I am not really big on surprises. Not that I am a party pooper or anything like that. I just like things in order and organized and surprises usually blow even the best laid plans out of the water.
Little things I don’t mind. But for the most part I like to see what is coming and be able to plan for it. Maybe it is because I am so careful at how I allot my time. There is always so much to do and it is sometimes quite a challenge to accomplish everything. Throwing even a small curve my way can be enough to put me out of sync some day.
I do realize though that life is full of surprises and many of them are pleasant and fun. So over the years, I have trained myself to look at them without annoyance and even accept them as a part of life. I think that is one of the reasons why it is important to remain flexible and to allow extra time so that when these little things come up, there is time to enjoy them and deal with them without the added burden of feeling that you are going to be behind in the things you need to do.
It never hurts to put little buffer zones into your schedule. Especially when you have your own business. More often than not you find ways to fill that extra time and at least for myself, I find that if I plan the schedule of things too tightly, my stress factor rises and it can really put me on edge. I realize that some times there is no avoiding deadlines that barely offer enough time to be completed, but I have long ago learned that if I have a hand in any of it, it is better to be conservative in my time estimates and allow for things to come up rather then to be overly optimistic and cut things too closely. For someone like me who is a perpetual optimist, it goes against my grain to think this way. But time and time again I am reminded that allowing more time for a task than initially anticipated is the smart thing for me to do.
After all, it isn’t as if I can’t find something to do with the extra time if I do complete things ahead of schedule. There is always something fun and interesting for me waiting in the wings.
I had a surprise yesterday. I am not going to say it was a bad surprise, but it is a surprise nonetheless.
After doing my errands and coming home to settle into doing some drawing, my partner was sitting next to me and working on his computer on some changes for the site. He got my attention and said to me “You think that people were upset about Facebook changes? Log into the site and take a look.”
I saw from his screen that he was on the site page and logged in from my screen. As I was doing so, I was wondering what my site had to do with Facebook. I have some links to it from my pages, but other than that, I was wondering what the connection could possibly be and how the Facebook changes could even affect my site. I just wasn’t getting it.
When I finished logging in, the light bulb went on. I thought I did something wrong because the entire interface for building my web site was different. Really different. Apparently they updated everything in the site-building software without any notification whatsoever.
After the initial shock wore off, I started navigating around to see if I could recognize where things go. It seemed to all be there, but everything was in a different place with different icons and formats and organizations. It was all new to me.
I was afraid to click too many things for fear of goofing something up. There were some new features that I didn’t recognize, too and I tried to use the help files on them and either they haven’t been built yet, or I had to dig deeper into the help files to get a better explanation. But where? I realized that there was a bit of a learning curve ahead of me (again!) One that I had not anticipated dealing with right now.
I am all for upgrading and improving software. Wasn’t I the one who wrote only a few days ago defending Facebook’s recent and future upgrades? We have to change things in order to improve, and in all likelihood, this will be a nice improvement for me in building my site. It is just a matter of finding the time to relearn something that was until now familiar to me. I have no choice.
I feel that although the changes could very well be improvements, there could have been better ways to introduce them. Some notice would be nice. A short video pointing out the new navigation system would have been nice too. There are several different ways that we could have been eased into the new way of doing things that would have (in my opinion) been much more acceptable.
But accept it I must, just the way it is. My first step will be seeing if I can figure out how I am going to post this blog up there this morning. I suppose that I just have to take things one step at a time.
I am all for change and don’t even mind surprises. But I definitely think that they are much easier to handle in small doses. Unfortunately that isn’t the way things always are. So I need to learn to take things as they come and shift my schedule in order to accommodate these unexpected issues.
Who knows? It may be the best software ever. I may like it even better (after I get over the shock!) I just need to believe that. :)
Have a great day!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"