A Stress Fueled Three Month Hiatus

So, obviously, I’ve been MIA for the last three months. I’m not even going to say “whoopise” because it wasn’t like I just forgot or kept postponing things, I’d made a choice for the sake of my stress. If that makes any sense at all.

Something you should know about me is when I’m stressed past my limit, I have a tendency to shut down. Like pulling all my reserve energy into a few select things, because quite frankly that’s all I can handle at the moment.

I’d just over packed my schedule. Way too much was on my plate at one moment. I’d had two jobs, three at one point where I was transitioning to another. My main job was taking up a lot of my time and a huge part of my stress. Home life was going crazy between drama, lack of time, and so forth. There was just so much going on in my life I couldn’t keep up with.

I’m big on mental health. And I tell people all the time that I firmly believe in mental health days. You know, if you break your leg you aren’t going to be walking around on it the next day…you need time to let that heal. Mental health is the same thing.

Now realistically, I don’t have the ability to just drop everything for a few days and focus on destressing and decluttering my mind. But there were several things that I could drop to give myself the opportunity to breathe and think.

First to go were my other jobs. While I loved one of them and, honestly, hated the other, it was one of those moments of “is the extra money worth what all I’m missing out on?” In the grand scheme of things, they weren’t. To be 100% honest, there was a way I could go about that, and I didn’t. It was a panic fueled decision. And after the panic and guilt went away, I felt marginally better.

The second thing to go was the blog. Not permanently, of course. Between 70-80 hour work weeks I was finding less and less to blog about. Simply because I didn’t have any time to do anything except work, try and find time to spend time with my family, and still somehow eat and sleep in there too. I really didn’t want to be one of those people who threw out fluff pieces just to maintain a consistent blogging schedule, because I didn’t do anything other than work. And let’s face it, no one wants to come to a blog to read about someone’s job, which I can’t write about anyways.

So the blog went next. Which sucked. I love my little piece of the internet I’ve got over here. But I wasn’t going to force myself to write crap posts about absolutely nothing, when that time could be spent getting a handle on my brain. You know? It was honestly the harder of the two choices.

Thirdly, my physical health kind of went out the window. Which I guess makes sense. Mental health is connected to physical health, and if one is down the other is too. That’s not to say that I completely ignored it. But it was the same kind of choice.

I could force myself to count my calories, or I could just be happy that I managed to remember to actually eat something more than a quick lunch that day. I could ignore exercise for a few weeks months, or I could use that extra 30-45 minutes for sleep or family time…which I desperately needed.

Because of that, I found myself sitting at 192 pounds. Normally, I would have been ecstatic about that. Not this time around. Because I knew that I wasn’t finding the time to eat enough to maintain the busier life I was leading. If someone has found the secret to making sure you have enough time to eat in a 20 hour day. Please, please, let me know!

So yeah, things back pedaled quite a bit. But I’m moving back towards feeling better. And yeah, three months, there hasn’t been a huge change in my stress levels. I’m still really stressed 99% of the time. But I’m managing it better. I can give more to my family, more to my job, and more to me.

So, I’m back as much as I can be. In the last three months I have cleaned up some things in my life, gotten more time out of it too. I can’t promise that I’ll be posting three times a week or whatever thing I set up. But I can try to continue to post about the more “worthy things” that I have found time to do.

If you’ve stuck with me through these last three months, thank you! If you hightailed it outta here, I can’t blame you!

Cheers to feeling better!

Always, Always backup

I don’t think I’ve ever written a post on blogging. But if I can give you one singular piece of advice that just saved my butt… it’s to always, always backup what you have. Seriously. Always. I don’t care if you think it’s a waste of 3 minutes or whatever. Seriously. BACKUP your stuff.

See, I have all my stuff (hosting/domain/etc) is all through GoDaddy. So imagine my surprise when I got to log into my blogs wordpress and I can’t. And then I go to type in my domain, and it’s not there. Instant heart attack. Everything I had done in the last several years was GONE. I called GoDaddy to see what happened… and guess who forgot to update their card info for auto renew!!! Yeah, that’s me. To be fair, this was all my fault. I didn’t see the “you gonna lose yo shit” emails, I didn’t log into my stuff… I completely missed it.

Now, I am a firm believer in backing up every single thing that I do. And it’s probably over kill, but it served me well today.

I actually had to go and repurchase a new hosting plan. Which, silver lining, actually was worth my while. I was paying $7.99 a month, every month. I just got a full year of hosting for $12 using a promo code. #heckyes Ultimately saving me 80 bucks, and never needing to worry about renewing my stuff for the next year. I’m totally ok with that.

What I wasn’t ok with was worrying about all the stuff that I might have lost. When you buy a new hosting plan, you’re starting completely fresh. 100% over. Everything you have put into your blog is gone. GONE. GONE.

That might not seem like much, but it really is.

Thankfully I had Updraft Plus installed as a plug in, and it had done a back up on the 13th of this month. It was a pretty easy thing, downloaded the file from my email and reinstalled it. And in about 10 minutes, I had all my blog posts back. #thankheavens

Three nail biting minutes later, and I saw this…

Sure, I lost everything that I’d posted prior to the last backup, which was only 3 posts. I’m totally ok with losing that. I would lose 3 posts vs 250+ posts any day.

Then was the issue of my layout. Because not only did I lose my posts momentarily, I lost my layout. Which was another heart breaking thing. The backup included all my widget layouts, my image links (like to my Twitter/Pinterest/etc), all of my menus and pages… but it didn’t keep what it was supposed to look like.

And this is where “CONTROL FREAK CATALOG EVERYTHING NICOLE” comes into play.

I had it all saved.

I had copies of all the images I’d used in my email.
I had the html color codes I used (and what I used them for) written down.
I had special little CSS codes I’d used copied and sent to my email.
I had what theme model I used (GeneratePress FTW)

I had almost 100% of everything kept!

Granted, I didn’t need all of that. Somehow as soon as I reinstalled my GeneratePress layout a lot of my stuff formatting was still there. But without all those emails I’d sent myself, I never would have remembered which layout I’d used in order to get it back.

Phew.

Granted, some things look a bit different. I need to re-upgrade my Generate Press to get all the little tidbits back (like my footer and copywrite, etc).

But all in all…. I saved myself a lot of time.

It took me about 3 hours to fix what had originally taken me 60 hours (yes, you read that right. SIXTY HOURS) to complete.

Now, you’ll notice a few things are weird.

All the pictures in my blog posts are gone. Mainly because those were all saved on my hosting server, and those weren’t backed up. (Like my signature I’d used at the bottom of every post). I could go through and re-add them…and maybe one day I might. But that’s not a today kind of thing….especially since I’ve recently gotten a new laptop so much of my stuff I’d have to search through so much crap to find them.

My background is a little bit different (silly me didn’t save the last copy).

The formatting is a touch off.

I have to reinstall my plug ins.

But seriously, those are minor things. I’d say I’d lost only about 95% of my stuff. And those things were so small that I can live without them in the grand scheme of things.

Seriously, if you take anything from my limited knowledge of having a blog. Backup your stuff. I went from nearly in tears to feeling pretty darned ok with my little “opsie”

So that was my blog moment. My heart wrenching, scary, panic inducing moment.

Thankfully it worked out as best as it can.

Phew

<3 Nicole (because, guess who didn't save their signature... HA) Has anyone out there had their backups completely save their life?