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Monday, September 1, 2014

Trade in the Beta Version for a 2.0!!

I admit it, I have had some trepidation about turning 60.
The thought has been like an unpleasant medical procedure.  Like those tests we have to have, say a colonoscopy.  We don't want to do it, but we do.  Then after all the details are accounted for you are required to sign a paper that no one is responsible if something goes horribly wrong.
(See Joan Rivers on this)
No flies on the medical community but they are on to something.  What a great contract for life.  Sign here, no option for litigation because no one is responsible if something goes horribly wrong.
Life...what could go wrong? 

How about.....anything?
Our lives can turn on a dime.  Spend just a little time reading blogs and you will find folks who have their lives turned upside down and inside out.  Many of their blogs come from a place within that the writers didn't even know they had.  They start writing to make sense of it all, only to discover lots of other people rowing the same boat.   Through their writing they are looking for a way to make their lives better.  Libraries and book stores are filled with self help books, we are inundated with life coaches and daily affirmations. We are just trying to improve our beta versions.
Definition of: Beta Version
A pre-release of software that is given out to a large group of users to try under real conditions. Beta versions have gone through alpha testing inhouse and are generally fairly close in look, feel and function to the final product; however, design changes often occur as a result.

Beta testing is imperative when writing software because developers are too close to their products, and fresh eyes are essential. In addition, for Windows developers especially, it is impossible to duplicate the myriad configurations of PC hardware/software that exist, and beta versions test for potential conflicts as much as usability. In more closed environments such as the Mac and mobile phone platforms, beta testing is less about coexistence with other software and more about functionality and ease of use, the latter a long-standing joke in this industry 

Don't read the definition like a scientist would, read like it is your life.  

The most successful of us have started walking on a path, stopped, and then assessed the path.  Then they turn their findings over to fresh eyes who suggest changes.  The changes are implemented and a 2.0 model of themselves is created.  Failure is never considered, problems  are nothing more than a challenge to make their lives better. Once changes are  assessed a 2.0 version is made.

Definition of 2.0?  

After reading approximately 10 definitions of 2.0, I decided none worked.  So my definition goes like this,  "We used the Beta version to discover problems with the software.  We expected to find problems and we were helped by a community of people who used it and critiqued it.  Those problems were fixed and we came out with 2.0...."

Sheldon would shudder at my definition.

I just read an article on Jerry Jones written by Don Van Natta Jr. for ESPN the magazine.  It was brilliantly written and included one of Jones favorite life lessons.  It came from his football coach at the University of Arkansas, Frank Broyles.  He said Broyles always raised his four fingers on the football field as a reminder for his players to try to preserve their energy for the games most critical time--the fourth quarter.  

This is my fourth quarter.  No drama it just is.

From the time I turned 59 I wanted to make big changes in my life to cushion the shock of turning 60.  But life had other plans.  I tore the meniscus in my knee and found myself unable to walk for a few months and I am only now coming to what may or may not be a total recovery.  The universe tapped me on the shoulder reminding me I am not in charge.  

My beta version was all about control.  My 2.0 version will have that button removed and a dimmer switch installed for those times control becomes an issue.

My beta version included anxiety, a sense of humor, anger, regret, a sense of style, a green thumb, a tendency to focus on problems rather than solutions, no appetite control, honesty, loyalty, a good teacher and speaker, tendency to settle for good when great is is attainable.

Sound familiar?  I don't want to throw out all the aspects of my beta version, just improve them.  

I understand that a 2.0 version is only a second upgrade, when in fact I am closer to WD40 or Formula 409.  But not WD39 or Formula 408

I took artistic license, I can do that it's my birthday.