You know you’ve put off defragging your hard drive for way too long when the software says, “Estimated running time: > 1 day”. Oops. My bad.
All of you computer savvy folks can skip the next two paragraphs. For the rest of us who struggle with the subtle nuances of all things technical, this is how defragging was explained to me:
Imagine you have a shelf of encyclopedias. (Remember those?) But you also have a house full of lazy kids. One of them has left volume S in his gym locker. Another one has Q propping up a table leg. B got loaned to a random friend. So now you’ve got a shelf of info with some gaps, and books scattered all over hell’s half acre.
Now imagine you have to access information from several volumes. You can’t just look on a neatly ordered shelf. Oh, no. This is going to take more time and effort. This is how your computer feels, pretty much daily. By defragmenting your data, or “defragging”, you’re putting order back on your shelf, and therefore speeding up your computer. It’s a good idea to defrag now and then. Most of you probably have defragging software on your computer already, but for those of you who can no longer find it (Thanks a lot, Windows 8!) you can get a free version called Defraggler here. End of lesson.
Anyway, while watching my computer defragment itself for hours and hours and hours, I started thinking. I really need to defrag my whole life. To say that I live in a state of barely controlled chaos is a gross understatement. I used to be so organized. At what point did I lose all control? I have no idea.
I have a pile of things on my nightstand that urgently need to be dealt with, but it’s been sitting there so long that the things on the bottom of the pile have long since lost their urgency. I have a room full of boxes that I’ve yet to unpack from when I moved to Seattle a year and a half ago. I have books that I haven’t read in years and I know I never will. Why do I keep them? I have tons of things that have sentimental value, but the older I get, the less sentimental I seem to become. I need to get my act together.
The funny thing is, I know that I feel better about life in general when I’m more organized. I have no idea what’s holding me back. Pure laziness? It feels more complex than that, but I can’t be bothered to figure it out. I just need to keep chipping away at it and hope that someday I’ll reach that magic tipping point where I actually have a handle on things again and life gets easier.