Unintentional Simple Living

I am an idiot. 

Earlier this week, I was attempting to back up all of our files so that I could reformat our creaky, old computer so that it might last a bit longer. Instead, I managed to delete pretty much all of our files.


I accidentally reformated our computer’s secondary drive, which contained:

  • all of our photos (probably 40+ gigs, since I take tons of photographs to make up for my bad memory)
  • all of our music
  • all of my personal files, ranging from college road trip pics to the accounting for my fledgling business.

There was no backup because I had just reformatted our external hard drive and was just about to backup all those files. But instead I erased them. In one second—poof—it’s gone forever.

Sigh. Luckily, even though I’m being a little melodramatic now, I’m surprisingly unfazed by the whole thing. I’m framing it as unintentional simple living, and this is why I’m not actually that upset…

Getting upset isn’t going to help. I’m grateful for all the years I’ve been with my husband (alias Sexy) because he’s the most relaxed person I’ve ever met and apparently it’s rubbed off a little. He rarely gets flustered and seems to have two reactions when things don’t go his way.

  • Acceptable reaction #1: Realize that you don’t have control over the situation, so you just have to go with the flow and make the best of it.
  • Acceptable reaction #2: Acknowledge that you have control over the situation, and are therefore responsible for doing something about it.
  • Unacceptable reactions: worrying or complaining.

My natural inclination is exactly the opposite of his, such that if this had happened a few years ago, I would probably have sunk into a self-loathing, I-am-the-worst-person-in-the-universe tailspin of despair. Instead, I was happily able to take on the first reaction: That sucks. Nothing to can do now but move on… 

We’re all cool. Similarly, I’m grateful that when I told Sexy about the mishap (after all, I did erase all his hunting and fishing pics), he was unfazed. He concluded the same thing that I did (That sucks. Nothing to can do now but move on… ). And, naturally, he did it about 10 times faster than I did. 

 I lost a ton of pics, but I'll just go out and get more. Like this happy guy I spied in my garden.
I lost a ton of pics, but I’ll just go out and get more. Like this happy guy I spied in my garden.

It’s not as bad as it could have been. As it turns out, I do have many photos into 2010 on a hard drive at my office, which meant that we still have the photos from our biggest trips, and there’s a smattering of photos on Facebook and elsewhere. I also take a lot of photos on work trips or to use at work, so I still have a pretty large photo library of trees, forests, and natural landscapes. We also have scrapbooks or photobooks of our first year together (a gift from Sexy), our wedding, our circle tour of Lake Superior, and our trip to Italy, so much of the big stuff is covered. And, in reality, 90% of what is actually gone forever was probably junk: duplicate photos, bad photos, old college junk files, and other “clutter.” 

We still have so much. Forget computer files—we still have so much to be grateful for, and this is just an opportunity to remember that. Even my poor memory is going to remember a lot of what we’ve done, and that’s pretty awesome.

Plus, we can just use it as an excuse to go back to the places we’ve been before and go travel and explore new places. 


6 thoughts on “Unintentional Simple Living

  1. I admire your equanimity in the face of what many people would call a DISASTER. I find that I’m mellow about anything that goes wrong with people, but am much harsher on myself when the mistake has to do with machines. Like I should be smarter than the machine? Kind of a dumb thought now that I write it down here!

    1. Oh no! Don’t feel hard on yourself! Just blame it on poor design and think “I am smarter than this machine, but it’s just poorly designed. That’s why I can’t work this dumb dishwasher/smart phone/computer/contraption here.” 🙂

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