To kick off my Happiness Project, I made myself an official Happiness Project list.
Every project, before it can begin, requires a fancy supporting document, with at least a little colour, sometimes on the scale of a major arts and crafts event. This one I wanted to do on my computer.
In a spectacular example of the wrong approach, I started the day with cookies, didn’t drink water, and spent nearly a day creating the list of my model Happiness plan. The irony was not lost on me, as I flouted early entries ON the list, like hydrate; wrestled with text in a handwriting font when I could have written it by hand faster; and spent energy on an accessory, at best- creating a list instead of taking actions that were on the list.
I started out with a vision of digitally straight line tables and slick graphics, but never imagined it could take so long. I slaved away, using four different programs because I didn’t know how to make one do what I wanted, and got teeth-grindingly hungry and mad at the whole project. I was too deep in it by then to give up, though. There was probably a point of turn-around, where it would have made sense to write off the time already invested and not waste any more, but I missed it.
Finishing the layout didn’t end the trouble, either. Operating under the theory that the day couldn’t get any worse now and I may as well see it through, I took it to print and get some colour copies and had another crisis at the self-serve copy place, going back and forth with my thumb drive to laptop and exercising four different programs again to try and save it in a form the copier would see. I’m sure I could have handed it over to the staff guy, who looked like he might benefit from a happiness project himself, or a career change, but I was so bitter and cranky and disheveled at that point I’d be damned if I was gonna let him see my “Happiness Project” list for self-improvement. Although his potential dry remarks are hilarious in my imagination now, then was a different story.
Even though my husband soothed “But it can be so nice to have a nice list,” it was a bad beginning, and I’m worried that seeing the list will only remind me of the awful day I wasted to create it.
That was supposed to be day 1 of using the list, as well, so the longer it went on, the fewer gold stars had a chance to see the list. Besides sort of salvaging the evening for a few checkmarks,
I did jam in one redeeming action.
Gretchen’s rule to “Identify the Problem” is very helpful. Looking at what holds me back from better blogging with this perspective, I realized that I get bogged down with the photos. The writing is easy and fast, but to get a supporting picture on board, I have to take it, attach the camera to the computer and import it to iPhoto, then drag it to a convenient place to upload it, and upload it to WordPress. Add in another several minutes passing them through another program for watermarking, which I think is important but adds to an already unwieldy process. A post like this would take easily 30 minutes of uploading and adjusting photos. Easiest would certainly be to snap it with a smartphone and zap it off direct to blog, but I’m primarily a laptop writer who accessorizes with photos. Voila, the answer reveals itself in the question: the fastest way I can think of to upload photos would be direct to WordPress from the camera, or SD card, so I picked up an SD card reader at the same time as getting my list printed. This will be a success if it makes it easier for me to blog more. It eliminates watermarking, but I think at times I will spend the time to do that and at others I will be happy to just get it out there. We shall see.
Plus I got enough sparkly star stickers in the “teacher’s aides” section to last about 1600 weeks.