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HardriveYesterday morning while brushing my teeth, I plopped down onto my office chair and turned on my computer. My plan was to check in on email and attend to a few things before waking my son up for school. But when I turned on my computer, I was greeted with a little circle with a line through it, set against a 27-inch backdrop of gray. No cheerful launch noise (in fact, no noise at all), no desktop wall featuring a picture of my son grinning from ear to ear atop the Brooklyn Bridge.

My hard drive was dead.

Thankfully, I’d signed up with an online backup system a few months earlier (BackBlaze) so I knew all of my documents and data were saved…somewhere. That helped me from dissolving into a frantic mess. But my calendar? Email folders? Who knows.

My hub, who doubles as my personal IT guy, was out of town, so I was left to figure this one out on my own. I called Apple, made an appointment at the store near me, and hung up, just as my now-awake son asked to see what a “dead computer” looked like.

I could tell I was stressed. My energy was anxious, and my son was picking up on it — not the way I wanted his before-school routine to play out. So I took some deep, deep breaths, and tried to focus on what I knew.

It was out of my control.

I could panic, or not — the outcome was going to be the same.

I didn’t have any deadlines this week where I needed to turn in a big deliverable (one that I likely would have been working on solely on my desktop).

Maybe it was a sign that I was supposed to slow down. (Um, probably.)

Maybe I needed to remember what it feels like to be really uncomfortable and out of sorts. (I remember now…thanks.)

Maybe this is the perfect opportunity to think about what actually has to get done and I’ll realize that a lot of the work stress I experience is self-generated. (Sometimes I push myself too hard to do too much all the time.)

Maybe my desk was in need of a good, deep scrubbing. (It was.)

This morning, I have my computer back. I picked it up last night and it’s sitting on my desk, daring me to turn it on. I haven’t yet though. I think knowing it all has to be set up again, knowing that likely I’ve lost some valuable info, and feeling a little anxious about doing something wrong in the data recovery process has kept me from pushing the ON button. I’ll wait until my personal IT guy gets home.

So today, you’ll find me reminding myself (frequently) that it is what it is. No worrying, stressing, or freaking out is going to change that. I’ll figure it out. I’ll piece things back together if I have to. And I’ll try to find peace in the fact that what’s gone is gone.

My friend, life coach Pedro Baez, often talks about the importance of riding the waves of life when they hit instead of panicking or swimming against them. Today I’m grabbing a board — I’ll see you out on the surf.