Last Wednesday was part 2 of the webinar series Making Brands Happen is hosting, and after part one I was beyond anxious for the next fix. I restarted my computer after running the installs I'd put off (I don't turn my computer off nearly as much as I should). I wanted a clean slate. I pulled up the webinar, and just minutes before it started my computer gave me the beach ball of death, resisted all attempts to force quit, and encouraged, nay, begged me to violently turn it off (but I only softly held down the power button in dismay).
pulled up my laptop just in case, I didn't want to miss anything!, and
watched as my main computer gave me a gray start up screen, which after a
little progress, resulted in a power down. Again and again and again.
Not long into the webinar (from my couch in my office on my far less
impressive and exciting laptop screen), my laptop crashed as well. I
wouldn't be surprised if my inner cry of "CONSPIRACY" made it out into
Eventually I was able to ignore the big black
screen and get focused, but my day was mostly wrecked. I've grown up
with Macs and while I don't recall all of the recovery methods by heart,
I'm always able to resolve problems on my own given enough forum
searching, so when I gave up and went home only to return with the
start-up disc which was spit out repeatedly (out of spite, I'm sure), I
felt like a failure.
The errors I was seeing pointed to
hard drive failure. I couldn't get to the Apple Store until Saturday
morning, and when I got there the outlook was bleak. I felt like a
parent asking about their child's illness when I asked the
Apple Genius Bar guy, Herbie, how something like this could happen.
What makes a hard drive go bad? Did I do something wrong?
of my client photos are backed up a million times, so while I didn't
have the urge to vomit, I still had to keep myself from trying to
remember what WAS on the hard drive. Mostly word documents, schedules,
variations on the templates I use for cd covers and the like...not the
end of the world, but not something I want to re-do. So, my computer is
currently at Perry Computers, where they've spent the last 18 hours
backing up my hard drive (Hallelujah!) and where they'll put a new drive
Since I'm so long winded I almost feel like
making these posts multi-part but I'd hate to leave people worrying
about me, and all of the above minus the part where so far they can back
up my data sounds miserable.
will seem ridiculous, but in the past week or so we've had an unusual
number of fairly large spiders in our living room at home, especially
near the front entrance. Garrett and I are both freaked out by them and
so we yell at each other to kill them, angry if either of us misses them
first try. One day I came home and killed one only to see a second
inches away which I immediately got as well. The best part: in the blur
of the 10 seconds or less that the whole episode took place, the second
was very black, unlike the first and other brown (I'm thinking wolf?)
spiders we've seen, and when I squished it at some point I saw an orange
rectangle. I thought surely that meant it wasn't a black widow, but
after (stupidly) google searching I can't figure out what else it
could've been. Oh goodness. Garrett didn't see it and denies the
likelihood of such a thing, and since I don't seem to have any
paralyzing bites, so far so good. We also had two slugs that came in
another night. Today maintenance is sealing our front door, since
there's a place that light (and apparently evil) is coming in.
I'm going to MTH in Atlanta
in a few weeks and more and more 2012 just feels like it will be the
year when things come back together (or really for the first time), and
my personal life, business life, and future will have some harmony at
last. I was particularly ambitious a few weeks ago, reading The
Happiness Project, sleeping 8 hours a night, running in the mornings.
I'm still making progress, just a bit slower. The computer fiasco set me
back a bit, as well as a pretty full weekend, and the groggy feeling I
woke up with on Monday. I convinced myself that I couldn't get sick, and
I think it mostly worked.
OH, and apparently I am the
QUEEN of self-fulfilling prophecy. I opened an album box in front of
Morgan in my office the other day and said, as I was unwrapping "The
cover photo is going to be wrong", mostly as a joke about how my week
had been. Guess what? The rest of the album was perfect, but the photo
on the front was another couple entirely. How does that even happen and
why do I not buy more lottery tickets? So, I immediately swore myself
off of negative talk forevermore.
few months ago I'd been thinking about how hard it had been for me to
make friends in Birmingham when we moved, how un-welcoming the wedding
and photography world could be in town to a newbie, and how much I
craved the support from other women that I'd found in my friends growing
up or my hall in high school. I LOVE my photographer friends,
but I've realized that comparison, jealousy, and competition are hard to
avoid, and that it's so much easier to talk openly about my
accomplishments and struggles to my friends in other industries, without
the fear of seeming arrogant or less than, even. Only spending time
with other photographers, talking about the negatives we encounter or
the gear we wish we had, it puts me out of touch with the rest of the
world. I love that people are different, and I want to be more open to
everything else out there.
So, I started a small, top
secret creative girl support group, with a handful of girls I know and
suggestions from a few other girls I met, and we've met twice now. I
want to be able to talk about the group to some extent, especially to
encourage other people who might want to start something similar, but I
also don't want to make it seem like I'm excluding anyone, which is a
tough spot. So far at our meetings we've had about 10-12 girls (with a
few more in the fb group) which has seemed just right. I really love a
bit of structure (I'm a tad obsessed with the IDEA of productivity), so
we'll be spending some of our meetings sharing our craft and others
talking about business.
I started the last meeting by having everyone to "download,"
which was awesome. I almost want to pinch myself seeing such an amazing
group come together, every girl (woman) has been an inspiration to me
and it's already a place where we're tossing around ideas, admitting our
weaknesses, praising each others' strengths. I'll definitely post some
updates on our group as well, and while we are very new I'd love to chat
with people in other cities thinking about starting the same sort of
thing. I know there are some similar creative women's groups at some
local churches, and it's really exciting to hear and feel how powerful
it can be!
THE HAPPINESS PROJECT
still reading the happiness project, a few pages on my kindle a few
nights a week before I go to bed, and I'm utilizing my highlighting
feature like crazy. I love all the quotes by authors and all of the
validation the book provides. I also might have said before, but I'm
using the author's one minute rule about household tasks (if it would
take a minute or less I can't put it off).
chapter I'm on now, Gretchen (the author), talks about being serious
about play and making time for fun, which also led her to figure out
what is actually fun for her. The great thing about this chapter is
realizing (especially reading some of the blog comments she received and
included) is that the things we think everyone enjoys or should enjoy, a
lot of us don't. I feel like I breathed a sigh of relief when she
admitted that she enjoys reading children's books, and that upon opening
up to someone else who shared her Harry Potter obsession, they started a
children's book club for themselves.
wanted to be the kind of person who would read deep classic literature
and totally get it. I've chalked up my lack of success there to my ADD
but what's even more true is that I LOVE children's books. I loved
reading up until about 9th grade, when we had to start reading far less
interesting and far more adult books. The Giver, The Phantom Tollbooth,
The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, A Wrinkle in Time, Redwall...why
aren't the adult books as good? I feel like I get enough of "real" life,
and would rather read the kind of fantasy that those books provide. I'm
happy to have been given permission to decide what I like.
spent the past few years feeling like I needed to be a grown up (a very
hard thing for a petite youngest child), and acting the part, mostly in
the way that I scoff at "going out" (mostly because my profession
leaves very few Friday nights open for staying up late and are most
certainly out for drinking), work incessantly, and complain much too
much about money and bills. I forget what I even enjoy. Vacations feel
stressful because my inbox keeps filling up. "I don't have time" for
anything. "What do you do in your free time?" was a laughable question.
of the author's friends suggests to her that she might enjoy the same
things she enjoyed as a child. So I'm reflecting on that. I loved craft
projects, pretending to be a spy, my clothes, face masks at
sleepovers... and those things still do make me smile to think about. I
probably won't pack my backpack with spy gear and hide out in my yard
with walkie talkies where I pick up on some kind of signal and convince
myself it's a conspiracy...but the freedom to find things I like, that
already makes life feel lighter.
I'm returning to more CHALLENGE
progress here next, I have lots of work on it ahead and am excited to
keep encouraging and being encouraged by others taking it on as well.