Sunday, September 25, 2011

The never-ending quest for balance (and a rewarding work life)

First, I know--it's Sunday and I'm supposed to post on Saturday.  I really, really have tried to maintain a regular posting schedule.  It's been getting harder, though. 

Last night I had dinner with a couple of my blogging buddies and their partners who are in town for the weekend--my BFF Julie from 47 and Starting Over and former Travel Girl  blogger, Dar.  I know these girls only from the bloggy world; we met almost two and a half years ago when--sight unseen--they booked trips to stay with me in Las Vegas.  Yep, the three of us were complete strangers until that one Friday night when we converged in the airport.

As some of you know, Julie's posts have been getting fewer and farther between in recent months, and I believe Dar completely gave up her blog over a year ago.  Why?  They're happy.  And they're both in relationships; they weren't when they started blogging. 

Relationship take up a good chunk of time.  When Mike and I broke up last spring, I couldn't believe how much more time I had to myself.  I started putting together content for a book I was thinking of calling, How to Survive Your Day Job (Until You Can Quit Your Day Job).  I also started to put together ideas for another book, Cars I Have Loved, Men I Have Wrecked.  For me, there's nothing like personal angst and time to myself to get the creative juices flowing.  Hell, I wrote Bastard Husband during the most miserable part of my life.

I'd rather be happy.  Though I certainly am glad that I was able to write and publish that book.  Seeing it mentioned in the Wall Street Journal last week was a thrill, that's for sure.

Anyway, I've been thinking of cutting back and posting twice a week instead of three times.  I'm not going to, though.  I'm going to maintain the Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday schedule that I've had for the past three years as closely as I can.  I might be late now and then--or even miss a post entirely, as I did the day after Labor Day--but when that happens, please understand that instead of writing about life, I'm having fun living it. 

That said, I do love to create.  And I especially love to have created.  Finding the balance to create everything I want to create and still be able to live a rewarding personal life is key.  And oh, yeah--I still have to work a day job, too.  Long sigh...

As I'm sending out resumes and interviewing, it's becoming crystal clear that I'm continuing to bark up some wrong trees. I keep applying for permanent tech writing jobs when the reality is, the thought of sitting in a poorly lit cubicle all day writing stuff that I truly do not give a shit about makes me want to cry.  I like working as a contractor because that way it's only temporary and there's an end in sight, but why would I deliberately pursue a permanent position doing something I clearly don't want to do?  That's just crazy.

Since I got out of grad school in 1991, my career has had a dual focus in both technical writing and corporate training.  For the past five years I've been writing, writing, writing, and I am bloody sick of it.  I so need to get back into training.  I realize that on two interviews recently, I was practically flatlining as I spoke about my tech writing experience, and then bubbled with enthusiasm when they asked about my training background.  HELLLLOOOOO. 

Of course, I'm applying for training jobs as well, but I'm not seeing as many out there.  So this is where faith comes in.  I need to have faith that somewhere there's a company that would LOVE to have me in their training department or as a training consultant.  I can say with 100 percent certainty that I am a kick-ass trainer.  I always have received outstanding evaluations and, unlike some trainers who are more into "info-tainment," I make sure that participants actually learn.   It's so rewarding to show someone how to use new software or apply new sales techniques; I love to see how much more confident they are, how much better they feel about doing their jobs.

That's it.  I need to focus my energies toward something I do want, not something I really don't.  You know, I'm so brilliant at giving advice, I need to listen to myself sometimes.  And to you.  Any thoughts? 


raydenzel1 said...

You work, you are in love, you are doing comedy, you write and you blog. Sometimes all in one day.

I checked, your blogging schedule is self imposed. You always have something to write about, but life is not that rigid.

Write when you have time, not because you think you have to. No apologizing needed. Do multiple posts once in awhile.

Whatever you decide is ok with me.

We will still love you!


Mellodee said...

You've had an important epiphany! Life is waaaay too short to spend it doing something that you don't even like!! Stop applying for jobs you don't want, only apply for ones that sound right for you. Or set up your own consulting business. Or find a sugar daddy with deep pockets and a generous heart! Point is, life is always on a downward spiral. Once we pass about 45 or so, there is less ahead than behind time-wise. (Not trying to be a downer, it's just a fact.) Sitting at a desk day after day doing something you hate just to get a paycheck, is such a waste of your time, talents, energy, and life! Leave the boring jobs to the boring people!! You were meant for other things!

Debbie said...

To me you are a REAL writer. I blog when inspiration strikes. When I'm pissed off about something or have an observation or I feel the need to get on my soapbox. I blog when something comes to me. Sometimes nothing comes and I find that when I try to post something when I'm uninspired it comes off that way. Your blog NEVER comes off that way. I always laugh at something you've written. When I was unemployed I had TONS of time to write ... now, not so much time. As long as you keep posting, I'll keep reading. I still want to meet you/see you do you stand up/and pick your brain.

I can't do what I love because I need a paycheck ... like most of the world ... my fantasy is I am retired, living in a beautiful little cottage in New Mexico blogging/writing and not having to ever listen to anyone tell me what the F to do AGAIN. That would be HEAVEN to me.


Tender Heart Bear said...

I know what you are talking about. I have not been posting on my blog like I did when I first started it this year. I really felt bad about it. But I got a job and I have my relationship with my boyfriend and then there is the kids. I know the kids are older but they want my attention too. I know there is not enough time in the day for everything. So don't worry if you don't post something just knowing you are alright is enough for us.

Go for the job that will make you very happy not something that will bring you down. Like I have said to my boss if I can not have fun at work then where can I have fun. I like to joke around with people and my boss said that is very true about having fun at work. So take the job that will make you very happy.

FleaStiff said...

A good interviewer will perceive when you don't really want the job. You've identified the issues. It seems you do like to write, its technical writing that is just a grind.

Balance in life? Its not just females who seek balance. Steven Foster's Oh Susanna described the difficulty a black male who wanted a career in a minstrel show (banjo on my knee) would have while his idealized Susanna would be marrying someone else as he sought his fortune (buckwheat cake in her mouth = symbol of a marriage ceremony).

For generations people have sought a point of balance. Perhaps one exists.