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Recover vs Reboot

There are times in a person’s life when a sudden shift occurs. Like a rug being pulled out from underneath you. What was solid and known yesterday is suddenly gone or irrecoverable. It’s unsettling and uncomfortable. Everything comes into question.

This shift can come in many forms: sudden death, loss of a relationship, being fired, loss of community.

These are the times people consider getting a “fresh start” as it appears easier to Reboot your life than it is to Recover from the event. The phenomenon is so common that The Onion wrote a parody piece on it.

The Onion article is funny because it hits home. We can relate. If we could only change our circumstances life would be good. The reboot seems like a quick fix! And it’s not that easy. In a reboot our circumstances change but we have not, and that’s the problem.

In the series Mad Men Don Draper is offered an opportunity to begin leading a whole new life under a very unusual circumstance and he makes his decision quickly. He chooses to reboot. He steps into a new life and leaves his old life and his circumstances behind. Or so it seems. We are unaware of this for the first couple of seasons, but it comes back to haunt him eventually. His seemingly perfect life was built on top of a false pretense. He rebooted, and then he spends years recovering.


A reboot may seem like the ideal scenario, but it’s not. It’s just a change of scenery. Standing tall and dealing with life is what provides growth.

In the debate of Recover vs Reboot, Recover wins every time. It’s a renewal, it’s growth, it’s progress and it’s necessary. There is no such thing as a reboot in life. There is only recovery.

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