April 2020 Newsletter
Hello, and an amazing April to you!
Being in control
Welcome, or welcome back, to my newsletter.
Today's issue is about being in control.
Earlier this year, before the coronavirus took hold,
some personal circumstances already had me thinking about not being in control.
Ordinarily my life is well-organized and relatively calm. Then I needed a cracked
front tooth extracted, which I cracked from tripping on broken pavement and falling on
my face. I've been healthy all of my life and had minimal interaction with the
medical system, so the drugs and surgery and all the strange people attending to my mouth
had me feeling helpless, though grateful for the care.
Now I have a big hole right in the middle of my smile. The dental implant work is postponed
due to the pandemic -- replacing my tooth is not a medical emergency. I am impatient to get
this fixed, and not at all in control of the schedule. Next challenge: my website was migrated to a new
platform by my hosting provider, well over a month ago when things were still pretty normal here and
businesses were open. Again the schedule was out of my control, and this took almost
two weeks longer than promised, during which time I could not update any of my files.
Once my website was resident on the new platform and things seemed to work, I thought
I was back in control of it again. Ha! I discovered the mailing function (for
someone wanting to contact me for a consultation or to subscribe to my newsletter)
had stopped working in the migration. This is not a good look for a business! I want to
be responsive to those who want to reach me, not have you think I'm ignoring you. So I
started digging into the code, getting more and more frustrated.
Searching on-line, I found suggestions which didn't work for me, and a few comments that
the company's customer assistance wasn't much help. After 2 or 3 days of spending considerable
time and energy and getting nowhere, my busy engineer partner dedicated a few hours to
debugging the problem with me. Together we managed to get the mailer function working again, though it still needs
some cleanup. Since I like to do everything myself and asking for help is hard for me, this taught me
an important lesson.
When I can't do something, my habit is to try harder, dig deeper, do more research. If I think of
involving others, I picture chaos, like the angry villagers above, talking too fast or barking
orders at me, often trying to be helpful but just upsetting me and leading us farther from a solution.
Since I am often the one who helps others, it can be difficult for me when I need help myself, as yes, I feel
out of control. I need to remember that most help desk people enjoy helping if
I'm grateful and not demanding. This is also true of my partner, a steady calm guy, and
of most other people. It can feel good to help, and to be helped.
We're all in this together, and while we need to take care of ourselves (I often say
"Self-care is not optional!"), we need to take care of each other too. Don't spend so much
time regretting your past (which you can't change) or worrying about your future (which may never
happen the way you expect) that you ignore your present, and the people around you right now.
I believe I've been trying to be too rigidly in control of my life, managing the minute details
with too tight of a grip, getting pulled off-center by the slightest interruption to my
plans. I now want to "hang on loosely" like the rock song says. "If you cling too tightly, you'll
lose control". Wise words. Be here now, and easy does it!
To read about staying present to see better,
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You're helping many other people!
Enjoy the start of this abundant month of April.
I'll write again in a few weeks. Take care!