Should I Stay or Should I Go Now?
Last time I wrote, I said the week had been tough. I posted it early and said there was more to come about Saturday. Saturday I thought the project was over and I thought that was the message I had to post next. It’s been a rough two weeks, and this post is now late because it was hard to write.
We have Seriously long Underdog Odds
In the back of my head, there’s a part of me that still thinks, maybe the project should be cancelled and I just refuse to see it. The odds of making our financial goals are long because we don’t have a following. That makes our slim advertising budget a more decisive part of the picture, and from what I’ve experienced, most advertising is directed at getting clicks that produce advertising revenue rather that the clicks that potentially lead to sales.
Advertising is Expensive and I’m Skeptical that it’s Well Targeted
What do I mean by that? I follow the National Park Service. The other day I logged on to FB and there were over 20 different ads for the same NPS event lined up consecutively in my feed. That happened for three visits in a row and I believe the park service paid for each of those impressions. While I am correctly identified as an interested potential customer, showing me the event 60 times is not going to make me able to cross 4 states to be there. I’m more than a little worried that I could blow through what is a lot of money to me and have my advertisements dispersed just as uselessly. Our budget doesn’t have that space in it. Worse, ads could target my friends on FB. My FB friends are friends, they aren’t a following, and while I will post about the project, let them know about the other page and appreciate any support they give, how would they feel about me if running FB ads puts me in front of them the way the Park Service was put in front of me?
Should I Seek Employment Instead?
On top of that, the job market is still hiring big time and I’ve been out of work on family leave far too long. Unless we more than beat the odds and are hugely overfunded, this project isn’t going to be a paying gig for me. When I first planned it and started writing here, I expected to be done before now, and before I felt the level of pressure to earn income that I now have. But that isn’t what my body and life were up to. It took longer for me to be ready to make it a success.
And the Unexpected Losses and Expenses
The computer breaking was a last straw. I’m not sure I even mentioned that the crank on Russ’s bike finally gave it up. We bought a refurbed vintage Schwinn last night for Russ to ride while he teaches himself to rebuild his Giant (incidentally we learned last night that Giant built the Schwinn too, just before going out on their own to become the worlds largest maker of bicycles). We were inching toward needing to update/re-script the video before all of this happened, these things happening all together got us there.
I got a bit of a reset when I went in to have the computer looked at. The date of a warranty repair made me realize I hadn’t been working this as long as it felt like I had. I’ve worked at this harder than was practical to the rest of my life for almost two years now, but the Blitzkrieg of personal, national and world level events really stretched the sense of time and it felt like so much longer. Instead of the old normal “OMG I can’t believe that was ten years ago. It feels like yesterday!” Current times are so intense they drag out. the new norm is “That was last year? It feels like a lifetime ago.”
The pressure is largely Self Imposed
Because we’ve worked long and hard, but have not yet put this out in front of people to promote it in any way other than just writing the blog, we decided not to just end the project before it got it’s chance. We’re going to rework the video as soon as one of us has a computer that will do the job and actually see if we can make this happen. Reworking the video will go faster on this side of the learning curve with more of the images sorted out and the end result will be better. I feel a lot of pressure to get this out there and move forward, but many of the delays have improved our ability to run the project well and produce a better result.
Trials and Training
It was a terrible training week. There were weather and “other” problems. That “other” category is taking time off the back end of our lives. It’s been pilling up higher and deeper for some time. Occasionally, I allude to a problem that I don’t explain. I never know how to handle that here. This is where I talk about project progress and challenges. There is a big problem presenting challenges that impact every week, and I say little or nothing about it. I don’t want to miss a target without saying why. I don’t want to be mysterious or vague book it, and I don’t want to go too far down the “TMI” road either. So, I wrote a bit about how that problem effected us this week with the intent of making it a one time event. It took 13 paragraphs without even mentioning any feelings.
And then I deleted it.
We all have Problems
A neighbor I had in my 20s went to marriage counseling and said that they told her that the grass always does look greener… but, if all the problems that existed were clipped to a rope like laundry and people could choose which problems would be their own, everyone would run for the problems they already had because those were the ones they had learned to deal with.
That’s really been helpful for me to think about through the years. I’m not so sure it’s true about the current “other” problem. I don’t know that we’ve learned to deal with this or that there is any good solution. Most people have some level of control over most problems. Aside from choosing not to help the people we care about, we have no control over this. I’ve always found it easier, emotionally, to deal with acts of chance than with some acts of human nature. I think what I can say about the problem is this. Single working Moms need help when they find themselves on the other end of an acrimonious litigious custody arrangement with someone who relentlessly stretches personal and parental rights so far that they harm the child and her family.
So, we’re just going to keep trying to learn to deal with this and rise above as best we can.
Until next time, we’ll see you on the trail, and have a glorious day!