In my excitement at getting a new laptop, which I have now, by the way, and am using it to write this stellar blog post, I quickly began to forget the old friend who had recently passed on. I started to feel a little sad at just how quickly I was able to begin moving on. The old friend had its flaws and missing keys, it was dusty and dirty, and sometimes it just wouldn’t power on. Sometimes it wouldn’t power off, either. It was the final ‘wouldn’t power on’ that did it.
But it held a lot of information, and we’d certainly been through a lot together. That old friend had guided and assisted me through a career in union representation, held in check for me various documents I’d created for just that purpose, and assisted me with writing opening statements and noting closing arguments. There were even a few post-hearing briefs in there.
I had used the old friend to create and maintain training material, Power Point presentations, two websites, and two distinctly different newsletters for two particularly different organizations. It held distribution lists in both Excel and Access that were used to create mailing labels for the memberships of those two organizations.
It was with me through the creation of more than three hundred contacts, including phone numbers and addresses, both ‘e’ and ‘US mailing’, only some of which I can now do without. I had not been very good at keeping up with it, counting on my old friend to just keep storing information I may or may not have ever used.
It was with me through an election process that year I ran for a national office of one of the organizations. That I lost that election can in no way be blamed on my dear old friend. It did everything it could to help me with that whole ordeal by using Publisher to create a design for postcards that were mailed, a logo for a Frisbee that I ordered in mass production, and flyers that were mailed to several offices in advertisement of my special talents and skills.
It also assisted me with the three books I’d written, the creation of my blog, and all those letters to the editor I used to write.
I didn’t realize how much I had relied on my internet bookmarks, favorites, and caches until I found them absent this morning. New ones will now have to be created. Passwords to some are still in the process of being remembered.
Some of my information is lost forever. Some of it I probably won’t miss. And in a few days’ time I will have everything up and running, bookmarked, tabbed, catalogued and categorized, and I will begin to not miss my old friend at all.
But this morning I do miss it. There’s nothing quite as depressing as reconfiguring Outlook to host my email only to discover that my contacts folder is empty. It’s as though I know no one, and, worse yet, no one knows me.
I will slowly build that back up over time, I guess. I’ve already begun setting up my recurring events in Outlook’s calendar. It’s a little easier that I don’t have any upcoming appointments. For now I’m trying to get used to Windows 8, a program my old friend had shunned early and, ultimately, rejected as useless. I’ve learned that One Note can be sort of handy, if used correctly. There are many more bells and whistles in my new friend’s possession that I will never have the occasion to ring or to blow. They are simply unnecessary.
I was able to keep the pictures of the grandkids, but I lost the old black and white and slightly orange pictures I’d inherited, and then later scanned and edited, back in my scrapbooking-obsessed days.
I was able to keep some of the music I’d purchased, but not all of it.
Recently, my old friend had begun to aid my progress toward the completion of my degree in Business Administration with an emphasis on Human Resources. I could tell it was enjoying the work, creating special folders for my school work, and categorizing things alphabetically for my ease in finding them later.
I needed a calculator this morning and was so used to the icon in my start-up that I was momentarily confused by its absence. I found another, eventually, and have since pinned it appropriately.
It’s a process, saying goodbye to the old and welcoming the new. I’m managing both my grief and my joy quite nicely, even if simultaneously, and even if intermittently disbursed with some melancholy.
Would I give up the new one in exchange for the old one?
Nope. This new friend and I are going to get along just fine. I anticipate nothing but good things for our future together. This is just the beginning of a brand new relationship and I, we, have some kinks to work out with each other, some issues to smooth over, and some decisions to make.
I’m looking forward to what is hopefully our many years together with only slight, and sparse, upgrades and adjustments along the way. And I’m raising my cup of cheer and kindness at the new prospects, endeavors, and projects that will surely come into play.
Have a sip, sit back, relax, and look forward, with me, to all we’ll be able to accomplish.