The spinny wheel of affirmation

One of my work colleagues has a little pretty little box, and in that box she keeps a bunch of one-word affirmation cards. Every once in a while she’ll make a tour of the office and get each of us to reach in and pick a card.

My current card is “Gratitude” and I keep it propped up at the foot of my monitor to remind me that even when things go wonky there is so much in life for which I can be grateful. It’s a reminder I need quite frequently these days, as it happens, just as its predecessor “Creativity” was a reminder I needed at that time. I find it fascinating that whenever my colleague stops by with her box of cards, I always manage to pick the card I need at that particular juncture of my life.

The other day I stumbled across a blog whose author was talking about choosing a one word affirmation for the year. He’d chosen the word was “Focus.”  I could use some of that, for sure, but honestly, I don’t see myself sticking with just one word for the entire year, however fine that solitary word might be and however much my wayward mind might benefit from the discipline of that one word. I guess I’m just fickle that way.

How about, I said to myself, a word a week? I could do that. Sure I could. I have at least that much discipline. What I don’t have, however, is a pretty little box of affirmation cards, so instead, I Googled myself over to Wheel Decide (thank you again, dear Google, for providing) and built myself a handy dandy Weekly Word Wheel. Now I can avail myself of a one-word affirmation to guide me through the wackiness of each and every week. Or, if I’m feeling super bold and the week is promising to be super horrendous, I can spin the wheel twice and have two words to guide me.

Go ahead. Give the wheel a spin and see what it spits out for you. It’s given me “Imagination.” Yep. I can work with that.

Resurrected

A couple of weeks or so ago I managed to kill my blog. I’m not sure how I did it. I was trying to figure out how why I wasn’t able to preview blog posts, because previewing is kind of critical when you’re tossing in a YouTube video or adding a spin-a-wheel (more on that later this week) or making sure an image is properly aligned.

So, what did I do? I did what anyone would do. I Googled the issue. The problem was, I was silly enough to believe the fixes Google found for me.

Within seconds, my blog metamorphosed from its usual cheerful, bloggish form into something that resembled a relic resurrected from the Wayback Machine.  I was all woe-ish and wailing and, okay, I admit it, whiney, but I figured, whatever. It happened so fast, it couldn’t be a big deal, right?

Argh. Argh squared, in fact. Google, my search engine friend, that was one massive fail on your part. I’m willing to share the blame, because, really, how ridiculous was I to start mucking about with my WordPress settings on the say so of some random webbish pseudo-expert?

Anyway, after multiple incomprehensible messages from my web hosts (who were actually very cool about the whole thing, in spite of their incomprehensibility) and after backing up my database, deleting it and reinstalling WordPress, and after trying make sense of a filing system with names like cgi-bin and perl5 and favicon.ico, and after much hair pully-outiness and teeth gnashing and and an unholy amount of whining, my blog is back.

I couldn’t understand the explanation of the problem or what was done to fix it. One of these days I should really try to figure this stuff out, I suppose, but, man, there are a couple of thousand things ahead of bloggish know-how on the learning list right now. I’m just grateful that there are people out there in the world who know about these things so I don’t have to.

In the meantime, my blog has rematerialized from the ether, my stress level has started clawing its way back to an acceptable level, and I’m still unable to preview my blog posts before publishing. Everything back to normal. Thank you, universe.

So…how have the last couple of weeks been for you?

Reflections on the A to Z Challenge

A-to-Z Reflection [2015] - LgThis April I participated in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge for the third time, sharing a selection  of what I described as “Interwebby Wonderments.”

The first year I decided to join in the bloggy fun was 2012, and I fell and whacked my head on the sidewalk when I was a few posts from the finish line. (Fortunately a few friends banded together and finished for me.) In 2013 I made it to the end, exhausting as as that was. My experiences in both years should have taught me some important lessons, but as you’ll see below. I don’t learn so quickly.

This year I decided to sign up even though I was, by ridiculous coincidence, in the process of recovering from another “head meets sidewalk” fiasco–because I’m just that coordinated–but I still managed to finish. And I think I’ve finally learned some of those important lessons:

PLAN AHEAD

Other than deciding on a handful of topics, I didn’t do much pre-planning, and I didn’t pre-write any of my posts. That was silly for all kinds of reasons, but primarily because it meant the time I spent researching and writing my posts was time I didn’t spend visiting other blogs. I still managed to visit somewhere between 10 and 40 blogs a day, depending on how rude life decided to be about rearing its intrusive head, but my brain felt pretty explodey by the end of some days. And by “some,” please read “most.”

FOR GOODNESS SAKE, DON’T BE SO LONG-WINDED

Please understand, I’m not talking about anyone but myself here. I actually like long posts, even during the challenge, but I realize that others don’t, and to all of you, I apologize! You’d think that without pre-planning my posts would have been, by necessity, brief. You’d be so wrong. It would seem that I am nothing, if not verbose. Case in point? This post. Sorry again.

PEOPLE ARE PEOPLE AND THEY DON’T ALWAYS BEHAVE THE WAY YOU WANT THEM TO

I knew from previous years that a lot of people aren’t terribly reciprocal about blogging challenges. They love your visits and comments, but they don’t feel particularly obligated to return the favour. This year I went in prepared for this, and for the most part it didn’t bother me. I have my own cunning strategies for finding people who will reciprocate. It did annoy me, though, when I saw that some people who were so diligent about visiting a lot of blogs and commenting often received almost no comments in return. No wonder so many people dropped out along the way. That must have been so disheartening.

CAPTCHA IS NOT MY FRIEND

Okay, I didn’t learn that this year, but oh, good grief, that got annoying. Half the time Blogger managed to lose my comments while I was doing the whole captcha sign in thing. After a while I learned to copy my comments before trying to post them, which saved me from banging my head off the keyboard.

MY BLOG CAN BE A SNOTTY MOO

My apologies to anyone who ran into difficulties trying to comment on my blog, which kept pretending it hadn’t received the comment or that the comment was a duplicate, or even worse, hijacking the comment into comment purgatory because it didn’t like one of the links. I wanted to switch themes to see if that would help, but I didn’t dare do anything during the challenge in case I messed up everything.

I STILL LOVE THIS CHALLENGE

For me this challenge is about connecting–with the bloggers I’ve met in previous challenges or through social media, and with new bloggers whom I probably wouldn’t have found without the challenge. I was going to try to name and link to some of those blogs, but I know I’d end up leaving someone out, and I don’t want to do that. I’m pretty sure there are quite a few blogs I meant to follow and didn’t. I’d drop a comment, move to the next blog, and then wonder, whoops, did I click “follow”? I’ll be rectifying that as I browse through the reflections posts.

THANK YOU

To Arlee Bird, the co-hosts, and all the minions, a huge and heartfelt thank you for giving us this yearly opportunity to go blog-bonkers together.