"We're all just fragile threads, but what a tapestry we make." – Jerry Ellis

Archive for January, 2014

Technical Competency Thoughts of a Newbie Blogger

I like to think that I’m technically proficient.  Sit me down in front of a computer program, and I can navigate my way through it eventually.  Then, when I want a program to do that really cool thing—you know, the one that automatically does ____, I will spend hours trying to figure out how to do it, normally through trial and error (lots of error).  In the process, I tend to learn more than I ever set out to about how to do other really cool things with a software program.

At my job as an Administrative Assistant, I use Excel spreadsheets a lot.  Over the past year alone, I have learned to manage and maneuver data more than I thought was possible.  Sometimes the reason I’ve discovered how to do something was out of sheer laziness.  For example, I didn’t feel like typing the same thing over and over again, so I learned how to write macros.  At other times, I learn something out of desperation. (Why is this spreadsheet merging all these cells on the bottom of the page I’m trying to print?)  Either way, I’ve come out smarter than I was before—although I like the luxury of learning because I want to, not because a report is due to the boss ASAP.

Setting up this blog has been kind of a mixture of both.  WordPress is not really difficult…I’ve just never done this before.  The closest thing I’ve done like it is setting up a little yolasite for my Girl Scout troop—an effort I abandoned after only about a year because I found out parents never checked it anyway.  And the good folks at WordPress have tons of helpful tutorials and such to help out a newbie like me. Problem is, I just don’t really know what it is I even want to ask at this point!  But I’m learning.  I’m learning because I accidentally deleted a change I made and I wanted to find it again.  I’m learning because my daughter, looking over my shoulder, pointed out that the picture I chose first was not very flattering—couldn’t delete that one fast enough! 

I feel very comfortable at this point experimenting, and it’s so much fun to do that anyway.  The demon every writer knows all too well is that inner critic.  She’s very cruel and stifling.  Writing to post to a blog is so different from anything I’ve done before.  I don’t really have to answer to anyone but my own momentary whim.  It is so freeing.

So I’m hoping the enthusiasm on my honeymoon with my blog continues. Of course, I’m hoping that six months from now I’m looking back on this time as a more experienced blogger.  But not as a tired,  I-gotta-post-something-this-week kind of gal. I want to be like the kindergartner who looks back on her pre-school days as “when I was a little kid”.  Happy blogging!

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Life in My Head

I think I read too many books and watched way too much TV growing up.  I have a very romantic view of how the world should be, how every problem has a clear cut answer that is reachable in a half hour to two hour time period (depending on sitcom or movie).  Experts say that people in my generation do suffer from that.  We want forensics teams like the ones on CSI to tell us every detail, even the thought process of the murderer, and give us not only the undeniable proof of who is guilty, but why they committed the crime.  Personally, I also want every rift in a relationship to be settled, and by settled I mean all hurts forgotten, at the end of the day.  Ah, wouldn’t it be grand!

Alas, we live our lives in the real world, where there are no scripts and no safety nets.  Feelings get hurt. People have agendas. Procrastination rules.  Clothes need to be laundered.  (Have you ever noticed that in movies and TV no one ever has to do laundry except if it takes them down to the laundry room where BAD things usually happen?) In the real world, we have the everyday task of just living life.

I think that’s why I do live my life in my head at times.  Not always—there’s enough reality in my life to keep me grounded–but in my head, I’m not that middle age Mom walking into the grocery store.  I’m the glamorous, but cool-under-pressure undercover cop who knows the butcher has a secret I need to bust wide open.  And that guy at the gym?  Well, he didn’t always bench press like that—he started working out to get into shape after his girlfriend walked out on him for his ripped ex-best friend.

Yes, I realize that makes me sound a little crazy—or a lot like a Walter Mitty (the book, not the movie).  What’s funny is that, in real life, I hate dramatic scenes because I’m actually pretty boring—you might say a stability freak.  I’m glad I’m happily married and don’t have those roller coaster emotions of young love.  And don’t get me started on confrontations!  So for me, making up outrageous little backstories on the usual suspects is my way of spicing up life just a little.  It’s why I love “real” ghost stories, where some paranormal phenomenon occurring is explained by a story of what happened 100 years agoTo this day she roams the hallway in her long, wedding dress, mourning the loss of her groom…

I suggest you try it sometime, if it isn’t something second nature to you already.  I’ll warn you though—it’s kind of addictive.  Endless possibilities—and you get to make the ending whatever you want.   I’ll bet it even wards off dementia in those later years.  So the next time you’re driving down the road and at the stop sign that hawk turns to look you straight in the eye—was it really a bird?  Or could it be the long departed soul of the warrior searching for his young, Indian princess bride?

Welcome to The Lighthearted Dragonfly Blog

It’s 2014 and I’m finally blogging! After much internal dialogue (and debate), I’m putting “it” out there. You see, “it” was what all the debate was about. What do I have to add to the internet that’s not already been blogged, tweeted and posted by ten thousand other people already?  Maybe nothing new, wild and crazy, but perhaps that’s not the point.

I love a lot of stuff.  That is, I enjoy a lot of stuff.  Stuff like being a wife and Mom, my friends, running, writing, my dogs, trying new recipes, wine, exploring and deepening my faith, being in a Book Club, experiencing the curve ball in life of aging parents, hanging out at the Lake, finding ways to avoid housework, finding ways to get excited about housework.  You get the idea.  I especially love connecting with other people who enjoy a variety of things too.  I like hearing their thoughts on all these things and the feeling that there are other people out there that have a single, fragile thread of a commonality with me.  That someone might read something I’ve written and think, “I know exactly what she means!”

So why The Lighthearted Dragonfly? I have always loved dragonflies and how beautiful and delicate they are.  Especially the blue ones. They apparently like me, too–they seem to land on me often.  When trying to think of a blog name (not as easy as I thought it would be) I found a website that talked about dragonflies and their meaning.  It said they symbolized transformation, joy and lightness of being.  I latched onto that.  How inspiring to envision the slender, iridescent dragonfly, full of lightness and joy, perched on my shoulder as I blogged away.  At least that’s how I envisioned it.  I have found dragonflies spark my creative muse.  And they make me happy.

So thanks for taking the time to visit my blog today.  Hope you return often and chime in on a topic now and then.  Until next time…

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