When Your Computer Dies…

Time & Life Management

When Your Computer Dies...

My Computer Died on April 19th.

It was a Sunday night, and my 9 year-old computer had been behaving badly for many months. It took forever for it to go from one program to another, and always with the rainbow spinning ‘wheel of death’ just spinning, and spinning, and then sometimes turning into the blue spinning ‘wheel of death.’

You know how when you feel something deep in your gut and decide to act on it? Well, this was one of those times. I knew that my computer wasn’t doing well, and something told me right then and there, it was going to be a good idea to back-up to my external hard drive. Now!

My internal hard drive hadn’t been working for a couple of years, so this was what I was left to do, and I did have a cloud back-up service too, ‘just in case.’

The computer backed up. Then an alert came up about updating to the most current operating system, which I normally don’t do as there isn’t enough space in my computer to update, but it was late. I was tired. I clicked the wrong button, and started an update that would render my computer a ‘goner.’ Bad things happened. That was the end…

My tech specialist and friend came over the following morning and resurrected it with the warning it would be temporary and to get a new computer ASAP. I did, but the one I needed was back-ordered and had a 4 week wait. I used mine for another week or so before it finally simply stopped. I had no access to my hard drive for over two weeks. Basically, what I use for pretty much everything I do in my life, simply halted.

Since I backed up to my external hard drive, I knew (okay, I hoped greatly!) that I would be back with my beloved data and materials at some point, but during that lull…it was like having no short-term memory. I sat at my desk about two weeks after the demise of my beloved computer and literally didn’t now what to do. I hit complete overwhelm. A similar computer was loaned to me and I could plug my external hard drive into it and work off files that had been backed up two weeks prior, but many things were inaccessible.

Have you ever felt that about your brain?

It was almost like the saying, “I know I came in here for something” referring to entering a different room without remembering why you were going there. Well, I couldn’t recall what was on my agenda! Everything I did was on that computer and HD: My work. My data. My photos. My bookkeeping. I felt I was at a complete loss without direction without the information of what I was to do, or even where anything was anymore. I was afraid important information was gone, and I wouldn’t even know what I was missing for weeks, or longer. It was like living with serious short-term memory loss, which led to complete overwhelm. I was stuck. Badly.

Right then and there I fully understood what many of the people I coach must feel like. Being unable to access my hard drive, the place all that data and information was stored, was like not being able to complete a task, or even starting one. Everything was wiped clean. Inaccessible. It was debilitating. It made me want to just give up. I couldn’t do anything. Didn’t know where to begin and what would be a complete waste of time because the material and data I needed to move forward on was unavailable. I remember sitting at my desk mid-May realizing that I needed to fix my mindset, and fast.

I allowed myself to figure out where I was in actuality. I determined what programs I could use, and do work in, and which I couldn’t. I then re-assessed what projects I could devote time to, and which needed to just wait. I coached myself through it, and then I got to work.

It was a royal pain, but it wasn’t the end of the world either. As of this week, nearly two months since the death of my computer, I have everything back. Nothing was lost and I feel like my ‘memory’ has returned. But I get it. I now know that feeling of complete and utter loss and overwhelm. I can’t say I much care for it either.


  1. Trust your gut when you feel something bad is going to happen, there may a reason for that – so act accordingly
  2. When you think all is lost, it really isn’t. It’s just evasive for the time being
  3. When you don’t know what to do and are stuck, if you can’t get out of it, get a coach to help you. There is always a solution.