Right before I went away for my 6 month military trip to Washington DC, my hard drive crashed. And not just the hard drive, but also the backup drive my husband bought me the last time this happened. I was in the process of backing up all my files to one of those portable hard drives (so I could take everything with me), but had not completed the download. I had saved my boutique files, my pictures (thank God), and the files from my job.
I lost everything else.

  1. All the Jasper Web Host files- clients websites, passwords, maintenance, etc: Gone
  2. All my CLGI research, files, website committee meetings: Gone
  3. My books (including working updates of the two already published, and the manuscript for one I did not publish due to discovering a problem with the pen name I had selected): Gone
  4. My course on getting out of debt through money management and investing in real estate: Gone

I am thankful that a lot of my personal writings were already archived on my personal website. And most of (but not all) the CLGI.org files were archived online. But you can’t begin to imagine the immense feeling of loss I experienced to learn that both my hard drive and backup drive were gone. Forever. Yes, I know that there are “data recovery” services, but unfortunately for me: my husband, practical computer programmer as he is, re-installed, re-formatted, re-did-something so he could use it while I was gone and he doesn’t even know what happened to my backup drive. Sigh.

But I realized some curious things as a result!
  1. Losing all the web hosting files spurred me to hand most of the sites to others within those organizations. Those others are doing a better job then I was, since and what limited free time I had would get spent on CLGI.org, with little effort being applied to these other ventures. Besides, most of those organizations I volunteered for really didn’t need me specifically.
  2. Reflecting on the loss of my book updates, I realized that they weren’t really necessary. The books don’t sell much anymore, so I’m really not making any money. Why was I re-doing them anyway? For God’s glory or to satisfy my perfectionism?
  3. The loss of my course really hit me hard- since I had written the course over the time period of about 6 months where I was teaching a credit-management and investment course at my church. We started with getting out of debt, then looked into ways a newbie can get involved in real estate. My goal was to package this as a course and sell it, but for some reason I never could muster the interest in combining all those seminars into a packaged course. In other words, it was something I was always “gonna do” and never got around to “doing.”

Most of the files I lost represent something in those categories:
  1. Things I was doing to please others, but not doing well because I had too much on my plate,
  2. Things I was doing out of pride (with no real value to others),
  3. Things on a loooong list of stuff I’m “gonna finish one day.”

Before I went on this trip, I barely had a few minutes to play with my son at the end of the day as it was. I kept writing in my annual “Mother’s Day for the SuperMom” posts (see 2007 and 2008) how I’m going to cut out all this extraneous busywork and just LIVE. But somehow, each year, I find myself in the same boat: overworked, unappreciated, and not enough time spent on the things that are really important.

This year, the Lord did it for me. With all those files gone, I have no choice but to stop working all those projects. And any new project I pick up is my own conscious decision. I can’t blame anyone but my own inability to say no. And I’ve gotten much better at saying NO, these days, because it means when I get back to Alabama I'll be able to say YES to the little Peanut who cries, “Mommy, let’s play,” knowing that one day he’ll be too old (and too independent) to want Mommy.

So my promise to myself this year is to more carefully choose what projects (and people) I’ll allow in my life. I will enjoy every moment I can with the Peanut (who is rapidly becoming a cashew! I just blink and he’s grown an inch!!). And I will take inventory of the things I want to do, and ask myself whether there’s enough lasting value to justify the sacrifice.
Oh, and by the way, not only did I mail Mother’s Day Cards on time this year, but some folks even got GIFTS, LOL!

Til Next Year,

Recovering SuperMom