Technology and Other “Stuff”!
By Betsy Kelleher
Well, dear readers, this is not my usual column—and it may be my last. I’ve been changing computers, transferring data from one to another, having to deal with all that “STUFF!” Dealing with the problems of technology has made me take another look at my priorities.
For four years, I’ve had two desktop computers on my home office desk. Yeah, kinda crowded, but I’m used to clutter. I did my writing on the older Dell with XP system, and used the newer, faster one with Windows 7 for internet research.
I hadn’t planned it that way. When I thought the seven-year-old Dell was giving out, I bought the newer model. When my oldest son told me I should have added more RAM to the old Dell, I tried that because I really liked the XP system best. Problems solved! A Dell technician told me the old Dell was still a good machine and it was a shame to junk it. So he helped me set up this neat network system with two computers, and I could print from either one.
Perhaps you realize that whenever you get things working great—something will change. In April, I got a message on the old Dell that the XP system was no longer supported. I started using the newer Dell for my columns, but there was still a lot of “stuff” on that old computer.
Fortunately, two years ago, my middle son Bob had set up an external hard drive as a backup system for the old Dell. On the first of every month, I clicked on a desktop icon and everything was backed up. After Bob died, my monthly backup became a precious ritual.
And then my printer quit. I was quite proud of myself for setting up a new wireless printer with my newer Dell within 15 minutes! However—I could no longer print from the old Dell. The old machine was still taking up space, no longer being used, and I wasn’t sure what to do about it. Like a lot of other “stuff” in the house!
My youngest son came to visit. He offered to help me with my computer situation, and switched the external hard drive from the old Dell to the newer one. Now I am slowly reorganizing all the “stuff” from that external hard drive onto the newer Dell, deleting duplicates. And I am deleting everything from the old Dell, preparing to recycle it. But as you may know, dealing with “stuff” takes time.
I found myself thinking as well about all the “stuff” that goes with owning horses. Old halters, bridles, brushes, spray cans and blankets—the list is endless. Over the past few years, my husband and I have gone from four horses to the one mare I now have. If I didn’t have a horse, I realized I could get rid of half the “stuff” in our home, things no longer being used, just like my old Dell!
One thing often leads to another. Early in November, I climbed up on my hay at the barn, moved a couple bales down where I could reach them, and thought I could slide off like I used to. Well, the old gray mare (me) ain’t what she used to be! I suddenly found myself flat on my back, wondering if I was still in one piece. Luckily, everything seemed to be fine; at least the ER doctor said so, after my CT scan. A few days after I got over the headaches, back aches and neck stiffness, I got a terrible sore throat, started coughing, and stayed in bed more than usual. My husband decided it was time to put Lady on full care. Not for just a few days—but until spring!
I remember saying in a previous column how I wished we could box up the horses for the winter and get them back out in the spring. Well, this full time care for the winter may work just as good. I’d like to take this winter to work on my clutter. Maybe by spring I will feel ready to enjoy riding Lady more than ever. Or maybe I will decide it’s time to move on. Changes are difficult for me. But now that I am cutting down to one computer, perhaps I can learn to cut down on other things as well. A simpler life helps me relax more, worry less and I can focus on the important things.
I’m not that active with horses anymore. I rode Lady only nine times this year! And last year, I rode sixty-four times. Yes, I keep track. I feel strange about not going out to the barn twice a day, but I’m sure I will visit Lady at least once or twice a week. Now I can spend more time on my house! Where did I get such a habit of saving everything? Cutting down to one computer has forced me to go through the “stuff,” reminding me of things I’ve written that went nowhere, of things I planned to do that didn’t get done. I print things off, hoping to file them for another time, but somehow those papers just keep piling up, going nowhere! God doesn’t complicate our lives. We do!
I have been enjoying a devotional book, Morning Meditations from your Abba Father, by Alyse Best Muldoon, a fellow member of a Facebook group Christian Horse Women and Horse Men. When Alyse shared excerpts from her book, I had to get a copy! The words in this book have had a profound effect on my relationship with God. I recommend it highly, for yourself or a great Christmas gift!
This Christmas season, as you shop for presents and enjoy social events, remember why that Holy child was born here on Earth. Take time to review the Christmas story in Scripture, and take time to worship the One who came to save us. Take time to sense His Presence each morning before you get too busy. Alyse’s devotional book would definitely help with that!
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a blessed and Happy New Year!
NOTE: Be sure to check the pre-Christmas sale on my books!
(Originally published in the December 2014 issue of the Illinois Horse Network)