A couple weeks ago I took an eraser to my hard drive and wiped it clean. It’s good to do this every 18-24 months. I wasn’t having problems with my laptop; I just knew it could be running better.

So in the days before the clean sweep, I made note of every program I use and backed up all the necessary files. I made sure I had everything I needed safely stored on my huge external hard drive.

(It’s not physically big. It’s quite attractive, actually. A rugged brick encased in orange, my favorite. It has a lot of memory: 2 terabytes, I think. That’s 2 trillion bytes, or 2,000,000,000,000 bytes, or 100,000 times larger than one of our early PCs in the late ‘80s.)

Practicing extra caution, I unplugged the external drive in case of an electric surge.

As I drove to the computer repair shop, I became anxious. Had I gotten everything? Did I miss something? Is there some important folder I’m forgetting about? All my music? All my videos? All my documents I’ve been saving from ten years ago?

[pullquote]We say our I love yous and pray for protection, sensing more deeply our vulnerability. Call me when you get there, we remind.[/pullquote]It’s interesting: I was so concerned about the protection of my data because I knew it was going to be wiped out, but this could happen any day. Something could attack my hard drive. A surge could wipe it out. My data, you see, is fragile.

Breakable, as Ingrid Michaelson reminds

As in most families, when one of us is leaving for a trip, our goodbyes are long and a bit apprehensive. What if something happens? What if the airplane goes down? What if there’s an accident on the interstate? This could be it. We say our I love yous and pray for protection, sensing more deeply our vulnerability. Call me when you get there, we remind.

But it doesn’t have to be a long trip. I would guess it rarely is. So how can I make sure to backup regularly? What words should be spoken to remind others (or to inform them) of my love, of the gratitude I feel for being able to know them, to live alongside of and with them. How do I save often, to Ctrl-S, as it were?

I schedule my computer for weekly backups, and a lot of my work is done in the cloud, where I’m not forced to save anything. But what do backups in my relationships look like? What would it look like for you?

Have you ever thought about what protects our hearts?
Just a cage of rib bones and other various parts.
So it’s fairly simple to cut right through the mess
And to stop the muscle that makes us confess.
—Ingrid Michaelson “Breakable”

One thought on “Ctrl-S

  1. *sigh–a good reminder. It seems this year I have seen so many people shocked with the reality of those power surges that take us by surprise. Only God knows when, and we must live like there is not a moment left. 


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