losing it

Shalechet (Fallen Leaves)Just when I thought things were just about as chaotic as they could get – car troubles, work insanity, stress, etc. – I had to lose my USB key that had some personal information on it during my morning commute. On the off chance that someone found it and decided to check out brip blap (since that’s where I kept all of my drafts for future posts), please call the number on the key – there’s a cash reward, no questions asked.

I’m sure there are a number of lessons to be learned about putting personal information on a USB key, or a laptop, or a phone, or even in a notebook. Too late for that lesson to apply to me.  I had password protection on MOST of the files on the key, but paranoia has required that I spend most of the evening changing my password on all of our financial sites – banking, brokerage, insurance and so on.  Not to mention sitting around agonizing about the fact that a lot of blog-related work was on that key – now, all gone.

I had made a habit of backing up the key monthly, but of course this was the month I hadn’t gotten around to it so I had to go back almost 60 days to my most recent backup. Again, I’m sure there is a lesson to be learned.  Most of the important documents were backed up, and probably the worst thing that happened was the loss of two months of journal entries.

I have had ideas in the past about switching to a career as a professional life coach, but it’s quite clear to me that you need to be in a mental space where you feel quite confident about your life before you can do that.  I’m not there. You don’t have to have a perfect life, but you do need to feel that you’re in control and moving in the right direction before you can offer people advice.  I thought I was there about a year ago; now I’m not so sure.  I’ve written about losing weight, and managing careers and finance and relationships, and for me all of those things have been a struggle over the last few months.  I don’t know what to attribute it to – as I wrote about a few days ago, I think I have to look primarily at my own mental state.  External events have been annoying, to say the least, but not catastrophic by any measure.

So at least from the blogging point of view, you can bear with me as I’m going to be trying to apply all of the life-improving tips that I give in real time, as I give them, again. I’m trying to work on positivity, my fitness, my career and even on what I think of as the “big to-do” list of everything-that-needs-to-get-done-in-my-life.  It’s certainly not easy, and tonight I made no headway on any of it, but having been through all of this before I’m sure that it’s not impossible to do again.  I’m going to start with my career: the contract consulting for Fortune 50 firms of the Wall Street variety.  It’s not me.  So that’s going to change.  Wish me luck.

photo credit: Shereen M

11 comments

  • I'm sorry to hear about you having lost your USB drive. I say you should never leave home without encryption. It's better to just keep the entire contents of your drive encrypted with TrueCrypt. Basically, my USB drive only contains the TrueCrypt program files and one very large file for the encrypted disk. That way I always have the program files to mount the drive.

  • I notice that you said you password protected your files but didn't mention you encrypted them. I just wanted to suggest that in the future when you get another USB it would be a good idea to encrypt rather than password protect files. Encrypting is much more secure and I think you'd be surprised how reasonably priced such solutions are. With password protection an attacker can just run a brute force attack against the file until they get in. With good encryption (AES 256 for instance) It woudl take them years to get into your USB even with the most advanced computers. If you'd like some recommendations just let me know (and no, I'm not a vendor or something I just work in Information Security).

  • I'm sure you know that some thumb drives (SanDisk being one) include software on the drive that will encrypt and password protect the entire drive – no need to password protect or encrypt individual files.

  • What a brave post!
    I have been struggling with my career, my weight, and my priorities lately. It is strange how we can feel so put together one day and then feel like stuff is a mess the next…

  • Millionaire Mommy Next Door

    Sorry to hear of your troubles, Steve. Sometimes crap piles up and feels totally overwhelming. I was there last week.

    The day I was to become a parent, I asked the rest of our adoption travel group (all were in China for kid #2, except us newbies) to share their best parenting advice. I passed around a notebook to collect their sage advice and out of the 9 entries, the one I recall most often is, “This too shall pass”. This simple mantra sees me through most rough patches, parental or otherwise. That and a good long nap.

    Nothing lasts forever. In the meantime, take good care of yourself.

    • MMND, I am glad that you think the way I do. I always thought that if something goes wrong and you lose control over situation, remind yourself that this is not the end of the world, that the troubles that seem so real and heavy now will pass. With time they will be forgotten or seem like triviality. Some things you should just let go after a few attempts to fix. I am not an escapist, I choose my so-called battles.
      So this is my view at things and I try to relay the same attitude to Steve. I am glad that now there's more than one person reminds him that “this too shall pass”.

    • Millionaire Mommy Next Door

      Truth be told, I grew up with two “brip blap”s (my mom and sister), so I've been there. Having had a “brip blap” parent, I have to make a conscious, steady effort to keep my own moods from swinging side to side. Once unleashed, it can be a wild ride. Self care is where it's at for me. And when overwhelm hits, I acknowledge the feeling for what it is — miserable AND blessedly temporary.

      My husband is a great calming force in my life. Bubelah, it sounds like you serve as this for Steve. Good balance!

    • I definitely have to agree that being married makes it easier, for the most part – having a spouse who doesn't go through the same moods swings serves as a bit of an anchor for me. I do agree wholeheartedly with one thing you said, MMND: I never think that my blap periods are permanent. I always recognize that it's something that will end, eventually, and that's usually what gets me through them. “this too shall pass” is excellent advice, for anyone.

  • Steve, you'd make an awesome life coach. It's definitely something you should put into the nearer rather than later future.

    Personally I find that tiredness is a barrier to doing anything and once it starts, things slide so much that the effort required to begin again can be overwhelming. I keep telling myself that I don't have to everything all at once and when I can't be bothered I try just to do the things that will make me really happy (rather than pretend, eating ice cream happy).

  • Sorry about the loss of the USB. I never encrypt or password protect my files, and I was very happy with that till I read this post.

    Anyway, I am a little more optimistic and am also sure that have a much smaller bank balance…hehe

    Take care.

  • Sorry about the loss of the USB. I never encrypt or password protect my files, and I was very happy with that till I read this post.

    Anyway, I am a little more optimistic and am also sure that have a much smaller bank balance…hehe

    Take care.