About twenty-four years ago I was a graphic designer, yet new to the computer world, other than a stint with a character recognition machine at a newspaper that had employed me. The first computer I worked on was given to us. It had two floppies and no hard drive. I got out the hack saw and a little power grinding tool and installed a hard drive in it, and went from there. I owe the hutzpah to my Dad.

One of my Dad’s greatest legacies to all of his children was a sense of fearlessness when it comes to “fixing” things. I remember Dad literally fixing the car with a screw driver and a hammer. Who knows how far he would have gone in the computer world, given a few years leg up on the industry. When he was young (like 15) he wanted a job, so he told the guy at the dump truck company, “Sure, I’ve driven these things for years.” He got the job, and drove off in the dump truck. That was his full training in truck driving, at that point. He taught us that things make logical sense, and you can just rely on that. Anyway, as a result of  his attitude, I’ve always been willing to jump in and take something apart, figure it out, and “fix” it.

After I “fixed” that first computer, it’s been a non-stop stream of projects to “fix” when it comes to the use of my computer and my graphic design work. And if it wasn’t hardware that needed replacement, there’s been some software issues that needed tending. Unending… unending. Like the time last year when one of my clients had her website compromised, hacked, and plumbed chockfull of malware. OUCH!!

I fixed the site by taking the entire thing down, completely replacing the site with original files, changing all the passwords on everything I had access to, and  successfully re-submitted it to Google. Within a couple weeks, it was compromised again. I fixed the site again, and once more it happened. This time, however, my protections on my own computer became compromised. It took down my whole system. There are people who truly specialize in security and cleaning sites. I am NOT one of them. I suggested my client find one of them, as I am an artist, not a qualified code-wrangler.

There was something about the can-do attitude that doesn’t serve me in fulfilling my purpose, that doesn’t support me in being an artist. That has to do with an additional belief that I somehow tacked onto the can-do. That is: if I can-do I should-do. Finally, as I enter my time of being an elder, I have come to realize that if I tried to do everything I could do so thought I should do, I would never have time to even eat or sleep, let alone create art.

This last May, when Adobe CS5 was released, I was among the first to acquire it. (Oh, I am ever grateful for that!) These days I am concentrating my Can-Do on learning all the wonderful aspects of these creative tools, and working to “fix” my techniques of using them. No more shoulding on myself. Rather, I could, can and do what my heart tells me to.