That time when I cried like a baby because my computer died and I hadn't backed it up recently and lost a ton of stuff? Yeah. That happened.
I was laying on the couch crying, thinking about Mr. Man's monthly pictures that I took, religiously, sitting in the newborn lounger, with the same stuffed animal to show how much he grew. I thought about how frustrating it would be to copy and paste all of my blog posts from this site into Word documents so I would have a record of them. I felt miserable about the two pages of my novel I had written the day before the computer died that I hadn't saved, and I completely ignored the fact that I had to rewrite my four page paper for school that had been due on Friday, the one I was trying to upload when the computer decided to freak out.
I lost a night of sleep, tossing and turning, thinking about how horrible this experience was and having confused dreams about being snowed in with a bunch of strangers, losing my computer and something about Idina Menzel (I had been watching an old episode of Glee before falling asleep).
I woke up and didn't even want to look at my computer, dreading opening my iPhoto library and discovering what I had really lost, and while I lay on the floor in the upstairs hallway while my husband brushed the kids' teeth, I started to feel really stupid. And tied to these ridiculous devices.
Remember just a handful of years back when we took pictures with film and 24 shots, or 36 if you were lucky, was all you got? Sometimes the film would be bad or the lighting was wrong and just like that, no memories of your 12th birthday.
With these camera phones, we record, and feel like we have to record, every single moment of our lives, compulsively. And then, because technology really doesn't make everything easier, something can happen and it is just all gone.
I'm happy that I am an over-sharer on Facebook, since a lot of my missing photos are on there, but at the same time, I feel like I need to get my life in balance here. I was literally crying in my sleep, so miserable about the loss of cell phone pictures. I still have those memories in my mind, and that should be more important.
While I am obviously still crushed about losing some of these things, this experience had brought into focus how important it is to live life in the present. How much time have I spent with my kids with my phone in hand? How many of their adorable faces and first moments have I watched through a little rectangular screen?
I'm not saying I am going to stop taking pictures, I mean, I'm a mom, I am just saying I want to really soak in the moments I share with my kids as they are happening, because nothing is permanent. You never know what is going to happen. There are a million different ways you could lose pictures or memories, but as long as your brain is still working, those memories are in there. And I would rather have those memories saved without an iPhone blocking my view.