At A Snails Pace

Posted: May 15, 2007 in Employment, Goals, Homelessness, Hopes, Self Esteem

Right now I’m going through a rather peculiar phase in my life. Over the past few days I’ve been experiencing a mixture of frustration and disappointment with myself.

I’m working on a joint project developing a web site with a gentleman who I met in March. We had set a tentative deadline for completion of the project that has already come and gone. Although it’s not of earth shaking importance that the project hasn’t been completed I find this strong desire to get it over and done with. I want to see the thing posted to the Internet.

The delay isn’t my co-designer’s fault – it’s with me.  

I’ve already had a basic design "built" several times, but when I looked at the product I was highly displeased with the way it turned out. As a result, I’ve started from the ground up a number of times. And, it isn’t that I’m obsessive about – although I do like things to be just so – but neither do I want the project to look as through it has been designed by a monkey with a hang over.

John – the site’s co-designer – keeps telling me not to worry about it. He keeps telling me that it’s fine that it’s taking this long. He understands that I’m out of practice and have a need to get up to speed, but I’m not happy with how long it’s taking me to "get back into the swing of things."

It’s not that I don’t have a good idea for the content. Nor is it a lack of design experience. I know exactly what I want the site to look like once it is completed. And, in the past – before I became homeless – I was able to achieve that.

Not this time. The difficulty I’m having is with remembering how to get a page to look on the screen the way it looks like in my mind (and on paper).

In the "old days" I’d get a basic idea of what I wanted a site to look like, create some basic sketches, think about how best to present the content and off I’d go. In, what seemed like short order, the site would begin to take shape and before long the site was complete and loaded on the Internet waiting for any and all to view.

The various programs I used to design web sites were programs that I was extremely familiar with just from having used them regularly. Since I’m basically using the same programs, you would think that I should be able to jump right in and pick up right where I left off. I’m finding that isn’t the case. Although I haven’t gone completely senile (at least not yet), I seem to have forgotten some of the basic commands needed to achieve the results I want.

Also, I find myself making quite a few tyopgr… er… typographical errors. Thank goodness for spell cheekers… um… checkers.

I don’t want to become my own worst enemy so I’m trying to give myself a break and not be too overly critical of myself. On the other hand I don’t want to make excuses for myself either. So I tell myself that just I’m rusty and that it will all come back to me in no time at all. Yet, I find myself getting impatient with myself for moving ahead at "a snail’s pace."

I know all the philosophical stuff about how it’s like riding a bicycle – once you learn you never forget. So they say. But I’ve also learned that it doesn’t really matter that you "remember" how to ride, because once you’ve been off of one for a while – and the longer you haven’t been on one – you’re probably going to end up with some sore muscles, plus a sore behind – at least until you get back into the swing of things.

That is what has been happening with me. I’m trying to get back into the swing of things and it’s taking a bit longer than I feel comfortable with – or more accurately, it’s taking longer than I want it to take.

I know that I’ll get back up to speed in due time, but having been homeless now for just a smidgen over 18 months, I’m in a hurry to get my life back on track as quickly as possible – especially now that I have the opportunity to do so.

In the past whenever friends of mine have "run into a brick wall" when trying to accomplish something, I’ve always told them: "You’ve got to learn to crawl before you can learn to run."

I know that I need to heed my own advice, but it’s far easier for me to tell someone else that it’s okay than it is for me to tell myself the same thing.

Of course, since I can be overly stubborn every now and again I doubt seriously that I would listen to myself in any event.

But then again, now that I’ve decided to not be so hard on myself I think that I’ll let myself off the hook on calling myself stubborn. I think that "steadfast" would be a better description.

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