It's been a while since I've written. I haven't died, I've just been under computer siege. I turned on my computer one morning while we were away, and it announced a fatal error - missing operating system. This was only the beginning of my problem - I thought at that stage that I could probably get back most of my data with a good recovery program. To cut a long and rather miserable story short, it turned out a virus had deleted my hard drive. I got back only a few precious files - the first part of the Gunman story I wrote last year, some text from my diary, and the homeschool update I wrote before we left for our trip. Unfortunately I lost everything else - my diary from last year, my photos, my book. I had written some 40,000 words on my book since we left Melbourne, but miraculously I had saved it onto my memory stick a while before we left so I hadn't lost the chapters I wrote earlier in the year. I'm so happy to have my blog - it saved photos and writing that I wouldn't otherwise have. It's been far too long since I last backed up - I'm embarrassed to admit just how long. Ok, eighteen months. Shame on me. So I have lost so much, and what I'm most miserable about is the photos and videos of Jesse over that time. I was such a slacker, I didn't get round to printing more than a few, and I had only emailed a couple to people too. It had taken me over a week to set up my computer again - trying to get wireless internet working and all my programs correctly installed has been a real headache. My brother is a whizz at installation and setup, and he did it for me the last couple of times, but now he's in jail so I couldn't even call him to ask a question about why the hell he configured my modem to be a router and so on. Anyway, it's up and running now. I had to create a new diary file for myself because I just felt too sad looking at my old one. It'll take me hours to fix it up from the weird text format it's in, and get all the pictures back from my blog and paste them in again. One good thing that's come out of this is that I learnt how to find and download fonts from the internet. I've had a ball doing that, and now have wonderful new inspiring fonts to choose from. During the remainder of our trip, between the death of my computer and arriving back in Melbourne, I filled a notebook by hand with as much as I could possibly remember of my book. I've rewritten most of the chapters I'd covered while we were away, and made extensive notes for the other one. The sad part is that if I hadn't had to do that, I would probably have arrived back in Melbourne with a near-completed first draft.
All this has been taking a bit of a toll on me emotionally. I shifted from my basic feeling that "Life is good" to a roller coaster, where on alternating days I'd just feel so flat and miserable, and then the next day I'd wake up with some optimism and determination to make the best of the situation. Overall I'm proud of how well I've coped, considering the magnitude of what I've lost. I do remind myself that in the big scheme of things it's not that important - Paula, Jesse and I are all in good health, no-one is dying, no great catastrophe has really happened. And yet my computer feels rather like the home for my heart, where I pour out all my emotions, where I express myself artistically and creatively, where I work and communicate with people. It's shaken my foundations to lose that.
I'll write again soon with something a tad more uplifting, I hope!