Chattering Mind

Chattering Mind


Losing Four Years of Email, All at Once

posted by

Deeep breath. Okay, so I just got the word. Four years worth of email correspondence, vanished from my trusty, now untrusty laptop…poof, gone, buh-bye. That’s about 5,000 emails from friends around the world—some of whom I won’t know how to contact otherwise; the flirtatious correspondence between me and my boyfriend when we started dating three years ago; hundreds of article drafts; work emails from other jobs; contracts; applications; pin numbers; passwords; pitches; links; receipts; tips I wrote up for friends on how to survive chemo; my own letters to friends about my own chemo; the sweet note from Evan Handler about my other blog; other work-related celebrity contact info; the day-by-day stuff of post-cancer survival; all of my graduate school correspondence; Kate and Brett and Jason’s baby’s pictures. Gone.

It’s the hard drive. The guy at the Mac fix-it store said hard drives last three to four years. You heard it folks—-three or four years. All those images, files, programs, bookmarks, and beloved data, sitting on a thin and deteriorating net of digital safety. Luckily I had backed up the main files. The book proposal and photos from the last four years of travel, illness, parties, friends, and family. That’s all safe, I think. Just the email, what would have ten years ago been on perfectly saveable, foldable, stackable, storeable paper, is gone.

I keep thinking of the Sex and the City episode when Carrie goes to the Mac doctor (the same place I went, incidentally) to try and revive her data after getting the “sad Mac” face on her computer. She gets furious that people are constantly asking her if she’s backed things up. This is the first she’s heard of backing up, surprised that everyone else seems to know what she didn’t. That’s not my excuse. I knew all about backing up. I’d had my computer three and a half years before I bought an external hard drive and backed things up. But not my email. Who knew? That was on a single file called “database,” buried deep within the filmy Microsoftian layers. A 500-megabite file. Precious to me and only me, represented by a little inch-long icon.

As I walked away from the wonderful tech guy who saved the rest of my unsaved data just now, I said, “Letting go. This is a perfect opportunity to practice the stuff that we write about here.” And so. Partly it is freeing. Before I couldn’t get inside my computer two weeks ago, I owed tons of emails. I only remember a smidgen of what those even are, though they were guilt-inducing enough while I knew they existed. And that’s kind of a relief. Like forced, extreme de-cluttering. And yet. Breathing. It’s just data not a person or an animal or a body part or even a thing. Just pixels. In the form of words, thoughts, love. But I extracted the love already, right? The rest is just digital dust to remember. Oy. Right?

Have you lost anything lately?

–by Valerie Reiss (Amy’s on vacation)



Advertisement
Comments read comments(2)
post a comment
Joie

posted June 15, 2006 at 8:56 pm


Oh, Ms. Amy . . . I hurt for you with this poof of the computer gods. I have at times lost special emails and mourned their disappearance as I treasured their personal meaning to me. Your reminder of living on borrowed bytes of time reminds me to learn how to back up my computer – something I’ve never done for any of the 5 or 6 that have resided with me. – Joie>



report abuse
 

katherine

posted June 18, 2006 at 6:18 pm


i do not even know how to backup lol rofl no seriously my boyfriends computer crashed the other day lucky him hes a tech guy and back everything up>



report abuse
 

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

More blogs to enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting Chattering Mind. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here is another blog you may also enjoy: Inspiration Report Happy Reading!!!  

posted 9:09:39am Jul. 10, 2012 | read full post »

CM's Final Posts: You Can Fill the Space
Eighteen years ago, I wrote an article for a magazine that got me called in for a taped interview with a Fox TV morning news anchor. Being an effective communicator and a skillful public speaker was a dream of mine at the time. And still is. After some 30 minutes of prep with the station's hair-and-

posted 3:14:59pm Jul. 27, 2007 | read full post »

Websites to Visit, Blogs to Read
Here are some blogs and websites I like. It's not a complete list. But it's a start. The first is called New Moon Journal and it is written by Michele Bailey-Lessirard, a life coach, collage artist, and "shamanic astrologer." On the opening page of her site, you'll find a little slide show of her am

posted 1:24:03pm Jul. 27, 2007 | read full post »

Still Posted at My Desk
"Take off from here. And don't be so earnest, let others wear the sackcloth and the ashes. Let go, let fly, forget. You've listened long enough. Now strike your note." From "Station Island," by Seamus Heaney

posted 1:13:33pm Jul. 27, 2007 | read full post »

And Finally, This:
Place your burden at the feet of the Lord of the Universe who accomplishes everything. Remain all the time steadfast in the heart, in the Transcendental Absolute. God knows the past, present and future. He will determine the future for you and accomplish the work. What is to be done will be done at

posted 11:30:38am Jul. 27, 2007 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.