I’ve been doing a lot of frontend coding the past couple of months, and if you’ve ever worked on CSS before than you know how frustrating it can be to hunt down those pesky styles forced upon you from the browser which override and block the flow of your own gorgeously crafted style sheet waterfall.
It’s also frustrating when life itself seems to throw its own ‘!important’ declaration and thereby dashing your attempts at building your living style sheet, if you will. Life seems to do that with me, constantly distracting me from the path I’m trying to forge.
I am quite distractible.
I connect so much to Creep, that song by Radiohead, when the lyrics seem to cry out in frustration: “I want a perfect body”. I’m a skinny dude, and I’ve always wanted to gain muscle mass, but it never seems to happen! It’s very frustrating when I stuff myself full of food and guzzle gallons of protein dust, download every fitness app I can find, and yet never seem to escape this bony, string-bean body. RRRggggg.
What does this have to do with code? Well… it’s like those ‘!important’ declarations in CSS. They appear in reality, too. Take my eyebrows, for instance. They don’t actually exist, instead too chubby caterpillars died on my forehead, and if they weren’t furry enough already, long black grass grows on their graves directly above my eyes.
I pluck out offending hairs occasionally, and recently I just tried waxing them for the first time, yet they’ve come straight from that Eagles song, Hotel California, for no matter how many times I “stab it with steely knives, I just can’t kill the beast”. Every time they grow back (which is inevitable since my genes have a coded ‘!important’ declaration in them that nullify all my attempts at taming them) I continue my plucking.
Because it’s important to me.
I mean, not terribly important. I won’t shrivel up and die when that unibrow starts to show its sprouts again, but I do enjoy my brow better with less foliage. It’s important enough to me that I do it weekly and feel a boost in self-esteem every time because I know I’ve taken the time out of my day for something that is important to me. That feels good.
So, if thin eyebrows are important to me, than why do I not give more weight and importance to the other things I want in my life? Like gaining more muscle mass and having a healthy body instead of driving through McyDs again cuz I love me some nuggets and life’s ‘!important’ declaration told me that I didn’t have time to cook a good meal before work?
Or writing a blog post and creating some little poem instead of turning on the tube because GoT or Rick and Morty is ‘!important’? Or making more time to see my family instead of constantly being a workaholic? What ‘!important’ declarations am I allowing to override my own goals, my own loves, my own ‘!important’ things in my life? Quite a lot, to be honest. And as I’m writing this, it’s becoming evident that life isn’t the one throwing all these ‘!important’ declarations at me, it’s me adding that ‘!important’ declaration to things that maybe shouldn’t be so high on my priority list.
Screw those pesky ‘!important’ declarations slipping in underneath my feet and getting the last laugh. Since that CSS code comes in at the end and overrides the CSS code that precedes it, I will continue to set my own ‘!important’ declarations right after life tries to revert me to something that isn’t the me I envision myself to be. Or, I guess more accurately, right after my own habits try to declare something as ‘!important’. One day at a time, I will declare what is truly important to me in life, and constantly remind myself of its importance.
One of those things is creating art. Melding my work with my play. I’ve made an ‘!important’ declaration to myself to write a Code Poem at least once a week (but I’m aiming for more). Hence the bit of fun with CSS posted above, another bit of ‘Code Poetry’ playing with those ‘!important’ declarations.
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Hope you’ve found some balance in your day today! If you enjoyed visiting my blog, subscribe and share, and jump into the comments section below if you loved or hated anything you read, or if you just want to discuss how radically cool React.js, or maybe who the hell Supreme Leader Snoke could be. Can’t wait to hear from you! 🙂