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Friday, 3.3.06: Invisible Transitions

I've thought a lot about agonizing transitions: the commitment is made, you have to unlearn all your old habits, you are tempted to go back, and you wonder if you'll ever get across the transition zone. Whether it's a big organizational change at work or remodeling a kitchen or buying a new piece of equipment, there is always that frustrating period where your life is "neither fish nor fowl."

But I'm realizing that there are invisible transitions too. The "oh, shit" variety is something like that mysterious 10-pound weight gain. Or realizing you've fallen out of favor with your boss. Or realizing you no longer have anything in common with your "best friend." Or the end of the American era.

Occasionally these invisible transitions are pleasant. Like discovering a bratty adolescent has turned into an adult.

This week I decided to push myself into an ugly transition zone -- from doing all my web design in Microsoft FrontPage to doing it in Macromedia's Dreamweaver.* I had tried Dreamweaver 3 way back when and it sent me screaming into the night -- and back to FrontPage.

I got the upgrade and geared myself up for some pain. But something weird happened. I opened up Dreamweaver and kind of knew what I was doing. Hmmm... Apparently, I had spent so much time over the last couple years figuring out CSS styles and HTML codes to get my FrontPage layouts to look exactly how I wanted that I'd already transitioned myself into apprentice expert status. Cool.

Now if I could just wake up one morning and discover that eating M&Ms all day was a great formula for losing 10 pounds.

*Techie Note: I had thought I would transition to Adobe GoLive to advance my skills, but my research said GoLive was similar to FrontPage in its user friendliness and middling capabilities. Dreamweaver is still the professional's choice.



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