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.
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.