A Real Human Being

What Matters Most? Learning to Prioritize Joy and Fulfillment

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I’m feeling a bit worn out today.

I have been working on the website a lot this week. And not on the fun stuff. I’ve been doing a lot of web design work, which actually isn’t too bad. I have been designing websites for, I don’t know, 15 years. I mean, not consistently, and not always at a professional level. But I have plenty of experience with it and I know a fair bit.

And I enjoy some aspects of it. Namely the designing portion I enjoy. 

But there are other parts that I don’t love.

Like the coding parts. Or the really technical parts.

I am certainly not an expert coder. Far from it. I do know a bit of the basics and I can often figure out how to get something to work through the code as long as I get some help, either from a tutorial, a forum, or these days ChatGPT. Honestly, AI is incredibly helpful as a coding coach and helper.

But still, I don’t love that part.

Especially when I run into something that I just can’t really figure out, even with help, and that is extremely mentally taxing.

That’s what I have been dealing with this week.

Let me describe the scenario.

I signed up with this new Newsletter software called Beehiiv, which I am really liking. It comes highly recommended, and I think I would probably recommend it. In fact, if you want to try it out you can use my referral link and I will get a little commission. No pressure whatsoever. Just in case.

Anyway, I really like them. They handle a lot of the processes of list-building and segmentation and Newsletter writing and sending, including monetization. They do a lot of things really well. In fact, they are so well-liked that they have grown really fast. So fast that there is one aspect of the workflow that I don’t think has quite caught up to where I’d like it to be.

That aspect is forms.

Now, as I say this I think they will improve this feature. It will just take some time. And honestly, the functionality is fine. The forms work. You can create forms and embed them into your site without much trouble.

It’s just that there isn’t as much customizability to the forms as I would like to see. I mean, don’t get me wrong, there is some. In fact, there is more customization available in their forms than I have seen from other companies. I can style these forms pretty well. Colors, fonts. Well, that’s mostly it. But I have been happy with the end result visually.

For the most part.

However, it’s just an iframe embed, and it’s hard to style iframes, or contents inside of an iframe. 

I suppose my biggest issue visually is the recaptcha.

Now, I love that they use Cloudlfare for the recaptcha instead of Google. I am not a fan of Google’s recaptcha. It’s clunky and ugly and doesn’t work very well. It’s not intuitive and it is often difficult to set up.

Cloudflare is awesome! I recommend them for so much! Website optimization, protection, even hosting! I have hosted several static websites on Cloudflare. I just love them.

So it’s not the fact that Beehiiv uses a recaptcha on the forms, that is important because you don’t want bots spamming you, and it certainly isn’t the fact that they use Cloudflare. It’s that I can’t seem to adjust the spacing between the form field and the recaptcha. The recaptcha sits like 1px below the form field and it just annoys me.

Cloudflare does also offer an invisible recaptcha, which I have used on other sites. I think there is some debate about whether or not that is as effective, but I’m not sure. It would really be nice to be able to choose to use an invisible recaptcha on the Beehiiv forms. Maybe I will see if I can suggest that feature to them.

Anyway, so I decided yesterday that I would just try to figure out a way to use my own forms, built in Elementor, to send data to Beehiiv so that I can just style my own forms as much as I want and even use an invisible recaptcha.

I spent all day yesterday working on this project. I even found this article from a guy who had done just what I was trying to do.

So, being the coding novice that I am, I turned to ChatGPT to see if it could alter the code specific to my needs. Which it did. Or appeared to do.

I refined everything, including telling it to redirect to the code url on my server, and then to my download page so someone could download the offering. I created the .php file and uploaded it to my server in the proper(?) place.

This took me hours and was very mentally draining.

And then, with baited breath and a hopefulness that I would be able to build my own forms and integrate them with Beehiiv to my heart’s content, I tested the form.


It didn’t work.

I was pretty discouraged, frustrated, and exhausted.

But it was at this point that I asked myself a question I should have asked to begin with: how much does this really matter?

And the answer: not that much.

So I said forget this, the Beehiiv forms are fine and I’ll just live with the recaptcha where it is for now.

I fully expect them to add more options to the form building process in the future. And it really isn’t that bad the way it is. I was just being a little nitpicky.

But I like a visually appealing website and I want mine to reflect that. So attention to detail is important to me.

But so is my sanity and my energy.

So I decided that I would just let it be for now.

The thing is that my blog is really about the content. It’s really about allowing me to write and express my thoughts and feelings and to connect with people like you. And when I get so focused on something that isn’t so fulfilling to me and it starts to drain my energy, then I don’t have anything left to do the stuff that is fulfilling and that does bring me joy. And that hopefully is adding value to other people’s lives.

So what is the point of all of this? I guess I am just trying to define that now.

The point is that you should, we should, keep things in proper priority. We probably can’t, nor even should, avoid all of the things that add stress into our lives all of the time. But we probably can reduce those things quite a bit. 

Did I need to spend all day exhausting myself over a few pixels on my website? No, of course not. The form functioned just fine. And it really doesn’t look bad. I don’t think it detracts from the site very much.

Perhaps I could have just let it be, and shifted my focus to what really matters to me on this blog: the writing.

Maybe this is a Don’t-Sweat-the-Small-Stuff post. That wasn’t my intention when I started writing today. But that’s where I find myself now. Maybe I need to learn to prioritize a little better, to let the small stuff go, and focus on what matters most to me. 

It’s not that the form visual doesn’t matter at all, and I think that at some point I would like to address it. But as it started taking too much energy and focus from me and exhausting me mentally and emotionally, perhaps I should have recognized that a little sooner, let go of the project, and shifted to something else that would have been more energizing.

I know I have a tendency to do that. To get hyper focused on stuff and to stress about it until it’s done. I don’t rest and relax enough. I mean, I escape a lot. Like I watch youtube or I play games on my phone or I watch a Korean drama.

But that doesn’t mean I am relaxing.

There is a difference between escaping and relaxing.

I do need to learn to truly let go and relax. Release the stress. And refocus on things that matter more to me instead of letting the stress drive me.

So here’s to recalibrating. Here’s to releasing, relaxing, and refocusing on the things that bring more joy and fulfillment into our lives.

I will try to do better at that. And I invite you to examine your patterns, too.

And maybe we can grow together.

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