Today’s look at patience, tolerance, acceptance, and surrender begins last Thursday, shortly after I posted Fighting Parkinson’s, and Pratima is two years symptom free. I went to send out the email notifications to blog subscribers, and that is when everything fell apart.
In my website database, after I wrote a blog post and published it to the blog, I clicked on “Blog Broadcast.” That brought me to a screen that enabled me to click a button “Broadcast” and the system automatically sent all of my blog subscribers an email notification that I had posted a new blog post, and it had a link to the post. After I published the post about Pratima’s two-year symptom free milestone, I went to the Blog Broadcast screen and was met by a message that said that the broadcasting system was no longer supported by the database I was using.
In my pre-Parkinson’s days, this would have been brought me to a point of anger and frustration. On Thursday last week, after and initial uneasy feeling, I said, “Okay, what am I going to do about it?” My answer was, “Nothing right now because you are going to be busy with coaching for the next couple of hours.” I exercised patience and tolerance with the situation, accepted that I was going to have to have to wait for a solution because I was going to be busy for the following couple of hours, and surrender that all of it was necessary in my life.
Later in the day, I realized that I did not have time to research and install a new broadcast software and learn how to use it in time to send out the notification about Pratima, so I did what I considered to be the next best thing. I sent an email and blind-copied all of my subscribers so you would get the blog email notification that day. It was a short-term fix. For those of you who did not receive that email, please check your spam folder or simply click the link in the beginning of this post and you can read about Pratima’s milestone.
On Friday, I had some time, and I found a very good blog broadcasting software to install and use. I installed it and have learned enough about it to use it for blog broadcasting today’s post. There is more to learn, but for now, I know I can operate it. As the day went on last Friday, I decided that there were other changes I wanted to do to make the website more user-friendly.
Also, I was about to take a three-day weekend to relax with my family, so the website adjustments were going to wait. Well…Saturday morning I awoke earlier than I thought I would, so I decided to make the adjustments to the website that morning. The first adjustment was to be with the archives on the right-hand side of the screen. The archives were listed for each month and I have been writing for 50 months, so the list was a bit unruly.
I found a program that I could install that would list my archives of previous blog posts by years, and included was a drop down so when you click the year, it drops down to show the individual months. I was quite pleased with this find and exited to show Sally later after she woke up. I downloaded the program, clicked “Activate” to make it ready for my site, and then this popped up on my screen: “500 Server Error. A misconfiguration on the server caused a hiccup. Check the server logs, fix the problem, then try again.”
I had brought down my own website. Oh, my. Not only did I bring down my own website, but it also shut me out of my log-in to my site so even if I knew how to check the server logs and fix the problem, I was locked out of my own site. So, I sent an email to the server company and explained what I had done and what was the result. My website was down from early Saturday morning until very late Saturday evening.
Over breakfast, I was explaining to Sally what I had done. I then told her that I knew how old me, pre-Parkinson’s, would have approached the situation. I would have been angry and frustrated over the situation, and eventually the anger and frustration would have turned on me. I would have been fearful that I lost all of my data and that maybe my site could not be fixed.
I would have worried that all of you would have been angry and frustrated with me because you would go to my site and it would be non-functional, and I would have worried that all of you would have thought I was stupid. I would have gone down my list or would-haves, should-haves, could-haves, and I would have beat myself up all day about it. Instead, I had my second big dose, in three days, of patience, tolerance, acceptance, and surrender.
My patience and tolerance began almost immediately after that sick feeling in my stomach that I had just brought down my own website. The important thing is this: I let go of the sick feeling by taking a deep breath and saying to myself, “Okay, there is nothing you can do about this now, so let it go.” And I did. That was followed by acceptance…acceptance that I had no control anymore of what already had happened (my site being down), and that I would have to wait to hear back from the server company. I surrendered that I had to let all of this go to move forward in my day and that it was necessary in my life.
As it turned out, the server company got back with me and explained that my database needed to be updated and that the newer software was too powerful for the older database. They explained to me how to back-up my database and that they would do the updates for me to make certain it all was handled correctly. Then, for $20 per year, I purchased a plan where they will back-up my website database daily. By late Saturday evening, my site was operational again.
On Sunday morning, I installed the software I had wanted to install, and I adjusted the features and functionality of my site so it will be more user friendly. For those of you who have been coming to the site for a while, you will notice these differences on the right-hand side of every screen on the site:
1. The Parkinson’s Recipe for Recovery® is clearly marked at the top of the list.
2. The “Subscribe to receive blog update notifications” form has been moved up and is directly below the search button.
3. The archives are now listed in years. If you click a year, you will receive a drop-down menu of the months.
Patience. I had to be patient with the situation and with myself.
Tolerance. I had to be tolerant of myself, that I make mistakes, and that it is okay.
Acceptance. I had to accept that the situation had taken place (website brought down by me), and accept that nothing would be done to bring it back up until I heard back from the server company.
Surrender. I had to surrender that once I brought down my site, nothing else was in my control, and I had to surrender that it was necessary in my life. Apparently, it was necessary: My database is updated and current. All of the new software works great. I was able to make the changes I wanted to make to have my website be more user-friendly. And, I now have my database automatically backed-up nightly. If these things were not necessary in my life, then me bringing down my website would not have happened.
These are important lessons I learned in my recovery. Utilizing patience, tolerance, acceptance, and surrender in my life helped me reach my cure from Parkinson’s, and as you can see, have helped me remain calm and get to solutions instead of getting angry and frustrated and being filled with self-loathing and self-criticism. Calmly reaching solutions is so much more healing than self-loathing and self-criticism, don’t you agree?
So, the next time you make a mistake, please walk yourself through the steps of patience, tolerance, acceptance, and surrender. It will do wonders for your recovery and your life.
You are worth it!!!
All my best,