Have you ever heard the phrase “She’s like a dog with a bone?”
It refers to someone who can’t let go of something, whether it’s a thought, a goal, an argument…
That’s how I felt this week. I decided to redo my website, because I wanted to brighten up the look from the previous dark colors of olive, taupe and brown. I’m totally a fuchsia kinda girl.
But the problem is that I am not a graphic designer. I am not a computer expert. And I don’t have the funds set aside to hire either of those. So, I spent hours this week researching things like WordPress themes, graphic design programs and color combinations on other websites.
I spent a LOT of time scanning the websites of other women speakers, focusing on those that speak for both Christian & secular audiences (as opposed to those who speak exclusively for one or the other.) I learned a LOT about what looks professional yet feminine, while being a little edgy and eye-catching. I learned the graphic design program GIMP, a free cloud application that has a steep learning curve, but a TON of power and flexibility. I learned where to go to buy and download cool graphic elements. I surveyed what seemed like HUNDREDS of WordPress premium themes (i.e. they cost money) and tried to narrow down the features I wanted. Then I had to re-learn the whole FTP file transfer thing because I don’t do it frequently enough to remember how. Once I installed the theme, then I had the huge job of learning it.
Finally, I had the job (still have the job) of finetuning all the elements of the theme. How do I incorporate my mailing lists? What about the layout of my product page? What colors do I want the links to be? How can I have a color border? What on earth is the difference between a widget and a plugin?
I dove into this project like a dog with a bone. I did not want to let go of it. I spent a lot of time, probably too much time, but I had a blast doing it.
It brought to mind something that I’ve been ruminating about lately. I am convinced that because of how we were created, we feel most alive when we are doing one of 4 things:
We feel alive when we conquer, cultivate, create or communicate.
While wrestling with this technical project, I was both creating and conquering. I was using my creative imagination to put together colors and images and layout, using design principles I know such as balance, rhythm, texture. I was struggling to learn the nuances of how to do simple things with unfamiliar software like make a straight pink line across the page. I scoured the web for answers, ideas, examples, solutions, sources, and shortcuts. And it was INVIGORATING! (If not exhausting and maddening at times!)
The end result is that I’m feeling the love of my new website, and I’m excited for how it can reach to others who visit it. AND I feel like my life got a little larger.
Are you aware of those times when you are like a dog with a bone? Reflect on how that makes you feel alive. And be thankful for the opportunity, because the alternative is dead, dull living. Embrace that bone.