So, there I was working on my computer one evening… oh, about 2 weeks ago now… when suddenly, but not ‘unexpectedly’, it hung. Argh! I was right in the middle of something when everything froze.

Frustrated, I tried a few tricks, and when they wouldn’t work, I rebooted my computer. Instead of going back to the familliar Windows desktop, however, it flashed up to a plain black screen with white text that dryly informed me of the fact that a ‘win.ini’ file was corrupt or missing and suggested I insert the Windows disk and attempt a ‘recovery’.

‘What?!’ I thought. ‘Argh!’ I mean, few things strike fear into the heart of geek-types like me the way a ‘blue screen of death’ does… and while this one – technically – was black, it meant the same thing. TROUBLE.

I was particularly upset because of the fact that I not only had my own computer files to worry about – aproximately 8 years worth – but also all the Ninepatch files… and the trust of all my Ninepatch friends at stake. Rather than act rashly, I decided to remain calm and follow the all-knowing Windows prompt.

Unfortunately, the ‘recovery’ attempt failed, and I eventually had to get a techy friend to help but even with his wizardry, my computer was suffering. No ‘start’ button. No handy-dandy tool bar. No ‘copy and paste’ features. It was a mess!

For better than a week I put off the inevitable while struggling to save data, but eventually I had to bite the bullet and ‘format’ (erase) my hard drive. With more than 7000 photos and virtual tons of important information on it, it wasn’t an easy decision but I was dead in the water as it was.  Thank goodness, once that was done, I was able to re-load Windows and get the computer running and stable. (Well, as ‘stable’ as a Windows machine ever gets, anyway.)

Days later, I’d gotten all the Windows updates in place and downloaded some of the important programs I needed for daily use, but I didn’t feel all that ‘accomplished’. I still had gigabytes of information to sort and re-load onto the computer while in the back of my mind I was aware of the looming deadline for the Ninepatch board meeting.

Would I get it done in time?

Sadly, I didn’t. Nor did I get the magazine posted to the internet on time (for which I apologize). ‘Thank goodness Frances and my Ninepatch friends are all so patient,’ I told a friend. ‘But as soon as I get a minute…’

Then, this morning, I woke up disgustingly early and snuck downstairs to try working on it. When I pulled the site up, however, I got a surprise.

October’s Ninepatch was online!

‘Christa,’ I thought, and immediately checked my mail to find that she and our dear editor, Frances, had gotten Ninepatch posted. The relief and gratitude I felt was sweet indeed. What a load off my shoulders to find it done!

Now, as I listen to the cold fall rain falling outside and contemplate all the work I’ve got to get done, I still feel some anxiety about getting my computer – and life – back together after all the ups and downs of the summer, but at least some of the pressure is off for a while and I can work on getting the ‘basics’ done.

Thinking of that, I’m put in mind of an incident at work recently…

A friend had told me she’d been going through tough times and that, despite her best efforts, she’d been unable to deal with the stress. In fact, she confessed, it’d gotten to the point where she was feeling physically ill from it.

‘Just a thought…’ I told her, carefully, ‘but when I get like that, the first thing I do is ask myself whether I’m taking care of the basics…?’

‘Have I been eating and sleeping well…?’ I said, ticking points off on fingers, and as I did, I realized that I hadn’t been doing so myself. For weeks I’d been working, dealing with family and friends, and running from dawn ’till dusk to get chores done while fighting for a few minutes here and there to fix my house and the computer…


Now, despite every instinct telling me to ‘push’ for more, I’m forcing myself to slow down… eat, sleep, breathe… and take each day as it comes. Maybe I’ll get my yard work done, maybe I’ll get my files sorted, and maybe I’ll get the groceries done… or maybe not (?) The important thing is though that I can’t give the world the ‘best’ of me unless I give myself the same so, for now, I will have to trust that it’ll all get done in time.

I just wanted to take a moment, though, to say thanks to Frances, Christa, and all my Ninpeatch friends for your patience and support while I work through this ‘recovery’. I also wanted to apologize for missing the meeting and all, and to offer the hope that while we all head toward the fall, we’ll take the time to take care of basics and be good to ourselves whenever we can.

Yesterday’s gone and tomorow is another day, but for now all we’ve got is the ‘present’. As we ‘unwrap’ it, I can’t help thinking, the best thing to do is to smile and say ‘Thank you! It’s exactly what I wanted!’ and to be glad of the gift it is.

Enjoy your PRESENTS!

Love Lynn <|: )

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