by Glynis M. Belec
The day started magnificently as brilliant rays of sunshine penetrated the living room window, hinting at the necessity to clean soon. I smiled and put the task on my mental to-do list. The sunshine was a lovely reprieve after the rains and the chilly temperatures. All seemed well.
Still shimmering from last week’s Write! Canada Conference, my motivation was high and I was keen to get marketing my new book; I had blogs to write, articles to complete and my regular column to attend to.
Last evening as I flitted from Facebook to email; from blogs to my idea file [as my brain is wont to do] I noticed a random toolbar that had somehow attached itself to my Google homepage. I cannot stand clutter in my techno space unless it is intentional clutter, and I hadn't a clue how it had attached itself – supposedly uninvited. I wanted to eliminate it.
Long story short, it seems some things are harder to get rid of than others. Sometimes I can be creating a lengthy Facebook post or a thoughtful response to another ‘friend’s’ post, and for no obvious reason other than my sausage fingers, it disappears in a wink without warning.
But the doggone toolbar, which I didn’t even invite on board, was not going anywhere. I tried everything. I searched high and low in the add and install programs part numerous times. I finally came across something that looked suspect, so in my impatience to zap the annoying toolbar into cyberspace, I clicked on uninstall. When it opened I panicked for a split second thinking I might be messing where I shouldn't. I pressed cancel and then basically gave up, resigning myself to thinking that I would ask someone later who might be more in the know. It was bedtime anyway.
Next day when I went to my office and pressed the power button, I never gave things a second thought. I didn't even remember the annoying hitch-hiker toolbar that gave me so much grief the night before. I watched my computer boot. As I tried to get into my email program and then Word and then Google and then Facebook and then - PANIC! Error messages slapped me in the face. I finally got Google opened in a roundabout way and there it was - that wretched toolbar gawking and guffawing in a technological sort of way as my body stiffened. I didn't know what to do but all sorts of odd thoughts pushed me over the edge of appropriate behaviour. I am usually a positive thinker but when it comes to my writing and my computer, I go into hyperventilate mode. My writing life was crumbling in front of me and I convinced myself that all my files and emails were gone.
I finally gathered my wits and started to plan. I decided it was time to implement the rule of three that I usually do when in computer panic:
1. Ask God if it is okay [odd, weird, selfish] to pray for my computer and then do it.
2. Call Gilles and go through a tirade of 'what ifs' and how my writing life is over because everything I need is on my laptop
3. Call Ben. Ben is the sweetest, nicest, most patient technological master ever
I am sure when Ben hears my voice, he rolls his eyes. I am almost positive when I call he sits down because he knows there is going to be a long, dramatic song and dance as I try to explain what happened.
So this afternoon I will entrust my laptop baby to Ben, who said he will more than likely recover much if not everything [Does he know I had 7,000+ emails?] He told me not to panic; he said it was highly unlikely that I lost everything. He's a nice fellow, that Ben guy. His calming ways is a nice balance to my Tigger type personality.
Meanwhile my techno life continues on my desk top and Blackberry. But all the important stuff is on my laptop. What if...
Maybe this is just God's way of telling me to cull the ridiculous amount of emails and stop the information overload that happens on my laptop. It's good to find a lesson in every experience - right? But what if my files are really lost? What if all my emails have been blasted into never-never cyberland? What if...
Okay that's it. Where's the Windex? I'm gonna go clean some windows!