In General
Back to School: What Are You Doing To Prepare
The end of summer. Autumn crispness in the air. Starting a new school year. That last one really gets me going! This season is all about transitions.

Growing up in a Navy family, we would regularly leave town at the end of a school year. After spending the summer in Pensacola with my grandparents it was off to our new home. As hard as these transitions were, at least we had the excitement of living in some great beach towns! It also let us start school with a clean slate and the prospect of making new friends.

Remembering back to when my children were young, as much fun as we had over the summer I was thankful the kiddos were finally back in school so I could get back to work. There are also the friends who’ve succumbed to the lure of summer playtime and are ready to throw themselves back into the real world. Fall offers us all a fresh start.

Taking stock, I find myself busy making a “plan of action” for the new season.

Having the right supplies

There’s nothing like the smell of a freshly sharpened pencil or unwrapping a new ream of paper. It’s essential that any equipment in my day to day life works, and works well.

As a Web Designer, a good computer is at the top of my list. I have an iMac with a dual monitor and love it. But I also need a PC. The old one was biting the dust. (Of course it was past the warranty period when I noticed an obnoxious hum from this machine.) So I went online and bought a new Dell that is oh so silent and plan on donating the old one. Now it’s back to sending emails, writing blog posts, and running my business.

As the owner of a bed and breakfast with dogs, a good vacuum cleaner is essential. A number of years ago, my Miele vacuum that I had for years broke and I succumbed to marketing and bought a Dyson Animal because it was cheaper and it had “Animal” in the name. Recently I began to notice that the vacuum cleaner always smelled terrible. And why wouldn’t it? Who cares if it sucks up the hair if it leaves the room smelling like a wet hound? I started dreaming about the top-of-the-line Meile vacuum with a HEPA filter. Dang that thing is expensive. After weeks of talking myself out of it, it was time to vacuum again. The dog hair and whatever else in the plastic container spewed au de’dog out into the room. Phew! That was the afternoon I went to the store and brought home that honey of a Meile and fell in love. Now I use it frequently though that isn’t even my job.

Sometimes I wonder why I wait so long when fixing something obnoxious makes me so happy. It’s these little things that can drive me crazy and I’m always so happy when I finally take care of the problem. I have to agree with Mr. Natural when he says, “Get the Right Tools for the Job.”

New friends and old pals

This summer, I tricked myself and applied to speak at four Fall WordCamps.

Two weeks ago, I went to WordCamp Asheville and last weekend I was in WordCamp Omaha. I had a great time in both places; Asheville is an artsy, funky city in the beautiful North Carolina mountains and Omaha was an unexpected delight with great restaurants and an Airbnb host who is my new best friend. Both WordCamps were small enough to easily get to know the great people there. I’m actually looking forward to the third stop on my 2018 WordCamp tour, WordCamp New York City, coming up in a few weeks. If you’re attending, and see me there, come say hi!

As much as I hate airports and dread leaving town, it feels good to get out in the world, see old friends and meet new ones. I also think it’s important to giving back to the WordPress community that has given me so much. Speaking at WordCamps and talking with people afterward allows me see and hear about the progress others who are in the same boat are making. It keeps me in touch with why I do what I do. To think, I would have missed all of this had I not tricked myself into going!

Return to the grind

Summer session of the WP Web Designer Mastery Course just ended and we are getting ready to start back up in October. The summer graduates had such a good experience that they are continuing to meet each week on their own! Previous students still have access to the course and weekly coaching next semester. I love seeing people build a foundation and kickstart their web businesses.

After class preparation, the next thing on my back to school list is to go over the New Tricks website and make some tweaks. While I was at the WordCamp talks, I found myself saying, “I think that’s on our website…” Well, that’s not okay! I’d better know for sure. I’ve found that checking and making updates regularly is necessary to make sure your website is doing its job most effectively.

So how about you? If Fall energizes you as it does me, what are you doing to transition into the new school year?

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