Last Friday, my hard drive crashed…completely gone…nothing left. We had a computer guy out Saturday who confirmed that our hard drive was indeed kaput. All my files gone…PTA files, Stephen Ministry files, kids school stuff, bible study files, emails, email address book and, worst of all, all my pictures. Luckily, I had backed up most of our pictures. Unfortunately, I am using the word most instead of the word all. Because of my procrastination, I had not yet backed up any pictures from 2006. Yes, 7 months of pictures completely gone. I know, couldn’t you just cry? Believe me, I did.
So, Saturday afternoon, I bought a new computer. Generally, this would seem like a pretty exciting purchase and, believe me, I am incredibly grateful that we are able to just go out and buy a brand new computer, but I was perfectly happy with my old computer and it was all set up just the way I liked it. It had all my “stuff” just where I wanted it…all the files I might need some day, a thousand or so emails that I might need one day (no, seriously, I had over 1,000 files sitting in my Inbox,) all the email addresses of every one that I had ever cooresponded with in my whole emailing life, in case I ever needed to email them again. I even had some of my blog entries saved in a file on my hard drive. Seems like, if I needed all this stuff so much, I would have backed it all up, huh?!? And I had intended to do just that….someday….when I had a free minute…
So, alas, I have spent my first kid-free week starting over. Reconfiguring email, setting up our financial stuff, retrieving copies of missing pictures from a variety of places, re-creating documents, etc. etc. I am hoping that I have learned my lesson about backing up important data and maybe even a lesson about procrastination. Although this has been a HUGE hassle, I have to admit there is something kind of cleansing about starting over. Cleaning out, starting fresh, deciding what is really necessary…I wonder if I can orchestrate some kind of “crash” of my closet?
The girls and I have talked a lot this week about fresh starts. September has always seemed more like the beginning of a new year than January, probably because I have almost always lived around school schedules. I always get a new calendar/ day planner this time of year to coincide with the beginning of school. As the girls and I have gotten our school supplies for the new school year, I have to admit that there is something energizing about those empty pages…so many options, so many paths from which to choose. We have talked about the new year being a time to make new, better habits. We have talked about the opportunity to manage our time more wisely, to make better choices, to open our hearts to the possibility of new friends. A fresh start allows us the gift of a second chance, should we feel the need for one.
And really, isn’t that the beauty of a life of faith? Every day is a fresh start, a chance to do it better this time, an opportunity for a second chance, an occasion to open our heart in a new way. Our God is a God of second chances…of fresh starts…of cleaning out and starting over.
I can’t think of anything worse than losing family photos — I had several years of photos, albums, and old yearbooks that were lost in a move years ago, and it took me a long time to get over that. I’ve definitely learned that flash drives are the way to go with backing up data — they’re relatively inexpensive and, depending on the memory size, you can get a lot of data on them.
More importantly, though, I love your conclusion about second chances and fresh starts — it’s a great message.