My Right Arm

My arm!

I lost my right arm!

That’s right. My computer decided to malfunction.

It all started last Monday morning. I was so hopped up and excited about the “new year” and my new goals and how I was going to do everything I was supposed to do and stay on top of everything for once and not fall behind (big breath–isn’t that a horrible run-on sentence?). I had my quiet time, fed the kids, and then booted up the computer. While I was flipping through some papers, my 18-month-old son toddled  up and hit the on/off button. My computer coughed and sputter (not really) and then went to a screen that said something like, “Essential files corrupted, Launch Start-up Repair, Start Windows normally.”

Now, that’s happened once or twice in the past, so no big deal. I hit launch Windows normally, the computer thinks for a couple of minutes, and returns to the same screen. *gasp* This can’t be good. I turn the computer over to my competant husband. He works with computers and has as long as I’ve known him. After trying various things, he comes to the conclusion that there are only two things he could try.

1. He could reformat/restore the hard drive. This made me want to cry because, while I have most of my important writing-related documents saved on my free Norton online storage, there’s about a year’s worth of pictures that I hadn’t saved. Normally, this wouldn’t bother me too much, but that “year” happens to be my 18-month-old’s first year. Yeah, I’m a little sentimental. Plus, I’d lose the critique I was working on and half done with.

2. He could get ahold of a Windows 7 disc and fix the corrupted files. We don’t have one, no one nearby had one, it’s $120 to buy one (and about the same if we took it to a computer repair shop).

In the end, I ended up finding a friend on the mainland, who also works with computers for a living and has access to some higher level whatchamajigs that we don’t here at home. I’m sending the hard drive to him and he’s either going to fix it or extract everything for me. Yay!

However, now I’m in a holding pattern. I feel so lost. The first couple of days I could hardly function. I really did feel like I’d lost my right arm.

There was a lesson in this for me though. You’ve heard the phrase, “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.” Yeah… My plans. MY plans. Not His plans. MINE. Oh boy. On paper, I had said I was going to focus more on my home life and not focus so much on my writing/editing during the day. Truth is–that was not quite the truth–and God knew it. I have to purpose to keep God first, my husband second, my family third, and my career/ministry last. I struggle with that a lot. Do you?

In having to make do with what I can–sharing a computer with my husband, relegating social media time to specific time slots, and taking a good look at my household tasks–I’m reshaping my attitude.

(Repeat after me)

The computer is not my right arm.

The computer is not my right arm.

The computer is not…hey, look, a laptop for $400.


About Ralene Burke

Whether she’s wielding a fantasy writer’s pen, a freelance editor’s sword, or a social media wand, Ralene Burke always has her head in some dreamer’s world. And her goal is to make it SHINE! She has worked for a variety of groups, including Realm Makers, The Christian PEN, Kentucky Christian Writers Conference, and as an editor for a number of freelance clients. Her first novel, Bellanok, is being published as a 4-part serial! When her head’s not in the publishing world, she is wife to a veteran and homeschooling mama to their three kids. Her Pinterest board would have you believe she is a master chef, excellent seamstress, and all around crafty diva. If she only had the time . . .

3 comments on “My Right Arm

  1. It sure feels like a limb of our bodies, though. Has something to do with the way our brains adapt.

  2. Mine’s gone on the fritz before, that’s for sure. I probably ought to be looking at a replacement within the next year and I surely should be backing up my files more than I have… but you know – I’m busy, so I’ll do it tomorrow.

    Meanwhile, the balance of home/family and stuff – OH yeah. LOADS of issues for me there. And God definitely has a sneaky way of teaching good habits. For me, it’s not the computer lately. For me, I’ve just picked up a “job” that is sure to put me on a schedule (me the SO not a morning person). Yes, I know that I offered and the little extra money will be good, but seriously… a friend got a full time job for the next few months – 9-5 job and I’ll be watching her 2 year old. It’s just one more child – and a good kid, too- but it means I have to be out of bed in the morning and functioning at 8:15 when he’s dropped off. I know, I know, I’ve had it easy because of homeschooling. Most mothers are seeing their kids off to school at that time, so who am I to complain.

    But yeah, this is one of those “I know I should get up in the morning consistently” leading to “Fine, if you won’t do it yourself, I (God) will up the stakes”. So I totally know what you mean there.

  3. […] the trick of showing me how easy I have it by giving me more. And like Ralene pointed out in her computer struggles, God is happy to help us with our goals and good intentions – whether we want it or […]

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