Monday, January 2, 2017

My Brain Hurts

Sometimes I miss the old days - you know, the times when you didn't have a password for every freaking thing in your life.  The times when all you needed to remember was your locker combination.  The times when you actually memorized your friend's phone numbers.  Back in the day, when I worked as a secretary, I had all of the addresses of our branches memorized - there must have been close to 30 of them.  Now?  I literally know just three phone numbers - mine, Jeff's, and Allie's.  I don't even know Sam's phone number anymore, but that's mostly because he's had several in the last few years thanks to working for a telecommunications company.  At that's where having a smart phone and a computer comes in handy, because I don't HAVE to remember anything - my devices do it for me.  Except that in this day and age of hacking and identity theft, you have to password-protect everything.

I was hacked a few months ago by some sort of Chinese/Russian team, and once I got all of my passwords changed in a panicked hurry, I worked on getting better security, and started using Last Pass.  Which meant that since it was on my iPhone as well as my desktop computer, I needed to start using a password on my phone to protect my information.  I still hate having to do this and am irrationally resentful at the extra couple of seconds it takes for my phone to recognize my thumbprint.

Couple all of this with a new computer, and my brain is in overdrive.  Now, some of this is on me - I hadn't progressed with the times and was still using Microsoft Excel and Word; my new computer is a Mac and I'm having to switch all of my documents to Google Drive, which I've been able to learn with help from my in-house technical support person, aka Allie.  The new program isn't hard to figure out, but I'm dealing with some messy, unorganized files which are my fault...things I meant to get to eventually but never did, and boy howdy have they piled up (electronically, anyway) into what feels like an overwhelming amount of stuff to go through.

Along with needing to move and clean up files, I also needed to address my password situation - my original choices were all over the place and insanely complicated thanks to the paranoia that came with being hacked.  I started working on everything a few days ago and was in a scattered, discombobulated state pretty quickly - along with learning how things work a Mac (which so far hasn't been too challenging - I guess because I've had an iPad and iPhone for several years now and am somewhat familiar with the Apple way of doing things), I was jumping from one thing to the next, and feeling like I'd never get anything completed.

In frustration I took a break, walked away from my desk, and got a big glass of water.  As I drank, I realized that the same feeling I was having now about all the computer stuff was very similar to how overwhelmed I felt when I first started my diet, way back in 2008.  I had an idea of what I needed to do, but when I looked into diet plans, I became aware of so many different ways to lose weight and as I read about one way and then another and then yet another way, I felt overwhelmed.  And then I read my first blog where the writer had lost over 100 pounds and realized that even if I lost 100 pounds, I'd still be quite a ways away from what I thought was my goal weight and I really just about stopped the entire diet right then and there.  This thing was beyond me - or so I thought.  Obviously, I was wrong, but those feelings were real then and still wash over me at times during various situations.

Feeling overwhelmed about stuff is normal, especially when you're trying something different.  Wanting to get it all done perfectly the first time is normal.  Letting go of perfection - in this instance, not wanting to load anything on the computer that might clutter up my brand new hard drive - was hard.  But I managed to do just that, which is why my old documents are still not quite organized, and we won't even begin to speak of the external hard drive full of pictures - I mean at least they are in labelled folders, but they need to be culled...and egad, my printed photos are insane...why oh why do I have double prints of everything??  See, I just went there - I do not need to think about that right now, as those photos are perfectly fine living in boxes in a closet.

For the moment, I'm able to use my new computer, which is why you're seeing this blog post, and my new set up makes me happy:
Photobomb by Henry.  The computer is that little silver square box - a Mac Mini.  My kadults are pretty awesome.
My new HP printer stopped printing after a few months, and Amazon came through with a refund, so I bought a Brother printer and set it up all by myself, wireless and all - and yes, I was really proud of myself after the fiasco of getting the HP printer set up.

I'm working on being more relaxed about things - stressing over my passwords didn't help the situation, even though I got everything cleaned up eventually.  If I can just remember to apply this idea - to chill out, work through it, take small steps - I suspect my brain will be a lot happier with me in the future...in all instances.  Plus I've got my passwords written down now for easier access - kidding!  But that would make my life simpler.

17 comments:

  1. I get overwhelmed about passwords. I also have a book where I write them down. Even at work I have like 4 different passwords.... crazy!

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    1. It really IS crazy. I don't think it's going to change, unless everything goes to a fingerprint log in...maybe someday.

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  2. How nice of your kadults to gift you with the mac mini! I honestly think unless you need Windows for business reasons, macs are much more user friendly.

    I use an app for passwords and that requires a password to get in to but I only have to remember that one - which presents a whole other issue. These days I honestly wonder if I shouldn't also write them down - especially with what we've been going through with my brother's various electronics that we are trying to hack in to. Not fun.

    I think you've approached this correctly, just as you did with your diet - just work at it a little at a time and eventually you'll get where you're satisfied!

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    1. I had a panic attack with Last Pass the other day when I couldn't find the paper where I'd written my ONE password to get into the program. Crazy. I can't imagine trying to hack into a loved one's computer though - that does make me think we all should send our passwords to certain relatives just in case.

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  3. I totally get the whole PW thing, between my personal stuff and work stuff it is so overwhelming. I always say if I lost my notebook with all my passwords in it I wouldn't be able to function in life..lol

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    1. And I'm not even dealing with work passwords anymore - I would definitely have to carry a book with me if I were, I'm sure.

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  4. The password thing is ridiculous! At work, I have about 10 passwords for all the different systems we use. I have them all written down. REAL SAFE, right?

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    1. That is pretty ironic, but I'm sure you're not the only person who is writing them down - who can remember so many passwords??

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  5. I have not been hacked yet. Although Yahoo sent me a message about being hacked. I didn't even know I had a Yahoo account... so I'm a little casual about passwords. I've got the book with them all written down too :) Noticing Helen's comment, maybe the book of passwords isn't such a bad thing for my family if something happens to me!

    And now I'm feeling pressure to organize my photos! TOO MANY STUPID FOOD PHOTOS in there. Plus getting them on an external hard drive would be nice. When my computer died about 5 years ago, I lost all my photos.

    Your Mac Mini is super cool! I hope you like it. I have only had an iMac, and I still like it. Any kind of word-processing thing makes me crazy. I just use Text-Edit on the Mac. Its simple enough for me to process :)

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    1. I got that Yahoo hacked message, too - and I was all "I have a Yahoo account?" so yeah, I am right with you on that one, LOL.

      I'll have to look at Text-Edit, thanks. :)

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  6. I hear you.

    But love your new set up.

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  7. I think a book of passwords is a great idea to keep with a living will. I guess you need to remember to update the list when they change, though.

    Macs are awesome! I switched to Windows when I became an MT because most software was incompatible with a Mac, and I missed it. Now that I don't need Windows, maybe I'll go back to a Mac when I need a replacement.

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    1. I really like the Mac. Still working on finding something to replace PicMonkey, but other than that, I've been able to make the switch fairly easy.

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  8. I can't believe that printer broke down after all that! GRRRRR!!!

    My husband uses one of those programs for his passwords, but I do write all mine down which is SUCH a no no!

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    1. I felt pretty safe with writing my passwords down and keeping the list at home, plus only having a couple of variations for most of my log ins...but that turned out to bite me when I got hacked, which is why I have many passwords with dumb symbols and letters and numbers in them.

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  9. YESSSSS.
    I loved loved loved life online until I too hit the wall a few weeks ago.
    I so wish many days we could go back to the '90s :-)
    and when did the 90's get/become the olden days?!

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