have been working on for the past year
Also, because my system was still covered under warranty, we lost all of this “fer free”.

But here’s the deal. In fact, I have much of my writing saved externally. Sure, I lost some of it, but the thing about writing is that you can always make more. And sometimes, starting fresh on something really embetters it in the long run. We have all of the photos and videos of our children from BEFORE December 2007, and much of it on disc, and a bunch of the 2008 photos in print. Most of what I had saved in email probably wasn’t really integral for me to have saved…

My children will continue to write witty, brilliant things, and we have a hard copy of The Captain’s novel study that he wrote for Harry Potter & the Philosopher’s Stone.

The really *important* game stuff is saved externally. I lost the program I use to edit it, but I’m sure I can figure something out.

So, really, when I look at this thing, it’s kind of annoying that things happened in the manner they did. But that being said, it’s certainly not like my house burned down or my cat peed on dinner or anything. Little jerk. Anyway, it’s one of those things where you realise that if you spend too much time fretting over something you can’t change, or over something that really doesn’t change your life in any really momentous way, you’re going to waste a big chunk of your time on a whole lot of nothing.

I’ve decided it’s not worth my time nor my effort (which is pretty dear, these days) in upsettitude.

cenobyte is a writer, editor, blogger, and super genius from Saskatchewan, Canada.


  1. yes, i’ve had this happen to me a couple of times already, and each time i vow to backup my data more faithfully. to make it easier, i’ve separated out my ‘personal’ stuff in its own folder, and every time i do get around to making a backup, that folder gets done first (and if external disk space allows, i keep the previous backup version as well). that said, i agree with your wisdome that you can’t fret over it once the loss has already happened.

  2. Yet another reminder that I really, really need to buy that external hard drive and back up my data.One of these days, I swear

  3. It’s scary how much *valuable* stuff we keep on our computers.Glad you were able to take that deep breath and carry on.

  4. I’ve always felt that the one thing (excluding living things) I couldn’t stand to lose is my writing. If my house were burning down and everyone was safe and I could grab one thing, it would be my external hard drive.Having said that, my laptop is currently in the realm between the dead and the not-confirmed-dead (I’m a little afraid) and I have realized that many things I need are not backed up very well (I discovered too late that the windows backup program I’ve been using puts everything into unlabelled zip folders and nothing is going to be easy to find) and so I might lose some things. But I won’t lose any important writing, so it’ll be OK.My mom lost the poetry she wrote thirty-five years ago. It was in paper copy and it snuck into a pile of garbage and ended up, before we realized the error, at the dump. It was very sad. Writing and other arts, I think, is the worst thing to lose because it’s a part of you.I was very afraid for you when I saw that you had lost all your writing, and relieved when you said it was only some of it.Nevertheless…. *virtual hugs*

i make squee noises when you tell me stuff.

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