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Backup and recovery

Julia Pitt

Alarm bells began ringing the last time I turned on my laptop — literally.

It was a sound I’d never heard my trusty little computer make and I knew something was wrong, very wrong.

All had been fine the day before; a final e-mail posting last week’s article from London before flying home. Then, perhaps victim to some airborne virus in the overhead locker, by the time we reached Bermuda and I switched on, vital signs were minimal — except for sirens.

I raced to emergency, but the prognosis was grim: “Bad RAM and massive hard drive failure… Data unrecoverable.”

Shock or denial, my brain hasn’t yet fathomed the reality of five years worth of writing, work, documents, projects, e-mails, photos, music… gone. The question everyone asks: “Is it backed-up?”

In truth, I don’t know. Each week I plugged in the little box, as I was told. Wheels spun round then stopped and I assumed it was done. Far from a techie, I don’t know how to test such things and I haven’t faced the reality of buying a new computer yet to see. Right now I’m just taking comfort in the hope.

I’ve been talking a lot about backup this week. Trying to convince my seven-year-old not to be beastly to his cousin. She’s the closest thing he’s got to a sibling and he thinks she has to put up with his leg-pulling just because she’s family. But these bonds need to be nurtured. “There’ll be times when you’re older,” I said, “when you’ll need an ally, someone you can count on to stand with you and help you fight your battles.”

Poor choice of metaphors on my part. When his teasing managed to tip her over the edge and she punched him in the head (she’s got a mean left hook), he came crying.

“She’s just fighting me, not for me!”

Was he picturing a henchwoman? Not the idea I was going for.

We all need backup. A go-to confidante when the world turns grey, someone we could call whatever the time of day, folks we can rely on. For some of us it is family, for others, we have to make our own family.

Having a support system is a vital comfort; trusting that if things “collapse” and there’s some totally unexpected “massive failure”, that someone will be there to pick up the pieces and help us start again.

Of course, we don’t really know until it’s tested, which we don’t want to have to do. But our reassurance is to keep nurturing those bonds — backup doesn’t happen by itself.

It involves prioritising and remembering to put in the time and effort with the people that matter most to us. Check and restore backup regularly! RIP little MacBook.

•Julia Pitt is a trained success coach and certified NLP practitioner on the team at Benedict Associates. For further information contact Julia on 705-7488, www.juliapittcoaching.com.