That Was Unexpected

Well, folks, the new year is all of eleven days old and it’s already been a wild (though not expensive!) (well, not expensive for ME!) ride.

I got home from Christmas travel a couple of days before the new year, only to turn right around and leave on a week-long work trip. That was the first thing that threw me off. Holy schmoly, it’s hard to keep up a blogging schedule while schlepping all over an unfamiliar city and sleeping on a friend’s couch. [The trip had a complicated finance structure. The whole week was for work, but since I’m an academic my work includes research trips. Sometimes I get reimbursed for research, sometimes I don’t (long story.) This trip, I was reimbursed for the plane ticket as well as for the four days I spent at a conference. So for those four nights I stayed at a hotel. But for the previous three nights, since I was extending the trip to do unreimbursed research on my own behalf, I channeled my inner graduate student and crashed on a couch. Good thing too since the hotel was hella expensive.]

Anyway, I finally landed in the hotel on Wednesday afternoon and had a super productive two days. I wrote a few short freelance articles and sent them off, and I also got a lot of work for my day job done. It was really great and peaceful to sit at a totally clear desk in the hotel room and just knock out to-do-list items.

At which point my computer crashed and couldn’t be revived. Long story short, I guess a file in the OS got corrupted, which is why I couldn’t get it to boot, even in safe mode. I ended up having to wipe it and reinstall from the most recent backup, which, annoyingly, was early December since I keep my backup drive at the office and I hadn’t been there since then. The most important stuff is all also backed up to the cloud (dropbox) but I did end up losing some nonessential-but-would-have-been-nice-to-have data. Sigh. At least this time I didn’t have to pay for a new hard drive, like I did the last time I had to restore from a backup — which was only six months ago! WTF, Apple! You are usually more reliable than this! (The OS corruption is probably a fluke and not their fault, I guess.)

Anyway, that was Friday morning when I couldn’t get my computer to boot, and I didn’t fly back until Sunday morning, and even then my backup drive was, as previously stated, at the office, so what with one thing and another I was limited to answering email on my phone for a few days. I also did a lot of reading, so that was nice, but I was totally on a roll with work so it would’ve been nice to have continued that over the weekend.

To recap, it’s January 11 and I’ve spent eight days of the new year traveling and three dealing with a crashed computer. I haven’t yet had a normal grocery shopping trip or done normal meal planning. I’ve also written four blog posts for money, although not much; I hope to look for better-paying work now that I’ll have some clips to show. I also have a blogging to-do list a mile long — everything from “write interesting new posts” to “jeez, figure out Pinterest already.” But mostly, now, it’s 10:15 on Monday night and I’m going to sleep before I do anything else. And absolutely positively no traveling is happening for months. I’m retiring my suitcase to the basement for the duration.

19 thoughts on “That Was Unexpected

  1. Mrs Lewis says:

    I’ve just taken a closer look at your site to see that you your 2015 retirement fund goal was $25,000. Was that just for the one year? Do you have a post the includes your overall retirement goal? Congrats on meeting your other two goals as well!

    1. thesingledollar says:

      No, that was the number I wanted to end the year at — I started 2015 with a bit more than $10K in there, I think. This reminds me, got to update that widget!

  2. Oh man, sorry your computer died! I can definitely relate to the discombobulation of extended work travel (though it does eventually get a bit easier — or maybe just not having food at home becomes the new normal?), but I’ve managed to have mostly good tech luck. Hope you can get back to feeling more grounded quickly!

    1. thesingledollar says:

      LOL. Luckily I can always duck over and eat dinner at the community where I volunteer. But I think I’m getting older and stodgier because I really like my own bed and my time to meal plan and so on. 🙂

  3. That really does sound like a terrible start to the New Year. In trying to find something redemptive about it, i find this: Your attitude. My impression is that you did what you could and accepted what you had no power to change. “I also did a lot of reading, so that was nice,” is simply a great response to a crappy situation. That’s what’s going to see you through the months ahead, no matter what. But hopefully, 2016 will have much better situations to offer you.

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Oh, I wouldn’t say “terrible” — just, “not optimal” 🙂 I hope 2016 calms down though, too. That was about enough excitement for one year.

  4. Hannah says:

    I likewise spent about 8 days traveling at the start of the new year (including one extra day due to weather delays, thankfully I wasn’t schlepping a toddler through the airport as Southwest predicted that I would get trapped in Chicago and recommended that I stay in Minneapolis one more night and then they booked me a new ticket).

    While the travel was productive for my day job, I’m playing major catch up on life and freelance work. Here’s to a Happy New Year 2.0!

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Wow, good for Southwest! That would have been a nightmare. I agree, we need to reboot the new year 🙂

  5. Oh gosh, Pinterest. I am technically on it, but I DO NOT UNDERSTAND IT. If you figure it out, let me know. I feel like literally everything on Pinterest is two steps removed from any *actual content*, which makes me confused about why it exists.

    Ha, I can totally relate to the Long Story of research expenses sometimes being paid and sometimes not being paid.

    So sorry about your computer issues; glad you didn’t have to buy a new hard drive!

    1. thesingledollar says:

      I guess Pinterest is somewhat like a giant bookmarks board that you can share with other people. As a result people that know how to do it well, and put the time in, are getting a ton of traffic. But it is apparently quite a bit of work and I’m not sure I’m up to it 🙂

  6. Ugh! Well, Murphy isn’t waiting around is he? Something similar happened to my computer last year when I tried to update to Windows 10. It became totally inoperable. I thought my computer had bought the farm, but as a final act of desperation, I managed to track down and get a re-installation disk from the manufacturer. Luckily, I got my computer back. I was freaking out about having to buy another one. Hope your computer gets better soon!

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Oh, it’s better now — I reinstalled yesterday and am typing on it right now. But for a variety of reasons I REALLY don’t want to buy a new computer for at least a year or two if possible. So fingers crossed that this was its big act-out session for the year. Glad yours is back too!

  7. ugh computer problems are the worst! I literally lose my mind when my computer isn’t working!

    1. thesingledollar says:

      It’s kind of terrible how much I rely on it! But I really do!

  8. Congrats on getting some freelance work going, other productive work time in, and extending your trip on the cheap. Sounds like a whirlwind first week.

    1. thesingledollar says:

      It was crazy! But things seem to be settling down now, thank heavens.

  9. Anticipating my Mac crashing at the start of the year since I was also traveling for work, and Y2K and all, I moved files I wanted to save to Google Drive. Thank goodness I did! I couldn’t reboot until I did the “first aid” in disk utility. This is a reminder to myself to keep trusting my intuition. Your attitude about the computer trouble was far better than mine. 🙂

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Hey, good for you for moving things! Backups are ALWAYS a good idea. My attitude was greatly improved since I had one, even though it was a little older than I might have liked.

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