Rambling On…

Some Flashbacks Are Good — 04/16/2019

Some Flashbacks Are Good

Last Monday, I needed to take a break from work because my brain stopped cooperating so I went outside to clear my head. Somehow I ended up at the inner harbor. Must have been on autopilot. It was a nice surprise. If I had been planning to go there, I would have taken the free bus, but if I had a plan, I probably would have gotten too confused and never even left the house.

When I got to the water, my brain came back to me. It was all over the place, but not in a bad way like it was when I was still trying (and failing) to work. I was having flashbacks to before we moved to Baltimore and I lost my SSI. I used to go to the water all the time. It always makes me feel better. It made me remember that there was a time when things weren’t so hard all the time. It gave me a hope that there can be a time like that again.

I am not sure how to swing that reality, but have a few ideas that might help. Karen has been helping me figure out the process of getting SSDI. Not sure if I will be able to get it, and if I can, it seems like it will take a very long time — like a couple of years. The whole process confuses me terribly and there is no way I could even be trying without K’s help.

I am also still trying to change my business into more of a recurring revenue model so I will be less dependent on project work. Long projects are the things that often end up driving me crazy and making my life miserable. It is almost always due to things that are out of my control, like waiting on other people for content, outsourced work, etc. Even when things are timelined in my contract, I have no real way to enforce it when people do not meet their deadlines. If the person not meeting the deadline is someone that I have outsourced work to, then I end up not meeting my deadline with my client. That rarely happens, but it stresses me out more than just about any other work related thing.

I pride myself on my customer service. I like to explain technical things to non-technical people, and to go the extra mile to give my customers more than they expected because I know it will make them happy. I have customers that have been with me for many years for those reasons, and I would like to structure my business to do more of that type of work, along with offering new services to bring in more customers with monthly or annual service plans, as opposed to one-time project fees.

It appears as though my forever wish of having a business partner might come true. I don’t want to speak too soon, or name any names before I am sure that it is ok to speak about it publicly, but I am very excited to finally have help figuring these things out. Gives me hope that this could actually work, and that someday I will be able to make enough money to not always have to be worrying about money. Enough to be able to go to the water if I need to before my brain stops working instead of after, or to take some time off, or any of the other comforts that having enough money to not have to worry about money brings.

It is nice to have hope again. For a while, I was losing it. Not enough to make me stop trying, but enough to make me think about giving up. If I had any sort of alternative to giving up, maybe I would have, but I do not. Trying is what I do. Maybe it is what everybody does. Still, it would be nice to have a break from trying so hard all the time. A break to go somewhere nice with Karen for a few days. A break to go to the water and see some ducks or to go to Florida to see my family. It was nice to have a break like that last week. Next month I will see my family 🙂

Gutenberg Broke My Metabox — 03/26/2019

Gutenberg Broke My Metabox

I am trying to love Gutenberg (the new WordPress editor). In theory, I think it is something that is badly needed by WordPress and something that will make content editing easier for the millions of people who use it — eventually. In practice, it feels incomplete and I am finding it frustrating to use. To be fair, I also found the classic editor (TinyMCE) to be frustrating, and sometimes end up using the text/html editor to write even simple content.

The other day, Sharon and I were rebuilding the AWN website, and noticed that a custom metabox that we use for entering article authors was missing.

Luckily, it was easy to figure out that the missing metabox was caused by the update to Gutenberg and not by the site redesign because all of the metaboxes on custom content types that are not using Gutenberg were working, and they were added by the same plugin that handles all of the custom content functions for the site.

The problem was caused by Gutenberg not being compatible with metaboxes that rely on selectors that target the post title, and the author field was below the post title field. I moved the author field below the post editor to fix the issue, but not without grumbling a little bit about having to place it there instead of where it makes more sense, below the article title in the same place that it appears on the article.

Common Compatibility Issues

Most PHP meta boxes should continue to work in Gutenberg, but some meta boxes that include advanced functionality could break. Here are some common reasons why meta boxes might not work as expected in Gutenberg:

  • Plugins relying on selectors that target the post title, post content fields, and other metaboxes (of the old editor).
  • Plugins relying on TinyMCE’s API because there’s no longer a single TinyMCE instance to talk to in Gutenberg.
  • Plugins making updates to their DOM on “submit” or on “save”.

Gutenberg HandbookCommon Compatibility Issues

Thank you to the authors of the Gutenberg Handbook for helping me to troubleshoot the issue so quickly!