Crushing frustration

It was a huge aggravation. The kind that makes you gasp in despair and put your head in your hands, thinking, "Why me?"

I worked so hard on a paper for grad school yesterday. I wrote about, oh, eight or nine pages. And it was pretty good, too, I thought. Another few hours of work would have finished it, and I could have even submitted it a little early. It's due Monday morning by 8:00 a.m. I was thinking I'd be done with it Saturday, no problem.

I had emailed it to myself, so no matter where I was I could work on it. I had all the research material with me, in a binder. I had notes and a complete outline, plus a sample paper I used as a rule of thumb (the prof gave it to us; I wasn't cheating!).

So, after all that work, I saved it and went on my merry way. Later on I came back to it. And more than half of it was gone. I probably saved the old version, reverting to the previously saved paper, not reading what the computer was asking me in the prompt.

And I lost all that work.

It can be recreated, but it was such a spirit-breaking experience knowing all that work, hours and hours worth, was just gone – POOF.

So today, guess what I'll be doing? I'll work on it all afternoon and possibly into the evening. And tomorrow? Ditto.

I'll finish it, but having to re-do it means any thought of doing anything else today or tomorrow is shot all to hell. I was going to work on my second to final project of the semester today, leaving only the last project – that could be considered done since I started working on it at the beginning of the semester, but I'll check it over again.

Ugh. Just ugh.

I like to think the Universe has a reason for all the crappy things that happen to us. Maybe that's relinquishing too much power, but if it helps me deal with day to day disappointments I say that's fine by me. Maybe my second attempt will be better, but I'd have gone back through to edit the first version, anyway. It was very near completion.

Another of life's frustrations. Little compared to challenges some other people face, but a relatively crushing thing for me.

Off I go, to recreate. A little wiser this time, but it was a hard lesson.

2 thoughts on “Crushing frustration

  1. Oh, the anguish! I sympathize . . . compulsive saver and e-mailer to myself that I am. Losing all that captured creative energy is crushing.
    You know the story how Hemingway lost his earliest manuscripts, right? I guess it happens to all of us in various forms.
    (Hope this doesn’t double-post, and my apologies if it does.)


  2. Oh dear. I’m sorry that happened. I had a friend in grad school who, after staying up all night polishing off her paper (and adding ten pages to it) for class the next morning, offered to go get us breakfast (we were a small cluster in the GA office–and you couldn’t really call us procrastinators, really, because we’d only had four weeks to write a 20+ page research paper, exploring some aspect of the class’s themes. Took me a week to figure out what those themes were!
    Anyway, someone who needed to print from her computer yanked her flash drive out–and she when came back with yogurt parfaits and hashbrowns, she’d lost like seven pages. Class was an hour and a half away. Fortunately, she’d e-mailed her 17-page paper to friends, so she was able to rebuild from that, but my heart ached for her; she’d worked really hard on that paper.
    Lesson learned: don’t yank the jump/flash/thumb drive before stopping/ejecting it.


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