back to the grind.

After 90 days that included major surgery, recovery from that surgery, author visits, writing, lots of Netflix and DVD bingeing, travel, a writing workshop, visits to family, signing with an agent!!, losing my sweet Helena, and freelance work, tomorrow I head back to Humana. The DayJob™ is back.

I have mixed feelings! On the one hand, it’ll be nice to make money again, and after what happened the past couple of weeks in/on Amazon, Anderson’s Bookshop, Target, Whole Foods, Sephora, The Disney Store, Memebox, Planner Chick Designs—you get the idea—this is a good thing. I have a few credit cards to pay off, I want to start saving big time again, and also buy fun stuff.

I’ll once again have some structure to my day, which I’m both sad and happy about. It’s a good thing to have structure, right? But also, I’ll have structure, and accountability, and expectations, and sometimes that is scary. It shouldn’t be. I’ve been doing this a long time. I know I’m sad about losing the ability to keep my own hours. My body naturally wakes up between 1030am-12noon, and I tend to stay up until 3 or 4am. That’s just how I work best, and going to bed early tonight for a 745am alarm is going to feel weird. I have some melatonin to help with that!

I plan to continue working from home the majority of the time, which will help. Except my kitty cat has turned the living room into his giant litter box. We took him to the vet, and since he is so old, we opted not to do the biopsy. Instead, I’ve switched his food. I want to get him on all prescription food, but I need to get a MedCard since the vet is always out of the stuff. In the meantime, I have him on single ingredient food–the expensive stuff from Petsmart. Money is no object when it comes to my remaining kitties. I couldn’t stand a loss so soon after Helena. Maybe I’m overcompensating, but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

My brain is all over the place, apparently. Sorry, but not really. I will have to spend mornings cleaning up after Fi before I can begin working. I have puppy pads everywhere to help with the clean up. He’s old—nearly 18—so I can’t be too mad at him.

I’m finishing up the revisions for my agent (!!! This is still very thrilling to me !!!). I have a write-in this weekend at Rena’s place (YAY I get to see Rena!), so I plan to really buckle down and knock it all out. I told my agent I’d have my revisions to her by 4/17. So I have time… but this weekend I’ll be in a place to really focus. I’m excited!

But for now, I’m going to spend my last night of “freedom” eating fish and chips, watching the OC on DVD, and reading. I’m going to take a long bath, do a face mask, and get everything laid out tonight so I won’t be a mess in the morning. I’m so glad tomorrow is Friday, which means I have a weekend to look forward to right away!

Wish me luck!!

Employment Enjoyment

The Employment Enjoyment Meme

1. What kind of work do you do?
I am a freelance copy editor and proofreader.

2. During the course of your lifetime, which job or career has been your favorite or most fulfilling?
Anytime I get the chance to edit materials meant for primary school I get super excited. My most fulfilling work is when I get to make really cool stuff even cooler.

Fruits of My Labor
this was one of my favorite projects.

3. Do you think it’s necessary in your life to have a day-to-day “career” that is meaningful and service-oriented or do you function better in “just a job” with a steady paycheck?
I have to do meaningful work, but I admit that it taks a certain amount of privilege to be able to say that. Any time I’ve worked on a position that was just a “paycheck”, I felt like I was dying inside. When it’s Sunday night and you’re wishing you’d get sick so you can call off? That’s a problem. When you’re crying on the commute home? That’s a problem. But some people don’t have a choice, and I respect that.

4. Was there ever a time in your life when you wanted to stay home with your children instead of working, even if it meant less money in the household?
Yes, especially when Aidan was first born. Now I am fortunate enough to be able to do most of my work from home.

5. Tell us your worst boss story.
Hmm, there was the time I went to leave work and the boss said, “You have five more minutes.” When I showed him the clock on my computer that did NOT indicate I had five more minutes, he reset the clock and made me sit for five more minutes before I could leave.

6. Have your ever been the boss? Do you like this this role?
No. I purposely avoid those types of roles. I’ve been sort of a “leader” in a way, but I feel that’s different from being a boss. And even then I was dragged kicking and screaming into the role.

7. What is your dream occupation?
New York Times Best-Selling author as well as someone who gets to edit awesome fiction.

Here are some pictures from some of my past jobs:

Working the Front Desk
working the front desk at the stadium scholarship dorm at ohio state university
(yes, i actually lived in the stadium. it was awesome.
this gave me the opportunity to live in less expensive housing.
it actually should’ve been called the stadium workstudy dorm.)

First Day
first day working as a desk attendent at the apt i lived in from 1995-1998

Another Work Picture
i took pictures of myself during breaks when i worked at Nationwide

Grey Contacts
see?

And a couple past workspaces:

Work My Desk at Work

Wanna hire me? Check out my LinkedIn profile. :)

OK speaking of work, I need to get back to it. Ta ta!

LinkedIn Depresses Me

I Can Haz Kitty

Have you ever felt like you are just… not as accomplished as you should be? I mean, you all know how I feel about all this “grown-up” business, but honestly, I often wonder why I just can’t be NORMAL. Why can’t I be happy with getting up five+ days a week, going into an office, coming home, eating dinner, watching TV, and sleeping? People do it every day! And they’re OK with it. The long commute. The lunch break that always goes too quickly. Why can’t I just be satisfied with–or at least resigned to–that sort of life? It’s like, what is wrong with me?

Yesterday, I worked in an office for the first time since November. It was just a one day gig, but could have led to more.

It didn’t go all that well. I was not on top of my game and they were not big with the patience. I mean, part of it was me. I just wasn’t on top of my game. I hate to admit that, but there you go. But part of it was their expectation that someone should walk in off the street, be given five minutes of training, and do everything perfectly. That kind of pressure? It screws me up. But that’s how it is in Chicago. No one has time for training or learning curves. You have to be able to hit the ground RUNNING. It’s super cutthroat. And it does nothing for my self-esteem when I am just not there.

And I say to myself:
You are 37 years old.
Why AREN’T you there yet?
You loser.

You know how people get depressed when they’re surfing Facebook and they see everyone else’s fabulous life? I’m like that with LinkedIn. I get that nifty little email in my inbox with all the updates; everyone’s promotions and new positions and whatnot. Or I’m just browsing and looking at people’s profiles! Everyone’s so accomplished. Or they’ve been in the same company for eleventy-billion years and have gotten a promotion every five years or so just like they’re supposed to. People my age and younger are managers, executies, directors. I don’t feel so bad about that, per se. I think I feel bad because even if I wanted a title like that, I’d never qualify for one. And then I start to feel pathetic.

Because why DON’T I have an established career or job? Why do I just kind of float through life in a way that I have to constantly remind myself to be present, to be intentional, to make it count?

It should not be this hard! Why is it so hard?

deep breath

OK. It’s obvious that I’m freaking out a little bit.
It’s just that…
I have a big decision to make, and this decision is making me super nervous.
It’ll be a big time commitment and financial investment.
The support from my friends and family has been amazing.
I’m still scared.
I’m starting to learn that the easiest choice is not always the right one,
and that the scary choice is usually the one that will take me on an amazing journey.
It will show me things that I’ve never thought possible.
It will push me farther than I’ve ever gone.
It will change my life in a very good way.

Adam and I kind of live by the philosophy Jump, and a net will appear.

So, I think I’m going to do it. I’m going to jump.
oh my god.
Details soon.


Linking up with:

Busy Bee (Pictures)

So, I’ve been pretty busy the past few days. In addition to two really big deadlines (that I made because I AM AWESOME), there were two very limited edition dolls I had to procure. And there was social stuff, some cleaning involved. I’m ready to be done for a while! Just a little while, though. Gotta make that $$!

I never thought that working from home would make me more busy than working full time AND working from home. But it’s OK. I love it this way. My commute is awesome, and sometimes, my “cube mate” is this:

Little Lena
Little Helena

Plus, I get to do the work I love.

Last Wednesday, Adam and I headed out to The Morton Arboretum to look at the trees. I was shocked to see that a lot of them had not peaked yet, but there was still plenty of brilliant color.

Autumn in The Morton Arboretum Autumn in The Morton Arboretum
Autumn in The Morton Arboretum Autumn in The Morton Arboretum
Autumn in The Morton Arboretum Autumn in The Morton Arboretum
[more]

Sunday, we headed out to Naperville to see the Dark Days of Autumn author tour, but mainly because Claudia Gray was there, who we hadn’t seen since July, when she packed up and moved to New Orleans. *sad*

It was SO FUN to see her and hang out again! (Ignore my hair in these pix. It was a TERRIBLE hair day.)

Claudia Gray & Kierstin White Me & My Friend :)

What was really funny is that I was talking with some really young girls in the store as the event was winding down. They were 12. To be honest, preteens tend to scare me, and I’m not sure why. But these girls were super sweet. I’ll talk to teens all day every day but preteens? Not so much. It’s weird. Anyway, Claudia came over to hug me again and to make arrangements for hanging out after the event was over. The girls freaked out. “OH MY GOD. YOU KNOW HER? YOU’RE FRIENDS WITH A REALLY, REALLY, REALLY FAMOUS AUTHOR!” Claudia goes “I’d take off a couple of those ‘reallys’.” Ha.

I bought her new book FATEFUL (werewolves on the Titanic! HELLO!) and because Kiersten White was so adorable and funny, I bought her book PARANORMALCY because well, it sounded awesome. I’m reading that one now. I really need to stop reading that one and read the remaining four library books I have before Monday. But I’ll do that once I take care of my remaining deadlines tomorrow (why do I get the feeling something more is going to come up, though?). I’ll go on a BOOK READING BINGE. OR I’ll just try to renew the books I have to buy me some more time. In fact, I should do that now…..

Monday morning, I got up SUPER EARLY because I wanted one or more Disney Designer Princess dolls. There are ten dolls total. The first three dolls sold with no fanfare. They were being released once per week in the stores and online. Only a few people knew or cared about them, apparently. Some of them were in the stores for weeks before selling out. I hadn’t found out about them several weeks ago, when I ventured into The Disney Store and saw the display and went HOLY MOTHER OF GOD THESE DOLLS ARE AMAZING I MUST HAVE ONE. Then suddenly, it went to a fever pitch! The dolls were selling out within hours and showing up on eBay just a few hours later at nearly 7x their retail price. And unfortunately, the ones I wanted? Tiana and Jasmine? They hadn’t been released yet, so although I had a chance to get them, I knew I’d have to fight for them. The dolls are very limited edition, and the eBay dealers are being jerkwads about it by snatching up all they can and then jacking up the prices. Suck. So, Disney decided to put the remaining five on sale AT THE SAME TIME. Which meant, if I had any chance in hell of getting one, it was going to be about early morning rising and standing in line.

I got to the Disney Store at Block 37 at 7am. There were already more than 20 people ahead of me. Turned out the most of any doll they had was 20. They passed out cards at 9am. Guess who lost out? BUT. My darling, darling awesome husband was standing in the cold at the Michigan Ave. store. For an hour and a half, he froze, and when they go to him, well Tiana was sold out but there were still Jasmine dolls left. He got the card, and I squealed and ran out of the mall and caught the first bus to North Michigan Ave. I joined him in line, got the card, and told him to go somewhere and warm up. By now it was about 9:20. Forty minutes til the store opened. I didn’t get my doll til nearly 11am because they were letting people in one by one or two by two or something like that, to pick up the dolls and pay for them. Fortunately, I was standing near some really nice people, and talking to them (although they were so obviously frozen) helped. It was cold!

But I got my Jasmine.

Princess Jasmine

She’s still in her case–it’s so pretty, plus I need to clean the hell out of this apartment first before I even think of displaying her. (The cleaning is supposed to take place this weekend.)

This morning, I had to get up to try for Tiana. Because honestly, I couldn’t NOT try. She’s my favorite princess! The site came up at 11 CST, and I got in, managed to get TWO Tianas in my cart somehow. Took ages to get one of them out (they were only allowing one type of princess per person–I didn’t want to screw ANYTHING up). But then I couldn’t go any further. Checkout button was like NOPE. THANK YOU! The site was a mess. It kept crashing and freezing and doing all sorts of bad things. But AGAIN, my awesome husband came through. He was on his computer and HE MANAGED TO GET THE ORDER TO GO THROUGH. I got a confirmation email and everything. Tiana didn’t sell out on the Web site until at least an hour after Adam placed my order, so I’m hoping and praying I don’t get an “order cancelled” notice. I am eager for Tiana to arrive. I feel extremely lucky in so many ways and I will love these dolls forever.

I bought Adam brunch for standing in line, but it seems I owe him again!

I’ve been neglecting my yoga. :( I won’t be going tomorrow either. Stuff to do, stuff to do. But Thursday I should be able to go back. YAY.

And that’s all for now. Til next time….

Today is 90% Fired (Multimedia)

Today started off OK. I always fight waking up in the morning; that’s just how I am. But I got up and got dressed and my hair looked all right. I showered Aidan with a billion-ton of kisses, and then I left. It was cold, but whatever. I don’t even expect the weather to approach anything near warmth until June.

Then I got to work. I saw all the work we had to do and immediately went into high-stress mode (and stayed there all day). There was SO MUCH WORK. I was in the office until after 8pm, and I’d been in there that late Friday as well. Knowing that I have to go in this coming Saturday for probably a full day makes me an unhappy camper. Thank the Lord I get time-and-a-half. My check will look nice next week, at least. My body aches with the stress and brain-meltingness of it all, though. I was so busy that I didn’t even think to go to the bathroom until after 3pm. Today was overwhelmingly crazy. Still coming down, actually.

The amount of the day that wasn’t fired was having Aidan an extra night. See, I got his flight departure time WRONG, and got to the airport five minutes before his plane was to take off instead of an hour and five minutes before. Thank goodness Southwest is a reasonable airline. They booked him on a flight tonight and only charged me $15 for the difference in the cost. So, that was a happy accident. He and Adam came for lunch before heading to the airport. I got a bunch of extra kisses and hugs in, and he smelled like brownie batter for some reason.

I miss my little booba. *sigh* It’s too quiet here without him.

Another part of the day that didn’t fail was that I was able to get a shirt from Old Navy that I’d had my eye on ever since I saw someone at work wearing one. It’s so cute, you guys. And the Old Navy I went to had very few left. Check it out:

YAY.

And here is something that can cheer anyone up:

I am so ready for summer. I am ready to wear all the cute new tops I’ve bought. I’m ready for warm weather and sunshine. I’m ready to stop wearing a billion layers, gloves, hats, scarves. I am ready for light breezes and blue skies. I’m ready to pull out the light clothes and put the heavy stuff away. It’s a shame that it stays cold here for so long. *sigh*

Anyway, that’s all for now. Time for Twilight with RiffTracks. LOLarity will ensure. And I’m pretty sure tomorrow will be much better.

Good night.

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