There’s nothing like a catastrophic error as a catalyst for change.
A while back I was working on cleaning up media file storage. I had about 18,000 songs, a couple hundred movies, a few television series and several thousand photos that I’d taken over the years. Images from all over the world that included friends, family, strangers, wonders and oddities. I’d been working on this project for a few days in my spare time and I was nearly done. I had only one last task to complete and everything would be backed up and reindexed.
As I click on that last button to start that process I leaned back and congratulated myself on a job well done. My back hadn’t even hit the chair before I realized that I’d accidentally erased the source drive instead of copying everything to the target drive.
Losing the music, movies and television didn’t bother me too much (other than the pocketbook). It was the loss of all those photos. I’d stopped being a Flickr Pro user years earlier so most of my photos were no longer online and what was still out there wasn’t all that meaningful to me.
In that one moment I had the option of getting hysterical, diving into denial or choosing to start fresh. My choice was simple and freeing. I chose to start fresh, to stop collecting music and movies and dive whole-heartedly into what was available to me on streaming services. As for the photos, well those are well and truly lost forever, except for those imperfect fragments of memory that remain lodged in my mind, and in those I always look great and my thumb is never partially over the lens.
Last week I moved my blog and decided to start fresh without the catastrophic error. Oddly, it’s not nearly as satisfying.