When I started this blog, I made a commitment to add a new post every day. Some might be slighter than others, but there will be something new every day for anyone interested in undertaking a personal journey to happiness, or following my learning curve of self-publishing, or just seeing how another human being thinks and approaches life.
I almost failed on day three.
Yesterday’s post, “Days are Lost Lamenting Over Lost Days,” almost didn’t make it to your screen. I wrote it in plenty of time. I had it all set to go, and I took all the necessary steps to post it, then something hinky started happening on the WordPress site.
I’m new to this, so I don’t know if this is the norm or not, but my post kept disappearing. Then it would have the wrong format. Then, I would edit it, fix all the formatting problems (using my very limited HTML knowledge), “publish” it, proofread it, click away from it and click back to find all the formatting gone again. I’m not exaggerating when I say this happened more than 10 times.
There was much screaming at the computer. And a little crying.
For a moment, I hit a point where I thought this was too much of a pain and nobody would notice if I didn’t post anything today and it’s not my fault anyway and forget it, who needs this crap?!
Then, I got up, walked the dog, came back and decided to start over. Luckily, early on in the digital disintegration of my sanity, I’d copied a correctly formatted version into a word document, so I had something to start with. I also recognized that the problem might be some glitch in the signals my computer was sending to the site, so I calmly restarted the machine, cleared my browser history, dumped my cookies, erased the cache, and miraculously, the upload worked.
I had to go back in and format it all in HTML again, and I’ve learned some painful lessons about working in WordPress (so don’t be surprised if I announce a new location for this blog in the future), but I have to say, seeing it on the site, working, as I’d written it, felt GREAT.
There is a simple joy that comes from just slogging through a difficult, frustrating, incomprehensible thwarting and reaching your goal. Remember this next time you feel you can’t get to the finish line.
Some tips for doing so:
1. When you find yourself losing control (e.g. screaming at the computer), walk away. Surely there is something you can do for five minutes to restore clarity.
2. Acknowledge that the problem might be on your end, and see what you can change that might fix it.
3. Say this out loud: “Happy people don’t lose it over one thing not working. I can make this work, and if I can’t, it won’t ruin my day/night/life.”
4. Do everything in your power to slog it out until the end. You will be overjoyed at the accomplishment, even more than if it had gone off without a glitch. Be grateful for the obstacle, since it increased your happiness in the long run.
5. Reward yourself. We went out for Chinese food. It was terrible. I don’t know why, but I find that so amusing that it makes the reward even greater. I’m smiling now just thinking about how bad it was.
The leftovers are in the fridge.