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Reboot. Retry.

I recently had to do some routine updates to my computer. Nothing major, just the occasional software update, file cleanup and all of that stuff. Since I was doing a better job cleaning up my machine than my actual house, I went ahead and updated some applications and programs that I had been ignoring, one of which is a major component to my business. Once all was said and done, I rebooted my machine, rearranged my desktop, changed the display photo and then proceeded to do some work.

Except the one major component to my business decided to not work. At all. In fact, my machine didn’t recognize it anymore.

I felt panic set in, as I started to Google why this would happen. I put out an SOS on Facebook, got some helpful feedback, but none of it worked. I was trying not to have a meltdown as my two year old was having his own in the background. My husband was trying to corral the kids as I was dying a bit inside, wondering how this was going to absolutely, 100% kill my productivity.

The kids went off for their naps, the house was quiet and instead of my usual routine of working or cleaning, I decided to sit down and conquer my machine once and for all.

I’m not at all technologically stupid, but this was a little beyond my scope of knowledge. With a little research, I found out what may have been the problem, but wasn’t exactly positive. So, I did something rather risky and started to delete the program bit by bit, receipt by receipt, file by file. I was wiping it from existence.

I found the original disk and started to perform a program install, hoping that the older version would work with my more updated, more sophisticated operating system. Lo and behold, my machine made a chime. I proceeded with the install finish and, there it was, the program I needed.

And it worked.

I’m sure there are some software engineers and IT professionals reading this laughing at my rather simple problem, but to me, in that moment, it was pretty big and given the week I had just had, I was not in the mood to deal with another thing gone wrong.

Rather than throw my hands up in the air and waving a white flag, I fixed it. And I felt pretty darn awesome for figuring it out without having to bring my machine to another person.

It reminded me of one of my dreams; that some day, I will be a stellar programmer and computer scientist. My knowledge spans a very small dot in the infinite spectrum that is technology, but I did it. However small the victory, it was great in my head.

This entire scenario is so metaphorical for my current life. I am in desperate need of a software update, but a lot of personal applications just don’t jive.

My house looks like it is robbed with the way my kids tear it up. I’ve been falling behind on a few deadlines. My to-do list has been laughing at me. My son has been feeling the two’s a lot more these days and his tantrums have been epic. My daughter has had some health-related issues that have needed some invasive testing. I’ve been eating rather terribly and my cats haven’t been played with in months. I can’t remember the last time I went for a walk or a trip to the playground to swing on a swing with my kids.

I need a mental clean up.

I need to go into my brain’s hard drive, delete all the bad files, throw them in the trash bin, rearrange some icons, change the cover photo and reinstall the good stuff and make it work.

Given my success today, perhaps I can do it again, only this time I will actually put down the machine and pick up my children, head to the park, swing on a swing and reboot my system.

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