What To Do When You’ve Misplaced Your Life

As Rodney Dangerfield used to say at the beginning of his routines…”I’m ok now but last week I was a mess.” I can relate.

It’s been longer than a week since I had a sinking feeling I had lost my external hard drive. More like two months. Two months of wondering what I would do without it. It has half my life in it. I keep all my photographs in it because they take up so much space on the laptop it slows it down. I’ve had this little piece of plastic for about eight years and we are very close.

My manuscript for The Duffy Chronicles is on it. I realized that when I was in the process of putting it on Kindle and got that sinking feeling that leads to panic. WHAT THE HELL AM I GOING TO DO NOW??? Was echoing in my head for days.

I tried everything to find it. I prayed to St. Anthony (Saint of lost things)… didn’t work. Someone I had mentioned it to suggested putting a drinking glass upside down where I thought it had last been, then get very still and meditate. It was supposed to show up after that…it didn’t.

I never put it on Facebook as an OMG! MY LIFE IS LOST! Because I was afraid that would seal the deal. Only a few people knew I was even ‘searching’ for it.

I’m not a superstitious person, so this was odd behavior for me. The St. Anthony prayer I’ve done before, and it sometimes works, but this felt different. In my gut I knew it would show up eventually, and if I uttered out loud it was lost it would be.

As we often do in January, I’ve been cleaning out closets and organizing things. I do believe clutter creates a cluttered mind but I usually don’t act on it until I’m ready to scream but afraid no one will hear me over the piles of papers and ‘stuff’ lying around me.

This year I was a bit more thorough and methodical about de-cluttering because somehow I just knew I would find my 2nd brain. It would shine like a beacon and say, “I’ve been waiting for you! I’m so glad you found me!”

Yesterday I was cleaning out drawers and shining a flashlight behind the china closet when Dave said, “What are you doing?” He knew what I was doing, but he was trying to be low key about it. I told him as much and kept searching.

He went down to the basement and when he came back asked me if I knew where the small blue carry-on bag was because it wasn’t in its usual place. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d used it until he reminded me.

I had taken it to my friend Sue’s house when we were discussing the flowers for her daughter’s wedding. She invited me to stay overnight so we could visit the venue the next day and I’d taken the blue bag. Somehow he thought my little plastic mini-me might be in that bag. All my floral design photos are in it.

He went back down to look again and when he walked into the kitchen and handed my life annex back to me I almost fainted. Joy! Relief! Love! All at once flooded over me.

As a friend commented when I put the recovery story on Facebook, “He’s the other half of your brain.” To which I replied, “Sometimes more than half!”

Here are a few of the things that would have been lost if this didn’t have such a happy ending…

I have Carbonite backing up my computer and they came through for me once before, I highly recommend them! (this is not a paid endorsement)  Now I’m going to add the external drive. Can’t risk actually losing it someday!

Do you back up your computer? What works for you?

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  1. OpinionsToGo

    So happy for you AND US! Photos are priceless!

    • Barbara

      Thank you… they certainly are to me! Glad you like them.

  2. Wow. Thats a scary story andI’m so pleased you found it. I have very little in the way of concrete memorabilia. Not even a photo of my mother to give you a sense of it, but the few things I do have I treasure. The less you have the more you value it. Your story reminded me of this. As for Dave. I’d be very pleased to buy him a beer if he was in my neck of the woods

    • Barbara

      And he would be very pleased to have a beer with you Peter! And, you should think about backing up your computer for your blog posts. Just a thought.

  3. Wonderful that you found your photos! Yes, Carbonite is the bomb! I’ve been using it for years now! 🙂

    • Barbara

      I know Lee, I have you to thank for saving my computer too!

  4. Great story, B, and beautifully written. I have a Dave too, but I cannot imagine a scenario where he would find anything he lost much less anything I lost. I’m always finding his misplaced items. So hurray for your Dave. Coincidentally I just bought a new flash drive to back up my blog posts and photos. I was beginning to sweat that any day I might lose them. But I will check into Carbonite – I’m not familiar with that. I love that spice photo and the beach pic makes me want to get in the car and head to the ocean.

    • Barbara

      It’s really a good option Steph. It’s less than $60 a year, so well worth it!

      p.s. the beach picture makes me want to run to the beach too, but not necessarily in Jan. The spice photo is from Barcelona and I’d go there any time!

  5. My hubby just bought me an external hard drive for Christmas because I’m so concerned about losing pictures and my writings…..now I just need to actually hook it up!

    So glad that you found it – yeah for your hubby 🙂

    • Barbara

      They are wonderful devices Adrienne! Just back up the back up! 😉
      I literally was trying not to cry over the potential loss of all the photographs and my artwork. It was scary and cost me many nights sleep. Carbonite is worth the $60! You can add your external drive, which I’m going to do this week.
      Thanks for sharing

  6. I’m Mac based, so I TimeMachine automatically backs up my hard drive to an external drive about once every hour. Then every Friday, it also backs up the entire drive to a second external drive. That second one is stored at a friend’s house down the street, where it’s swapped with the previous week’s backup drive. It may seem like a lot, but it’s really not, considering that (like you) my life’s work and love is on my computer. And since external drives are so inexpensive these days, it’s worth it. Just another habit I forced myself to get into long ago. I simply don’t take chances when it comes to my data.

    • Barbara

      I hear you. I’m going to back up my external drive on carbonite, too. I’m also going to be more careful…duh. Sometimes I have so many things rattling around in my head I can’t keep it all straight. I need to meditate more maybe.

  7. Oh I can’t imagine losing something like that!!

    I use a small backup device like the one you do, but that’s it.

    • Barbara

      Well it can’t hurt to back up everything again Karen. Trust me it was eating me alive. I don’t ever want that to happen again!

  8. What a wonderful story! I’m glad it ended on a happy note as that would have been just awful. I have/do both and yes, all this technology makes us so dependent on tools that could go phfft in the night…
    Thrilled for your outcome! 🙂

    • Barbara

      Thanks Elizabeth, me too!

  9. I can all too perfectly imagine the sinking feeling in your stomach, the dread of thinking all that work might be gone forever. SO glad you found that magic little black box!

    • Barbara

      Me too! You’re so much more organized than I it probably wouldn’t happen to you Doreen. lol!

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