I learned two tough lessons over the past week. Actually, it was the same lesson, two ways.

Both were relatively painful so, I decided to write about it here on the ParmFarm, in an attempt to lessen (or should I say ‘lesson’?) the blow.

I love to learn new things, but some of the most valuable lessons I’ve picked up over the years have come as a result of experiences I’d rather have passed on. You know what I’m talking about. We have all picked up lessons along the way we could easily have learned by listening to others — but we didn’t — so we learned the hard way.

Case and point:

There is not anyone who works on a computer on a regular basis who has not been advised and/or strongly encouraged to back up everything they do. But, until you actually lose something important to you, chances are you won’t do it.

In the past two weeks, I downloaded a virus, got my entire computer wiped out, got it restored, thought I had lost all my files, cried, found all my files, and then, a week later, deleted them all by mistake.

Cried again.

Really.

Not only had I lost ParmFarm files, but all my personal files, pictures, notes, accounts, passwords – you name it, it was gone.

I was sick. For days, I couldn’t even walk in my office.

Wallowing in self-pity one morning, I started to list for the Sheriff all the things I had lost. And, though he acknowledged over the corner of his newspaper that ‘that’s a bummer’, I really wasn’t getting the kind of sympathy I was going for so — I said something hurtful.

Exactly what I said is unimportant but the essence was – ‘you just don’t care’.

Ouch. Why did I say that??

Suddenly everything I had lost on the computer seemed unimportant.

I can’t explain why I would say something hurtful to the Sheriff, any more than I can explain why I had hit the delete button and wiped out all my files.

But, in the same way, I was instantly overcome with a sick feeling that in one unconscious moment I’d lost something I would not be able to recover.

I couldn’t apologize enough. The Sheriff was forgiving, but I was still sorry.

SO, THIS IS THE ONE LESSON I LEARNED, TWO WAYS:

IF SOMETHING IS IMPORTANT TO YOU – PROTECT IT.


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