A creative’s nightmare has become reality for me. I bought a 2TB hard drive in 2019 to store my photography work. My ex-UK laptop does not have the capacity for too much storage. A recent assignment to Samburu made me realise my external drive iko na shida. My client asked me to resend the work as she couldn’t locate what I had submitted earlier.

I happily obliged and pulled out my laptop and plugged in my drive. A funny message popped up that I haven’t seen before asking me to format my drive. I decided to call Henry my IT guy and he was relieved I hadn’t formatted the drive because that would have been the end of it. He picked it up to try and retrieve the files. Let’s just say he’s still working on it. Now I have to redo the entire job again for my Samburu client. Thankfully I do not delete images from the SD card in the camera even after I move the work to the hard drive. So I still had a source to work from. Going forward I will have to back up further on the cloud.

Backup is good for life. That’s the lesson from this experience.  It doesn’t appear important until you need it. There is a saying in my mother tongue which loosely translated says that to protect oneself is not cowardice. Even when things are going well for us we should always remember that things could take a turn for the worse and a plan B may just save the day.

This situation brought the relationship with my baby sharks (especially my son) to mind. I stopped playing golf on Saturdays so that I can spend more time with him. This was after I was reminded that living together and supervising homework is not hanging out. That’s just part of the parenting curriculum. Mandatory courses that are a requirement for graduation. Choosing to chill with him on Saturdays as I do my rounds is an elective that will come in handy at my graduation as his father when he finally leaves my nest. I believe the elective is equally important as the mandatory course. It benefits us longer in my view than the mandatory courses. And that’s how we graduate with a degree in successful parenting.

I’m getting increasingly aware of the fleeting opportunities that my totos need me. It is so easy to overlook when they are asking for our help and attention. There are grown kids who want nothing to do with their parents. I want my kids to be my friends. That every so often in their adulthood they will look for mummy shark and me just to catch up and spend time. If that happened then I will consider myself successful. I admire my buddies with grown sons who hang out with them just because dad is fun or cool. Ewe mwenyezi mungu nisaidie.

I do agree that life is intense when bringing up a family and fending for them at the same time. But I like that my conscience is increasingly being pricked when my kijana asks if he can accompany me when I’m leaving the house. That window is closing fast so I better milk it. Of course, part of the deal is always to pass by KFC for their spicy chicken wings. I get this used feeling but ni sawa. I convince myself that he wants to chill with his father. Either way, I remain his sponsor with or without chicken wings.

How is this experience a backup for me? I once heard that to kids quality time is quantity time. And that if we pay attention to them when they are young they will do the same to us when we are old. I’d like to imagine myself playing golf in my 80s and my kijana comes to pick me up for drinks thereafter. Or better still play golf with me and my grandson. Now that would be mad success.

For that to happen we have to invest now if that cheque is to be cashed in future. Some of the things we do now are backup for the future. We better take heed and invest in key relations even when they seem inconveniencing, not bearing much fruit or like we least need them. For if we don’t then the hard drive of all our life’s actions may crash and we are left with nothing to hold onto. And unlike my external drive that I have started reconstructing, life is a bit more complicated than that. Grace may be extended but we will live a version that’s far below what was meant for us.

Folks, how are you backing up your current life? Are you succeeding at all costs and burning up all the opportunities to save for a better future? Being wealthy is good. But being wealthy relationally too is even better. That’s how we maximise the backup opportunities every season presents so that we can enjoy it hapo mbele. Backing up for the future is worth the effort and sacrifice. And that’s a cheque that never goes stale. Be woke folks and remember the unexamined life is not worth living, said Socrates.






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4 thoughts on “Backup.”

  1. Njoki says:

    Wow! I love the back up story and relating it to investing in our relationships especially with our totos. Again being intentional is the only way to achieve this. May you be wealthy now and in days to come.

  2. David J.W.Kimani says:

    Thank you Lucas for these inspiring reflections. We certainly to know how to back up our lives and deliberately even painstakingly do it. It’s the only way to ensure of a meaningful future for ourselves and posterity.

  3. Mosiara says:

    Spot on! Relevant. Thanks for the reminder. Definitely will back up!!

  4. Mike Eldon says:

    Ah, the stress of backing up between one’s laptop and one’s external drive when something goes worng!

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