Doing Things That Scare Us

Last month I had to face a couple of scary things.

The most stressful was upgrading my computer to Windows 10.

Windows had been bombing me with warning messages for months saying that they will quit supporting Windows 8.1 after January 10.

I didn't want to upgrade. Upgrading meant the possibility of losing Word, Photoshop, and Microsoft Outlook.

I deleted each warning but kept them in the back of my head. How bad could it be to be free of support? 

A friend we'd had over for dinner urged me to upgrade. He's a software architect so I trust him implicitly whenever we talk about computers. 

As usual I did my research. Some sources said that upgrading would make Microsoft and Photoshop inoperable. Others said the software reloaded with serious glitches.

The obvious answer was to uninstall and then reinstall my software after the upgrade. That too came with worries. My software is old. What if the new operating system rejects the old software?

  • I backed up everything.
  • I emailed myself (to my gmail account) lists that included contacts, contracts, calendar events, and important links that I use everyday. 
  • I printed out a set of instructions on the upgrade which included some tips in case something went wrong.
  • I was ready to uninstall my software but decided to dig a little deeper with my research. 

There was a niggling thread between those who had irreparable problems. It seems some of the people who did a "clean install" were the ones who couldn't access Outlook and Photoshop. If you did a simple upgrade, it left everything alone and simply put in the new operating system.

In a leap of faith, I decided to do a simple upgrade. I didn't want it to touch anything but the operating system.

It was a long day, but many hours later, the upgrade was done. Other than moving many of the background applications to a new location, most everything was the way I had it. There are a few minor changes that annoy me, but nothing I can't get used to.

I anguished over this decision for months knowing I had so much to lose if something went wrong.

I think that's the case with most scary situations. You start to think of everything that can go wrong, what you'll lose, or what it will cost.

The fear of failure can stop us dead in our tracks. But the solution is almost always under the guise of preparation.

In this case, it was a combination of research, saving what I could (in case the worst happened), and acceptance.

Yes, acceptance. 

Despite your best efforts, sometimes failure is inevitable.

In this new year, I expect we'll all have scary things to confront us. It could be your health, debt, or catastrophic loss. It could be a stupid computer upgrade. They're all scary to varying degrees.

But I hope you look at each fear as a challenge and not an obstacle. 

Do what you can, learn what you can, and in the end if it still didn't work, accept it, pick up the pieces, and move on.

I wish you all the best for the New Year. Go forth and be fearless.

That said...I'm taking Odin to the vet yet again today. I'm trying to keep my nerve until I have more information, but I don't like what I'm seeing. I hope to God I'm wrong. 

Send good thoughts for my big boy. I'll let you know more once we get the results.


Maria said…
The more you do scary things, the easier it gets, I think...

Re: Odin -- boy, you've left us hanging and now I'm going to sit and worry along with you. Keep us posted, and I'll send positive thoughts your way.

Maria Zannini said…
Maria: I was really hoping for a better start to the year. I see the vet at noon today. I'll let you know when I get confirmed results.

re: scary things
I don't know. lol. They might get easier but it can wear you down too if too many hit you at once.
Stacy McKitrick said…
I'm not a fan of change, so I get you for not wanting to upgrade your computer. Glad it turned out okay for you. I don't remember having issues when I upgraded. At least, I THINK I upgraded. Maybe I got this laptop with 10 on it already? I can't remember! I just know that my old 2010 Word works fine on it. And I really, REALLY, don't want to upgrade my Word.

I hope the news for Odin is good. Sending good mojo your way!
Angela Brown said…
What you described reminded me of analysis paralysis, and as you mentioned, have to take a leap of faith in times when fear can be a bit overwhelming.

Sending hugs and prayers that things go okay for the furbaby. 🤗❤
Dru Ann said…
glad the upgrade worked out

Keeping Odin in my prayers
Maria Zannini said…
Stacy: My computer is pretty old. If it works, why replace it? But apparently it still needs to upgrade once in a while.

Not great news on Odin, but not all the test results are in yet. Still hoping for a miracle.

PS Congrats on your great news! I'm so happy for you.
Maria Zannini said…
re: analysis paralysis

Close. It's not that I couldn't make a decision. The decision was a given. It's that I wanted to delay any ill effects for as long as possible.

Why buy a new computer in June when I could wait until next January?
Maria Zannini said…
Dru: It took a really long time. Made me nervous. But I'm sure it was my slow internet connection.
Mike Keyton said…
All best wishes for you and Odin, Maria.

Ref computers, this is a nerdy one for Greg perhaps but I’m with you on computers in general. ie a similar chasm to leap. My iMac- _ in use every day but only 8-9 years old is now slow and showing the wheel of death for the simplest operation. I checked with my local computer repair shop as to whether an upgrade from Catalina to Monterey might improve things. His assessment was brutal. The symptoms were more akin to the hard disc wearing out and the upgrade might kill it. So I’m busy saving my pennies and girding what’s left of my loins for the hassle involved in data transference. I liked your reference to putting off a June decision to January 😀
Maria Zannini said…
Mike: Yikes! That does sound serious. I guess we can expect the same too. Greg's computer is about as old as yours.