Late Night Grit – Learning the Hard Way

In the last 2 days I've achieved something that I thought was literally impossible to do -- I learned how to put together my very first WordPress website. Weeks earlier, with the aid of a prepaid template, I created a website as part of a project for my first graduate school class and I was very happy with the overall design. I received some great feedback from my peers and professor and was prepared to make a few minor tweaks in order to get the website finalized and reviewed by my professor for a final grade. My project was ahead of deadline and life was great.

Several days passed and while I was working on my next assignment, I realize that I had overlooked a critical project requirement related to a blog which needed to be integrated into the website. An external link to a blog would not be sufficient. I spent a couple of hours spinning my wheels trying to figure out the design tools on the template I had purchased, and no luck. The following day, I participated in a live "twitter" chat with my peers and professor hoping someone might help steer me in the right direction to finding a solution. My professor was kind enough to forward me some WordPress links and I felt like I'd be able to fix the problem in a short amount of time. In my mind, I was still way ahead of schedule so I decided to create a separate working document to type up some blog entries figuring that it would take just a little time to learn how to insert a blog plug-in into my website. The date was February 15th and my project was due in a little over a week. No problemo.

I take great pride in being a member of the rock star moms club. We are women with an "I can do it all" kind of attitude and we get shit done. We can help bring home the bacon and in many cases we're also the ones cooking it and then cleaning up after everyone else in the family too.  Laundry at 11pm while everyone else is asleep. No problem. Averaging about 5-6 hours of sleep a night. No problem. One kid has gymnastics at 5.30pm and the other kid needs to be picked up from practice at 6pm. Oh, and the distance between those 2 points is 20 minutes in good traffic. No problem. Day in and day out, we give 110%. We're the ones professionally dressed by 7am ready to conquer our day filled with multiple tasks in pursuit of being the modern day power woman. And in our day to day lives, literally EVERY MINUTE counts. I recall my husband looking a little surprised when I announced that I was going to start graduate school this year. He had this look on his face that I read to mean do what you want and I was a little perturbed about his reaction. I'm a horrible poker player, I wear my emotions on both sleeves. So he explained to me that it wasn't because he didn't think I could do it, but he wondered how I would find the time to do it.

"I told you so" were the words that kept hammering into my head like a migraine while I laid next to my daughter who had come down with the stomach flu. Evidently the prepaid template I had purchased was not compatible with WordPress and so I was literally at a dead end unable to move forward with completing my project. I would have to start at square one and recreate an entirely new website using WordPress and I had absolutely no experience using the software for design purposes. The project was due in a week and with a quick glance of my calendar for the coming week, it was obvious that I was no longer ahead of schedule to complete my project. I didn't have time to deal with this problem and so I would just have to pay someone to help me fix it for me. I called a friend of a friend who referred me to someone who put my mind to ease. For a small fee, this minor problem to a great looking website that I created could be fixed because I passed my problem onto a WordPress expert and I would be able to shift gears and focus on completing some legal contracts for a client while managing the construction that was going to take place in my home in preparation for my MIL's annual 2-week visit.

This past week evaporated right before my eyes and late Thursday night I realized I didn't have what was promised to me on Wed, my content moved over to a new website that included an integrated blog.  So I made a call the following morning that went right to voice mail and then followed up w an email and then after lunch a text. Silence.  And then about 3pm I get a text that says, "please call me". I figured I'd hear on the other end that the project was a little more time consuming than expected and so the fee would be higher. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case. The young, single and restless millennial pitched me a poor me I've been so busy training AT THE GYM for a competition and I'm so sorry the dog ate your homework pathetic story that left me utterly speechless. It was close to 5pm on Friday and my project was due on Sunday evening.  He was still interested in doing it but it would have to be next week.  I was quite literally screwed over by a 20-something college kid.

In that instant I had to make a quick decision: (1) send an email to my Professor with a similar sorry this dog I hired didn't do my homework and by the way I need to drop this class or (2) disrupt my family's expectation of the mom that I've been for the past 12 years and ignore them the entire weekend and blow off their weekend events including an annual science fair event that had been on my son's calendar for weeks.  I try my best to make sure that my family comes first, afterall that's part of the rock star mom pledge. But there was no way in hell that I was gonna drop this class after only a few weeks into the semester.  I was gonna have to dig deep, find my grit, and get it done. But I was gonna desperately need some help from my husband over the weekend.

So guess who's the rock star this weekend? My husband has jumped right in to help me get the kids fed and has assumed the responsibility of taking care of them over the weekend while I've hidden in my office with the door locked for blocks of time during the day and in the middle of the night while trying to figure out how to put together a WordPress website basically from scratch.  Its taken a couple of hours of YouTube videos, calls to 24/7 customer service and LOTS of coffee.  Oh, and I'll admit I had a short crying session because the new website I was creating was looking like crap.  Guess what?  I pressed on and did it.  Learning is my passion and I'm not a quitter.

Right now as I'm typing this blog post, my eyes burn and I feel hungover although I haven't had a drop of alcohol all weekend long but instead have consumed gallons of caffeine and survived on protein bars.   I didn't shower yesterday but I'm still standing, Hall and Oates style. And I'm proud to feel like I still belong to the rock star moms club.  Many of us are part of the Gen-X demographic who grew up listening to cassette tapes while learning how to do letter press and paste up on scrapbooks.  We're trying to keep up with the younger generation who can listen to music on Spotify while sending out tweets to their virtual friends and posting flawless selfies on Instagram while making quick updates to their WordPress websites.  And that's OK, because the ladies of the Gen-X demographic still know how to ride the Go Go's rock star wave.  We've still got the beat and the grit!

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