Slow progress is still progress.

When I began this blog, I didn’t know I should add images to blog posts. While I think my earlier posts have good content, they don’t exactly look good.

I’m a writer, not a graphic designer.

When Bonny from Oysterbed7 suggested that I consider adding images, I did so half-heartedly. She’d been blogging a whole year longer than I had, and I knew her advice was good. It just wasn’t something I felt like doing. For a while I added images to some posts as the mood struck me. Even when I started to include them in all my posts, I didn’t know what I was doing. Lots of things are off about those images: the sizing, the fonts, the alignment, and so on. On top of that, I didn’t realize that I would want to use Pinterest-friendly images in my posts—or that dimensions that work for Pinterest don’t work well in other contexts.

At the time, I was thinking about my content, not understanding that some readers really need a visual to help them focus or to catch their attention in the first place. I didn’t understand the role of images in blog posts, and I had no idea how to make appealing images. I was a writer, not a graphic designer. Image design was way outside my comfort zone and my range of desire for my blog.

I’ve learned a lot over the past few years. As I look at other blogs, I notice the images and think about what appeals to me and catches my eye. I’ve read a lot of posts about image creation from folks who know what they’re talking about. I’ve figured out a great deal by trial and error (mostly by error). My images aren’t great yet, but they are far better than they were when I began.

I’m still stubborn about a couple design principles, but since I’ve made progress on other aspects of using images, I figure I’ll come around on those principles one of these days, too.

I’m applying what I have learned to what I do now. It still isn’t easy, but the more I do it, the easier it gets. (Yay! for the templates at Canva.com!)

That’s great for my posts going forward. However, a lot of folks find my blog by searching for something I wrote a few years ago. I have a lot of updating to do if I want my older posts to look better.

If only I’d known . . .

I’ve been slowly working my way through the older posts. Every day I share a post from my archives on social media. As I select those posts, I update the images. Over the past two days, I’ve done images for 25 posts. For each post, I make two images—one that looks nice at the top of the post and on Facebook, and another that works well on Pinterest.

It isn’t so bad to make two images each time I write a new post, but 50 images in two days? Yikes. Is it any surprise that my shoulders feel tense and my eyes are glazing over?

I’ve caught myself thinking, Man, if I’d only known how much images mattered, I would have figured this out from the get-go. Or maybe I’m trying to do too much at once. Maybe I should figure out a way to go at a slower pace. If I keep trying to do so many at once, I’m going to develop a dislike for them.

It’s a lot easier to do things right from the beginning than it is to play catch-up later, isn’t it? It was with my marriage anyway.

I’ve often looked at the early years of my marriage, shaking my head about all the things I didn’t understand. I thought about what I wanted, not what my husband needed—or what my marriage needed. I didn’t understand the role of sex in developing and maintaining intimacy. When we had sex, I often did so half-heartedly. If something was outside my comfort zone or my range of desire, well, Big Guy could just forget about it.

I’ve learned a lot over the past few years. As I see other marriages, I pay attention to what seems to work and how spouses treat each other. I’ve read a great deal about marriage and sexual intimacy from people who know what they’re talking about. I’ve figured out a great deal by trial and plenty of error. My marriage is far better than it was at the beginning.

I still struggle with some things, but since I’ve made progress on so much else in our marriage, I figure I’ll come around on those things one day, too.

There’s a lot that still isn’t easy for me, but the more I do it, the easier it gets.

Slow progress is still progress.

Frustration was frequent as I worked on the sexual intimacy in my marriage. I frequently thought, Man, if I’d only known how much sex mattered to marriage, I would have figured this out from the get-go.

But here’s the thing: hindsight is 20/20. It’s easy to see now what I wish I’d known then—but I can’t change what I did or didn’t do at the time.

Thoughts, feelings, and habits left over from the long-ago years still surface occasionally. Although I can’t change the past, I can change the thought, feeling, or habit now.

I can start where I am and make changes going forward, slowly working my way through the things I still need to address.

Perhaps my slow pace was why my efforts worked. I often felt overwhelmed and uncomfortable, but when I started to feel tense or worn out, I allowed myself to stand still and breathe while preparing for the next challenge.

It didn’t seem like I was making much progress at all, but after two years, I suddenly realized how far I’d come.

It turns out that slow progress is still progress.

The transformation in my marriage is the result of a series of many very small, slow changes.

So maybe I’ll slow down with the images. After all, it worked for my marriage.

 

Slow progress is still progress.

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2 Thoughts on “The Image of Progress

  1. What a wonderful PICTURE of progress. (Pun intended). It can certainly be hard to go back and fix things, and as you pointed out, the longer things slide, the more work is needed to make things right, but it is never too late to start, and always worth it to begin the process. We might never catch up completely, but that should not stop is from making an honest effort.

    • I approve the pun. 🙂 You’re right that it is never too late to start. Even though we may never get caught up, the picture of our new progress might look much richer than if we had done it right the first time–because doing it right the first time might be good enough, whereas doing it right after you’ve learned more, the picture is filled with details, wisdom, and insight that would not have been possible before.

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