Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Stress Free Living, or Ode to Pink Panther

Do you know, I was reading the other day that there's no stress in your life when you're a freelance writer. I don't think there are words to express thee way I sat and rolled with laughter. No, you don't have the stress of the 9 to 5 grind, or the painful morning commute. You don't have the endless pressure of having to shop for appropriate clothing, or smiling prettily to impress the boss. Is that stress? It's one of the definitions thereof, but it's definitely not the only one.

What about the stress of constantly finding work? The pressure of often unrealistic deadlines? The tension that comes from having to do your work to somebody else's satisfaction? Yes, writing is infinitely preferable to, say, being an accountant, but whoever says it isn't stressful is either doing it as a part time hobby or they're still living the nine to five and looking with envy at all the writers of the world sitting here, just like, putting their thoughts to paper while chilling in their pajamas and watching "Pink Panther".

As I was walking this morning in my neverending quest to lost hte weight that absolutely refuses to go anywhere and listening happily to Wil Wheaton's "Just a Geek" while rolling down to CVS on a quest for the appropriate hair "stuff" to do my daughter's hair for her dress rehearsal tonight, I was feeling pretty chill. I was thinking, "They're right. The only stress that goes along with my job is what I give it!" Realistically, however, even freelance writers only have 24 hours in a day.

That doesn't mean I'm ready to turn in my keyboard for a 9 to 5er, although the thought has occurred to me more than once in recent months that I would be a lot more relaxed if I could leave work at work and just come home and chill out. Then I think about the stress of finding a baby-sitter, and the aggravation of having to find someone to stay home with the kids when they're sick, and along with the vindictive feeling of justice that comes with knowing that my husband, who telecommutes, would finally get to know the joys of being a work at home parent (right know he's working out of his grandmother's spare bedroom, without the constant distraction of children who want to play, or go swimming, or go to the park, or do the myriad other things that children want to do on summer vacation) I think about how incredibly bored I would be.

So I realized. I really like being a writer. What I don't like doing is writing without feeling, by rote, with constant repetition. Somewhere along the way writing stopped being fun, and with it I felt like I was losing a piece of myself. So my promise? I said I was going to take this year and learn to enjoy my life, and six months into it I've already lost touch with that. I'm still wrapped up in the past, with a healthy dose of excuses for not making this reality everything I want it to be. I don't have time. It's too hard. I'm scared if I actually take that step and publish my own stuff with my own name on it people aren't going to like it, and I'm going to be a public failure.

Isn't it time I got over that? People are paying me a lot of money for my writing. In fact, I've been getting paid for my writing for the last two years. Obviously I have some smidgen, no matter how little, of talent. I think it might be time I said goodbye to fear and pride and started writing the way I've always done-with a little personality, and not like a mindless drone with nothing better to do.

Anyway, after making that promise to myself I guess it's time for me to take my pajama clad bottom upstairs and take a shower, and get ready for work. I think I'll slip on my comfy capris, and a light tee shirt, and curl up with my laptop at my brand new, newly acquired desk that so conveniently holds my schoolbooks underneath. I'll wrap up my newly found blogging addiction and go feel human so that when John comes by with Chelsea's ballet bag, which was left in his car and which I, in a move that all of those mothers who know the minute their child has left a piece of clothing anywhere would be appalled at, didn't even notice was missing, I'll be dressed and looking something like the professional I am.

My sister-in-law actually gave me an itemized list of everything her kids had left over here the last time they spent the night. I want to be her when I grow up.

Lolz. The Pink Panther wins again.

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