You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone. . .

The song was Big Yellow Taxi and Joni Mitchell recorded it in January of 1970 and it has stuck in my head like an earwig for fifty years. . .

Don’t it always seem to go

That you don’t know what you’ve got

Till it’s gone

They paved paradise

And put up a parking lot.

It came flooding back into my head again over the Thanksgiving weekend when my laptop crashed and threatened to take all its data with it! For four long days I sat on the brink of not knowing if all my work would ever be retrieved all because I’d failed to back-up my work either in the cloud or on another hard drive. My bad.

I thought I’d lost all my work (and trust me, there’s a LOT of stuff on my laptop!). It housed my work with clients, my spreadsheets for projects and budgets, my lists, and journals – could all of it be gone? And on top of that, I had TWO older laptops and all their debris, dating back to about the year 2000 collected in folders on the laptop that crashed. I felt sick.

And then, a miracle happened. . .The technician (I’ll call him my techno-wizard) who’d set up this laptop when I bought it asked if I had my old, slow, lumbering laptop sitting around – the one he’d used as a template for the new machine back in August when I’d purchased it. And surprisingly I did – my plan had been to recycle that computer, but I had not done that yet.

He took the OLD laptop and promised to replicate it once again onto the newer machine – this would save decades of stuff but still meant that I’d lose the last 3 months of work – I wasn’t quite as sad. Still, you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone was playing in my head.

Then, he called me and said he thought he might be able to save the newer data as well if I would retrieve a code from Microsoft and forward it to him. Happy to do this little chore, I was ecstatic at the thought of not having to re-work a dozen spreadsheets and who knows what else that would be lost along with the interim data created since August of this year.

Self-care is every conscious action you take that feeds your soul, nourishes your body, nurtures your spirit, or replenishes your relationship with yourself!

Well, long-story-short, he did it! Last Monday afternoon he totally saved the laptop and all its contents (which, in the intervening week, I have carefully backed-up to two very precious hard drives)! And, for his heroism I gave him a $50 Caribou gift card – a small token of my deep appreciation for the wizard’s skills and perseverance!

What does all this have to do with self-care? Three things come to mind. . .

  • Sometimes we simply must do what is good for us, to prevent the consequences of our procrastination and avoidance! Like exercise, backing up my computer work is not a task I particularly enjoy, and so I avoid it. Not anymore!!! Backing up my work has become a regular part of my workday and will continue to be, so that I can avoid this upsetting situation again!
  • Sometimes we just get lucky, and the Universe gives us a do-over! I certainly didn’t “deserve” this good fortune, nor was I expecting it once I’d gotten the news that the laptop’s crash seemed fatal. The Universe gave me a Mulligan (for you golfers) and I want to make sure I take my next shot with great care – don’t ever waste a do-over!
  • · When someone saves your bacon, THANK THEM – gratitude matters! The Caribou card was a small gesture but one that I could make immediately (Caribou is right around the corner from the Office Depot where my techno-wizard works) and without fluff or frill, make his day the way he’d made my day by saving my machine and all its information.

I hope you never find yourself or your business in such a predicament. I hope that when you need a wizard (of whatever sort) that s/he appears in front of you – like magic. I hope that when you’re discouraged and convinced that you’ve totally lost something or someone that matters to you, you’ll ask the Universe for YOUR do-over and, whether you get it or not, you’ll learn from the experience (as I have). I hope that gratitude will always be your go-to action.

Wishing you a great holiday season – one with no need for do-overs – and an opportunity to take stock of all that you have because, as the song says, Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone. . .

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

About Paula

I help other caregivers – both professionals and family caregivers – acknowledge their pain and learn to practice the many small skills of self-care that can sustain them through the challenges of wholeheartedly caring for others.

Recent Posts

Woman enjoying the scenery on her road trip

Taking Advantage of a Long, Holiday Weekend. . .

Even as Americans discuss the advantages of the four-day work-week, thanks to Representative Mark Takano, D-Calif., who introduced legislation which, if it passes, would reduce the standard workweek to 32 hours instead of 40, we’re also working more hours than ever.

The Guardian reports that compared with other countries, the American workplace record is not good. “In 2021, American employees worked 184 more hours than Japanese workers, 294 more hours than British workers, and 442 more hours than German workers. Unbelievably, in 2023 there are millions of Americans who work at jobs with no vacation time” (The Guardian).

Read More →
You'll never walk alone song lyrics

You’ll Never Walk Alone. . .

Since its first recording, by Frank Sinatra in 1945, “You’ll Never Walk Alone” has been reinterpreted by many musicians, perhaps most recently by Josh Groban in 2015. Its lyrics are formed by a relatively short, 17-line poem, written as a song by Rogers & Hammerstein for musical Carousel.

This song reminds me so much of the nature of my work – certainly, when clients come to me they often feel VERY alone and completely overwhelmed by the caregiver roles they fill. This is true whether they are parents of a special-needs-child or the sole caregiver for a spouse with dementia. That sense of being alone is, in itself, depressing.

Read More →
Women running past finish line at marathon

Measuring Progress Can Help. . .

I’m working with a Health Coach myself (yes, even coaches need coaches!) who seems to appreciate my need to measure things. I’m one of those people who likes to see measurable improvement – to choose metrics that allow me to demonstrate progress, if not full completion, of a goal.

Sometimes, especially if we’re working on goals that feel particularly difficult, it can be important to at least see movement in the desired direction. Most of us can appreciate the fulfillment of getting to the finish line of a quick sprint, like the 100-yard-dash. But when you’re in a marathon you need benchmarks along the way to remind you that you’re actually doing it, and that the end will come, even if you can’t see it from your current spot on the route. That’s where metrics come in handy!

Read More →
How Can I Help You?

Through Co-Create 4 Life, you will learn a range of well-being strategies from skillfully implementing self-care to holistic approaches to well-being, rebuilding resilience, and battling burnout. Book a free consultation call today to discuss your options.

How Can I Help You?

Through Co-Create 4 Life, you will learn a range of well-being strategies from skillfully implementing self-care to holistic approaches to well-being, rebuilding resilience, and battling burnout. Book a free consultation call today to discuss your options.