It is spring break time here in North Carolina. That means it’s time for me to try and get my life back on track. To recalibrate, if you will.

I love spring. (I don’t love North Carolina’s crazy spring weather, however. Today, for instance, I spent wondering if a tornado would touch down and, if so, what I would do with all my animals.) I love thunderstorms, the bright green of new growth, and the feeling that maybe, just maybe, I can get a handle on everything again.

Much better (for me) than New Year’s Day, spring brings the promise of new beginnings. This year, however, I’m not trying to begin over, but to recenter myself. It’s been a rough year. In addition to the run-of-the-mill stress of any given year, my son was in an accident, my mom was in the hospital, my son-in-law was seriously injured, my eldest dog, Kali, passed away, another dog, Piglet, nearly died after eating a sock monkey (I can’t make this up), and I lost a student. Also, my house is a mess.

On top of all that, my external hard drive died. I have lost everything. I thought I had backups on my OneDrive, but I was wrong. Every college paper; every story; every poem. Anything I’ve ever written that wasn’t printed out is now gone. It’s enough to make me delve deep into a quart of Ben & Jerry’s. Or two.

It’s been hard to be motivated during the dregs of winter with all this going on. But, now that I have a week off, I’m going to take stock, take a deep breath, and recalibrate my writing and my life.