When All Else Fails, Stop.

Solitarty man in coffee shop, gazing out window.

When all else fails, stop. Maybe even before you do the “all else”. Pause. Change the trajectory in your mind. Give yourself a change of venue. It shifts the tone of your self talk and allows for the solution to show itself.

I inadvertently killed my website Tuesday.

As I was cloning a site to be moved and then deleting the clone once it was moved, I inadvertently deleted my own site. I thought that all the files were gone … the “are you sure you want to do this” dialogue box  had told me all files would be deleted and unretrievable. I assumed for more than a little while that  that included the backups as well.

Waves of shock pummeled my brain rendering it fuzzy … you know the kind … the shock that happens when someone or something precious dies … or leaves … the kind that you cannot initially logic yourself out of.

Technically, all was not lost.

I did have a staging site that I had not looked at  for the past 4 months. I had initially set it up to work with changing my headline font to be less “sweet” and changed my mind. Most of the website was intact  sans all of the process upgrades, forms and most heartbreaking of all? The weekly posts I’d written over the past 4 months.

All of the work I’d done in the past 4 months was gone. My heart was  breaking. My heart was breaking, my brain had gone fuzzy and I could not see the simple solution in the moment.

I completed what I had been doing when the site died and fed myself lunch.

When all else fails, stop. Pause. Change the trajectory in your mind. Give yourself a change of venue. It shifts the tone of your self talk and allows for the solution to show itself.

I gave myself a change of venue, drove to the Starbucks down the street and set up my space. Timberhill Starbucks is one of my favorite workspaces. It is close and people go there to study so there is already focus going on. The baristas are delightful –  happy, friendly and they like working with each other. There’s always an interesting conversation going on, although this day and most days  I wasn’t paying any attention to it.

It was mind opening just to get out of my house to a place where none of what had just happened was in the air. The change in atmosphere worked its magic as I started poking around my Websavers backend to see what was there, to see if it maybe, just maybe, my backups were still there. (Websavers is where my website is hosted)

They were! With great hope, I clicked the restore button on the latest backup.There was a momentary question as to whether I should delete the installation of the staging site before proceeding. I ignored the question and proceeded anyway. The white screen of death appeared. My heart sunk just a little.

I composed a support ticket to the gurus of hosting and all things tech, the behind the scenes workers of magic on Websavers. And went back to trying to solve it on my own.

There was nothing left to lose at this point and help was on the way. Sometimes that is all that it takes.

I deleted the fully dead website installation, this time intentionally. Once again, I clicked the restore button on the backup, waited, this time not holding my breath as the process completed itself. Help was on its way, after all.

I plugged in my url and saw it … My fully restored website, intact as though nothing had gone horribly wrong just three hours earlier.

Waves of gratitude flowed to Allen and Jordan, the brilliant minds behind Websavers, for the ease and simplicity of the hosting service they have created.

There are silver linings here in the form of new processes.

Key most important deepened awareness? You can never (ever) have too many backups.

  1. I will be saving every weekly offering offline in its finalized version.
  2. I learned how to backup my gravity forms. They  will be stored offline.
  3. Just to be safe, I’ll create a new export file of my posts each time I upload a new post.Probably not necessary, but that was my biggest pain point in this entire experience. I thought my writing was lost until I remembered that all of my posts are also available on Mailchimp (my email autoresponder)

One more extremely lovely benefit?

I am now skilled at moving cloned sites. Have I told you  how much I LOVE my hosting company? Moving over to Websavers was the best move I’ve made this year.

I have an of impressive tool that always helps me to focus. It is an app from brain.fm that is essentially music with sounds designed to work with the brain to strengthen focus. There is also the choice for sleep and relaxation.

I notice the powerful effect of the focus on days like Tuesday. It really just helps me stop  my brain from wandering when it wants to wander all over the place, shuts off the running negative commentary  and allows me to drill right in on exactly what I’m doing, to tune everything but what I am doing out. I love giving myself all the help I can to get into that space when I am working.

You may also find it delightfully helpful … here is the link again.



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