Monday, November 24, 2008

Monday, Monday, You Gave Me No Warning...

Monday has always been the day of the week that separates the weekend from the work week. On Monday, you leave home and go back to the office. Except now, for me, my office is that section of my living room where the armoire sits. And going to work means opening the cabinet doors that hide the files, the computer, the printer and turning them on.

The first Monday of this adventure I relished. I was living that after the weekend fantasy we all harbor. You know, the one where you hear the alarm go off on Monday morning and wish you did not have to get up.

Still it was August, and vacation time and lots of people take off on Mondays in the summer. So, it didn’t feel that different. Not yet. The significance of Mondays in my new world had not sunk in. Mostly I felt like I was on that vacation I had planned to take all year and had not around gotten to.

And then Labor Day came. The summer was officially over and everyone was back. To school. To work. To getting serious again.

That was the Monday it hit me. Things were different now. Everyone had some place they had to be. I did too, but apparently I was already there.

Mondays were always an important day to me. That was the day to plan the week, to assess what needed to get done and to take care of that pile from last Friday I said could wait until after the weekend. What I wasn’t prepared for was that working on my own, writing, it was more important that Mondays were productive than ever. If on Monday I did not feel like I had made some progress there was no hope for the week. It would slip away from me.

I am a bit superstitious. It is the Greek in me. We are a superstitious lot. My Monday superstition has always been that if I can complete the entire New York Times Crossword, the easiest one of the bunch, it is going to be a good week. Now I have a new superstition. If Monday is productive, if I get some good writing done, the rest of the week will flow easily.

While the artist in me is thriving, I get this is no time to forget about my Type A business side. So, Mondays have become days to plan. Plot a schedule for my writing. Time to blog. Time to work on the novel. Look at the calendar. See what’s already planned. Check in with my agent. Create my to do lists. Because if I don’t, the day gets away from me. I water plants, do a laundry, sip some tea, take a nap, read a magazine and put off the writing for later. And if Monday slips away, as my superstition goes, so goes the week.

Discipline is important. You can’t produce without some discipline. As much as it is my right brain that kicks in when I am in the zone, my left brain is there to make sure I show up. Writing is a muscle that needs to be exercised like any other. Practice makes you better. Practice requires discipline. Mondays are for planning my discipline.

So here it is Monday again. A short week with the Thanksgiving holiday. That probably explains why I missed a few in the crossword today. There are only three days of work this week. Three days to be productive. So if I change my superstition rules a bit, ( which being Greek, I am allowed to) and use the shortened week as an excuse for why I did not finish the whole puzzle, it is going to be a good week.

Friday, November 21, 2008

What did you DO today ?

The other night I was out with friends and I got THE question.
“So,” they asked, their eyes filled with bewilderment as to how one fills day after day when those days no longer include going to an office, “Tell us, what did you DO today?”

I admit that the question throws me off a bit. I am rarely at a loss for words, yet still this question makes me stumble. Do I dare tell them that I was in my bathrobe until 10 after which I ran to a dance lesson with my dancing guru, Alex Tchassov to pretend I am Julianne Hough on Dancing with the Stars? Should I lie a bit and omit the little nap I squeezed in before the shower I did not get to until 4, giving me just enough time to get ready to meet them? Do I tell the truth or do I create a story for those hours they were in and out of meetings, their eyes glued to their Blackberries? Do I concoct a more impressive story of what my day was like so no one worries about what I am doing or how I am going to pay my bills?

I know what is going on inside of their heads. I was them once, looking at my friends downsized or squeezed out of high paying, corporate jobs, wondering how they filled a day. I thought they must miss the energy inside the office, the tension, the gossip, the thrill when they get to the coffee machine in the kitchen and find there is still enough left to fill their cup, a sign for sure that it will be a good day.

I judged. I worried. I wondered when my unemployed friends would forget about that idea floating around inside of their head that they were going to pursue their dream, the one we all have about doing something we really love, instead of something that pays the bills. The one we had when we were first starting out, before life got in the way. I wondered when they would get a grip and get a real job.

Their faces reflect back to me the challenges I am all too well aware of. The economy is in a shambles. How many writers really make enough to earn a living? How many people really LOVE what they do? Why do I think it will be any different for me?

Before I can open my mouth, I notice something else in their faces. Hope. Hope, that there is life beyond the steel and glass of the business world. I see their desire for me to create something big. Because if I can, then perhaps their turn is next.

So, I went for the truth. I told them about my day, relishing each morsel of it. And added in one more thing I accomplished. I posted a blog.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Welcome to My Blog !

Welcome! I am off on a new adventure! After a career that includes seven years teaching public school and twenty five years in Corporate America I am taking a reinvention break. My intention is to use this time to make a go of my true passion, writing. Yes, you read that right. I am going to do what I love most, write and ask the Universe to support me in my journey.

In the last five years I managed to write a novel in my free time. Forty Days. When others in the world of nine to five flocked home to tend their children or ventured to the golf course to hone their game, I would squeeze in some writing time. An hour here, an evening there. A notebook in my purse for a good idea that might find its way into a busy day. A supportive writing group to urge me on. I found when I was writing I was happiest. Lost in the world of my characters, hands to the keys, I escaped the pressures and craziness of what life is like for a sales executive in the business world.

Now I am a victim of downsizing. Except I detest that word. Victim. It denotes such helplessness and that is not something I believe in. So let’s rephrase that. I am the recipient of a downsize package that I can now use as an opportunity. I could seek another position at another corporation OR I can see what new I can create.

So far, I have started my new novel, Seduced by Corporate America, a fictional account of a child of the sixties who set out with dreams of changing the world and finds herself side tracked, lured into the intoxicating world of the Reagan eighties only to wake up one day and find that a new millennium had dawned and she wasn’t sure what had changed except for her.

And now my blog. On this my birthday, November 18, I launch One Woman’s Eye, my very own on line journal to chronicle what I observe as I recreate. I make no promises of what it will be. Entertaining? Perhaps. Amusing? Could be. Thought provoking? Depends on what provokes you. Interesting? I hope so. Sexy ? Could be. Worth Reading ? That, I promise it will be. Worth Reading.