Archive for September, 2010

“The White Screen of Death…”

Well, I’m back…and I thank all of you for your thoughtful responses to my absence and also your support during a challenging time. Sometimes challenges multiply and that was my experience during August and early September.

For those of you who are MAC aficionados, let me recommend making a mirror drive immediately and backing up everything you cherish. Isn’t it always the way that the hard drive only fails when we’ve failed to back things up?

In early July, I received a “new-to-me-hand-me-up” MacBook from my dear son-in-law. From then on, I spent much of the summer sitting on my deck enjoying the great outdoors and writing the curriculum for my current Mindful Eating class. Periodically, I would think, “Oh, I should get Time Machine going…yeah, I need to get my little Western Digital external hard drive out and back this stuff up! I’ll do that tomorrow.” I purchased the Circus Ponies Notebook program and was having a ball with the multidex function: creating notes with tabs, stickies, flags, clippings, voice memos and the like…when…the MAC endless spinning beach ball caused me to attempt to force quit Safari and when that failed, I shut my computer down and turned it back on.

The result wasn’t pretty. A white screen, with a gray file folder icon, with a flashing question mark. First, using my desktop, I visited the MAC forums and found that this is a fairly common problem…I followed their suggestions without success. Then I called my son-in-law, who said, “I’ve never met a Mac I couldn’t fix” and, together, long distance, we tried everything–removing Ram from slot one, slot two…Disk Warrior…firewire to my husband’s new iMac…NOTHING. The next morning–the Genius Bar. Of course, the first question: “Is everything backed up?” Uh, N-O.  The woman on the stool next to me–brand new MacBook Pro in hand with the very same problem–appeared to be having a psychotic episode as a result.

While waiting for a new hard drive to be installed, I had time to reflect on all my thoughts and feelings and to observe the innermost workings of my mind. I had a knot in my stomach and a sinking sensation in my chest. I felt sad and angry. I watched myself become irritable. Suddenly everything around me was NOT GOOD. Later when I drove down my driveway, critical thoughts were in great abundance…”the grass needs cutting, the house needs remodeling, the trees need to be trimmed, I married the wrong person, I’m in the wrong profession, I’m stupid…”

When I pulled my key from the ignition, I paused for a moment, took a deep breath and somehow found my center. My next thought was, “Okay, you can take my data, but you can’t have my happiness!” All the writing that I had done was part of an internal process and the process was still very much alive in me. Most of the output was gone and the reconstruction would take time. No matter. Acceptance softened the edges. “The way it is, is the way it is…I can argue with it or I can accept it…”

Hence, the lag time on getting back to blogging. First, the hard drive had to be formatted, then I had to recreate all my course materials. I’m still catching up–periodically realizing that, “oh, hmmm…that file’s gone!”

So, you’ll see a few photos from the summer soon–whatever is left on my memory card…and, I promise, I will be back.

In the meantime, please…take a few moments and back-up what you care about…Do learn from my experience!


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