I did it… I did what many people think can never really happen. I did what I thought was impossible to do, impossible for me to do. What did I do, you ask? I somehow managed to delete all of my photos on my computer. When I say all, I mean all. I have no clear idea of how it even happened. Because seriously, if a box popped up and clearly read, “Delete All Photos,” I would have certainly had enough sense to not do that. But, it appears that I did.
I discovered my error yesterday, as I was completing my son’s “About Me” profile for his preschool classroom project. I was searching through my computer and noticed that all of his baby pictures that I downloaded from my old computer, to my current computer, were gone. You know those photos that I have been meaning to get printed and better yet, backed up! The only photos left on my computer, are the photos from my last sync dating back to May 17, 2011. Not good!
As I realized what had happened and quickly scoured my computer for another hidden location, a heaviness began to set into my solar plexus. I was panicked but outwardly calm, as I pulled out my Apple computer’s packaging box for its’ serial number, went to the Apple ‘help” website, pressed enter, and waited for a technician to call me. Ring Ring. In a calm manner I told the tech what had happened. He led me around my computer as we tried to find the files and I was realizing that it was not going to be a favorable outcome. The helpful tech asked me one more question, whereupon my answer was with a crackling and barely audible voice. He then put me on hold for a few minutes. I wonder now if he had just sat there on hold with me and listened to me cry into my phone receiver, waiting for a non-awkward moment to come back on the line with me. I know for me, every time I have called Apple tech support, I usually sing with praises after they fix my computer errors. I wonder how many calls they get with sobbing customers on the other end of the line?
Eventually the tech came back on the line and told me what I had already known to be the case, the photos were gone. He said he was sorry and advised me again (for the third time during our session) to back up my photos. I didn’t even have it in me to say anything back, even though “ya think?” was on the tip of my tongue. Instead, as my tears became overwhelming, I simply hung up the phone and sobbed. No, I didn’t cry. I sobbed. I began to recall all the photos I had on my computer, which summed up the past seven years of my life, including the photos of my son’s entire life thus far!
What I thought would never happen to me, and by me, DID. What was equally upsetting for me is the fact that I have been telling myself to back up my photos for months. MONTHS! I just didn’t get around to it. I told myself I would get to it another time. In fact there was a nagging feeling inside of me telling me to do it, of which I ignored, and kept moving the “back up photos” task forward to the next week on my to-do list.
After I pulled myself together, I realized that not all the photos were completely lost. When my son was two, I copied all of his photos onto CD’s and put them away for safe keeping. So I have those! Then I also have albums on my computer from different events through the past few years that I shared with others, posted on social media, or loaded onto our digital picture frame viewer. So I have those!
I realized that while I no longer had every single photo, I did have quite a lot of photos, and that was a lot more than nothing.
As the day carried on and I snapped myself into the reality of the day, I started to see the blessings of the deleted photos. That’s right, the blessings. While I wanted to curl up in a ball and crawl back into bed, feeling sorry for myself and my son, and beat myself up over how I could have possibly been so absentminded to have this happen, I realized that I had learned a lot of lessons.
Here is what I learned:
#1. The obvious first lesson is back-up everything! Not just your photos, but your work. My computer houses everything I need for my businesses, my personal life, my projects, and so much more. Having not backed up all that data by this point is just not honoring myself very well. What would happen if everything got erased? I do not want to find out.
Lesson: Purchase an external hard drive and use it!
#2. Don’t ignore the nag. My inner guidance was alerting me for months to back-up my computer. Then the alert became a nag. I dismissed my inner warnings and pushed it aside for another day. While I am normally 100% in tune with my inner guidance and have learned to trust my intuition more than I trust most other things, I did not do that in this case.
Lesson: Trust my intuition always…even with computer issues!
#3. Forced purging is a blessing. Okay here is the lesson that took me into the evening to fully absorb, but I do actually believe this is the lesson of all lessons that I was meant to learn. On my computer’s photo gallery, I had kept a lot of photos that were no longer needed to be kept. For one thing, with having a digital camera, I tend to take 20-40 photos of any given event, and find only a couple that I want to actually keep. I seldom delete any of the other photos, so I end up having a ton of photos that were not worth keeping. Secondly, I kept photos from years gone by that no longer needed to be in my active photo library. While those photos were a part of my life and tell my life’s story, I certainly did not need to have that energy imbedded into my primary photo source. Fortunately, last night I realized that many of those photos were burned to disks when I had switched from PC to Mac. So while I did not have plans to purge and delete all of my photos, there is certainly a “fresh start” feeling I have right now, and that feels good. But I sure would have rather committed the time myself to purge instead of this hard lesson.
Lesson: Purging old energy is healthy and appropriate!
Please learn from me and back up your computer with an external hard drive, get those photos printed that you keep on saying you will, don’t ignore your intuition, and be intentional with purging what is no longer needed in your immediate space.
As I laid in bed last night and thought about my day, I realized that no matter what, my son has way more photos and videos than I ever had, and that made me smile.