It feels as if my blog is languishing. I know it’s not, but the perception in my head and life is one of abandonment. I have been here. I have been reading. I have wanted to write something of substance but simply have not. Damn real life interfering with my blogging!
The “busy” word is bandied about as a catch-all and I
tend to find it annoying. Truth is nearly all of us are busy with something; prioritizing the thing we are explaining away is a lesser priority, be it blogging or housekeeping or taking care of ourselves. Busy could be caring for an ill family member or work blowing up and spreading consuming any and all available time and mental processing power. Busy covers a myriad of reasons for faltering on what we might want or need to do to keep ourselves moving forward.
I actually hate the word “busy” as used be nearly everyone. I hate the catch-all-ness of it that says “I’m involved in other, more critical, more important agenda items that whatever you want/need/expect from me about honoring my commitments.” Here on the blog, I feel a certain responsibility to post something on a reasonably predictable schedule. Content might not be fabulous or even interesting, but it is a small, bland taste of my days and a sense of what is going on in my life during that brief snapshot.
I actually hate the word “busy” so much that I hope to never lose that sense of responsibility (to myself as well as any of my regular readers) that allows me to blithely begin a post with “sorry for my absence – I have been so busy!” and then on to whatever I am talking about that day. I believe myself to be hyper-responsible enough to follow the “busy” comment with a detailed explanation of where I have been, what I have been doing, and why I been incapable of generating even the most basic, banal of posts. Seems like telling you I was tired of blogging about the mundane minutia of my life is fine. Saying I’m suffering from depression (if I were, because I’m not) is probably a better thing than not. Describing the work drama with only the most general of details about events and people while making it painfully obvious that it was overwhelming, disturbing, or both. Won the lottery (should I ever break down and actually purchase a ticket) and sailing around the world and forgot to mention I’d be offline in my excitement seems understandable.
While I am talking about me and my blog for the most part, I find I hate hearing the “busy” word at work as well. Self-employment clients paying me to do a job and then being too busy to get me the documents and/or information to complete the work. Then wondering why they are at the bottom of my pile and their convenience deadlines are not being met. When I point out the clearly stated dates I needed things to ensure their work was completed on their preferred timetable, I so frequently hear or read the “sorry, I was busy” or “sorry, it was a busy period” to the point it becomes white noise. Sure, sometimes stuff has happened – a serious situation, an emergency, a move, delays beyond their control – but 98% of the time it is simply something they either did not prioritize or count on my good nature and professionalism to save them from themselves.
Over the course of the last year I have become less and less tolerant of blandly accepting such excuses and requests for accommodations. Looking over my year thus far I am on track to surpass lass year’s earnings and it has me contemplating some changes to the ways I do business.
I have a contract I was not going to renew, because I actually do not do the work, instead subcontracting it out to another friend. When they requested a proposal for renewing in 2017, I increased my fees by 20% and fully expected to be rejected in favor of someone else more cost effective. The friend who has been doing the work was disappointed that I was choosing to extricate myself from this client, because she enjoys the work and it is an easy, flexible way for her to bring in some extra money (she’s not equipped to take it on directly at this time). To my surprise, the telephone call we had scheduled today was not about protesting or trying to negotiate better rates but to expand and increase the workload, nearly tripling the scope of the job. I discussed it with my friend – if awarded, she’d have more to do every month as well as make more money, both of which she’s delighted about – and submitted a revised proposal. I did not lower my rates, although I am now second guessing myself about whether or not I should have to ensure I got the work.
From a numbers standpoint, this is a lucrative job for me. It is not my most profitable, unless I view it from the standpoint of the hours I must actually utilize to administer the contract and review the work done by my friend versus the hands-on work I actually perform for the rest of my folks. The client, while nice, is a demanding and requires regular amounts of hand-holding.
For a 20% increase fees, I can suck it up and deal. And should they choose to reject my proposal based on those fees, I will be fine. I will have learned a valuable lesson as well no matter what happens next.
Work from home Tuesdays on self-employment clients are morphing into work on Tuesdays and at least 4 to 6 hours both days of the weekends. The law firm, while technically only 24 to 28 hours, rarely is less than 28 hours every week. Once the move is concluded in December, I will be backing down to 24 hours in 2017.
But today I have been busy. East coast conference call at 6 a.m. PST was scheduled for an hour and ran 96 minutes. Fasting blood draw took another 75 minutes. Then to the gym, where I got in a pretty good workout but had to be out of there by 10 to shower and dress for a lunch appointment AND take a scheduled phone call with client described above. Lunch meeting with client (another chicken caesar salad), more phone calls driving home, checking and responding to email at home, and now getting ready to go to a gentle yoga class at 4. Doing a skin consultation tonight, then finishing up checking/replying to emails and preparing tomorrow’s to-do for what else needs to be done.
It has been and will continue to be a busy day. But since I had a larger meal for lunch, I will have a protein shake for dinner. Day 3 on my eating protocol and so far, so good. I am watching the time between meals and not letting it stretch so far out body burns every last bit of fuel.
I am not complaining about the pace of my days and my work life. I have a lot of control over my schedule in general, but Tuesdays I am the one who dictates and schedules what needs to be done, what priorities I follow. Gym time is non-negotiable; I wish I had gotten there before 8:40, but oh well. Yoga is for my work/life balance as much as anything. Following the new eating protocol and giving it an honest, fair shot is critical to me. The rest of the stuff on my list is flexible and workable. If I have scheduled something with clients, I make sure it happens.
And so it is with blogging, my outlet for sorting out my shit. It’s important to me as well, something I make a priority. As such, I myself deserve a reasonable explanation of why I cease blogging when it happens, something more than I was busy. Even if the only explanation is that I just didn’t feel like it or felt I had nothing left to say. Not happened in quite awhile, but I know it is a real possibility.
With that, I’m off to my yoga class and the rest of my zoom-zoom-zoom day.