It has been a good day, uneventful and rather quiet thus far. Most of the day will be at my law firm office job, typical for Wednesdays. I like the people – all of them – so much. The energy here is different; people seem grown-up and serious about the present work we are pursuing and the future. Many I miss from my prior full-time job had a similar drive and ambition, but it tended to wilt and waver under the direction of the firm’s owners. Maybe as a little more time passes I can go back and have lunch. I am still on the fence about training my replacement, who has been extended an offer. It has, after all, only been a week.
The new day brings less guilt for that other poor woman. I am surrounded by really wise and caring people, and I will come through this in time. How much time – there is no step-by-step guidance that illustrates how long recovery takes. But that does not mean I cannot heartily wish and have an internal foot-stomp tantrum that it be invented by someone … yesterday.
I am slowly – very slowly – warming up to the food tracking I agreed to Monday with the dietician. J, that fountain of good ideas, suggested taking pictures of my meals and putting the list together later. Even in my present obstructionist position on the subject I recognize how much simpler that make things for me. But then I started realizing that OMG … everything I put into my mouth for at least 5 days will exist as visual evidence somewhere. I feel judged already.
I will still do it because I entered into an agreement with the dietician, and he may be able to offer me more concrete advice tailored to me and my eating habits and tastes. It’s not just so he and the entirety of the Kaiser protocol will leave me alone; I believe he is a real and caring professional striving to do a good job. In a rare moment of supreme vanity I had the random thought that “I am a success story waiting to happen.” First I was horribly embarrassed at the obvious out-of-control growth of my ego, then I decided that will be my most bravado self-compliment to date.
I was also thinking this morning that things have been so steady with self-employment and income that it’s almost frightening. I mean, there must be a catch? There is some other shoe out there dangling and waiting to drop, probably on my head?
But no, things continue to go really well. My new smoking client is full of praise and compliments, happy with the way the new system I have implemented for him is working. I am apparently saving him time and some money, and his wife is overjoyed that the only thing she has to do is sign a few checks every month.
There are no rumblings of discontent from the rest of my clients, either. Those who have been with me for a long time are by far the easiest to work with, but even the half-dozen one-time clients I did work for last year have been very kind in their review/assessment comments and paying their invoices without fuss, muss, or me having to chase them down about it. The other self-employment clients in my stable are not complaining either. Their work is getting done, any special requests are being fulfilled, emails/phone calls/texts responded to in a timely fashion. While there are a couple of their staff/employees that can try my patience on occasion, I am choosing to chalk it up to the newness of the business relationship, getting to know and learning to work together.
Still, I am not precisely worried but on some sort of low-level alert. While I would like to believe that keeps me sharp and focused on doing a great job for my clients, I tend to characterize it more as anxious hope they will talk to me if there is a problem.
I am beginning to ponder what comes next? Should I be more ambitious about marketing and trying to create more opportunities to acquire more clients? My referral sources have been so great I am running out of ideas for thank you gifts.
Truth is I do not feel overly ambitious right now. I have M working about 10 hours per week on data entry – not his favorite thing to do, but hey, it’s a steady paycheck – and I am fully occupied as well. The idea of expanding and adding more staff does not appeal to me at all, so I think status quo is not a terrible idea at the moment.
It just feels as if I should be doing more, trying harder, beating bushes and schmoozing or something. Instead I am consciously suppressing my workaholic tendencies in favor of a more balanced life. Strange times for me. Sometimes I just don’t know what to do with myself because if feels like I have nothing scheduled and nothing is on fire and needs attention, so I must be doing something else wrong. I obsessively check my lists and email/text/phone calls to identify the mysterious dropped ball waiting to explode and get me into trouble.
My part-time law firm office is typically just Wednesday and Friday here in the office, although I have been coming in on Monday and Thursday late afternoons after my other job while it was still my other job. With Monday and Thursday suddenly open I may rejigger my schedule to spend a few hours here midday as well rather than working from home. The partners are flexible about my presence, because the prior administrator’s job is getting done and then some, in that I have relieved the partners of other administrative tasks they used to perform. And I am part-time, generally 20 hours per week, whereas there other guy was 40+ hours per week. We seem to have achieved a nice, sustainable, productive pacing. Progress.
Maybe I am bored? Maybe I need to work harder or go back to keeping a real consultant’s crazy hours. Or something. It’s entirely possible it’s the Valium talking; I took the half tablet last night to ensure I could fall asleep and then sort of half-woke, half-slept through a series of nightmares. I feel a bit grogged, sluggish, and uncertain as a result. I feel like I sleep-walked through my workout this morning, even though I know I did my full slate of activities.
Apparently the football pool thing is very big in this office, so for my $10 donation I earned squares on a random grid for the Big Game that is … this weekend? Honestly, I’m not even sure. I characterize this as a donation, because I am doubtful about my winning anything, and even if I did, I am completely dependent on the honesty of the guy coordinating the pool to tell me. I really do not follow sports.
I kind of like these types of pools; the random nature of picking blank squares appeals to me. Unlike the big basketball brouhaha that happens next month, I don’t have to make a lot of specific decisions. Not a follower of college sports either, the basketball thing is more bewildering, and I just guess or go with which school name sounds better to me and then forget about it until winners are announced.
This is it for my annual gambling dollars, and I participate because I am part of an employment community. It’s a lot less dangerous than the girl scout cookie and little league chocolate bar sales, both of which are coming to my workplace soon. The cookie orders are actually in-progress right now, and I will just have to name my target to give those boxes to as soon as they are delivered, before I get a wild hair and actually open one and tell myself I am only going to eat one cookie. I can guarantee that’s not a slippery slope; that’s an express trip to a cookie-gorging extravaganza.
Maybe I am the one to decide whether or not I have a good day. Thus far today I chose wisely and went for the good.