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Wednesday Wonderings–Is It Ever Really “All” or “Nothing”?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

It’s ironic. For three years, I worked at home. And for three years, I increasingly had fewer and fewer things to do outside of my house, even on the weekends. Two Saturdays a month were my local writing group meetings. Sundays were church—if I got myself out of bed in time to go.

When I accepted the offer of employment from the church, even with its being part-time, I knew I’d look forward to and jealously guard my personal time on the weekends. Saturdays would be my day of rest so that I could once again start attending church regularly and start getting plugged in to my new church community.

However, since I started working on September 1, with the exception of that first weekend (Labor Day weekend), I’ve had something going on every single Saturday and some Sundays. And when we were off on Thursday and Friday for Rosh Hashanah a couple of weeks ago, I was even busy on those two days as well.

We’ve all heard and used the phrase “it never rains but it pours.”

In June, my freelance work mysteriously dried up. No word from the publisher I was working for after almost three years of continuous monthly projects from them. At one point, I was seriously considering having to pack up, sell what I could and get rid of everything else, and move to Arkansas to live with my parents until I could find a job that would allow me my independence again.

After between 80 to 90 job applications, I finally got an interview—for a job I didn’t originally apply for because I didn’t think that the Reform Jewish Synagogue would want to hire someone who grew up Southern Baptist and just converted to United Methodist. But then when I saw the job ad posted again the next week, I figured there was no harm in applying.

I’ve been here six weeks now. I work 25 hours each week—on those weeks when we actually have five days to work (I started just before the High Holy Days, which means we’ve had several days off since the beginning of September)—and while it’s not a sustainable income level, it at least made up for the money I was making from that monthly freelance project that went away. Plus, I do have the money from the new publishing contract I just signed. But I didn’t want to have to live off of that advance. And I knew that with only 25 hours a week, I needed to supplement that income with freelance work.

Two days before I left to go to St. Louis to crash the ACFW conference, I got an e-mail from my friend who still works as the editor at Ideals (where I used to work full-time before getting laid off in 2008) offering me a freelance project. At the conference, I talked to editors from two local (Nashville) publishing houses who want to send me freelance editing work also.

Last week, I had planned on attending a concert—for the first time in four or five years—of a new-to-me singer my cousin turned me on to: Jon McLaughlin. However, because of this unexpected plethora of freelance work, I ended up not going because, as I posted on Twitter/FB, I was “blessed with work.”

In looking at my calendar this morning, with a day off tomorrow and another day off next Friday, I noticed that the trend of busy days off and busy weekends doesn’t seem to be ending any time soon.

So are all the extra activities and work projects coming in because God has a twisted sense of humor and is saying: “You asked for something to do with your time, well, here you go!” Or is the truth closer to the idea that by getting a job—getting out of the house, pulling myself out of that penchant for seclusion bordering on hermit-ism which, in my case, leads to depression—has given me the energy and motivation to agree to do all of these extra activities? To want to fill my days off with as much energy and activity as I now have during the rest of the week when I’m at work?

Have you ever noticed in your life that things seem to be “all” or “nothing”? Is it real or is it just perception?

  1. Wednesday, October 12, 2011 10:47 am

    Perhaps a little of both. It’s true that the more you do, the more you have to do. Which is why you have to be selective about what you commit yourself to. You also have to carve out time for yourself. Don’t become a slave to the work, such that when it comes you suddenly forego all personal activities, like the concert. Did you have a deadline the next day? The life of an author/freelancer is not easy.

    I’m looking for ways to slow down and be more in the moment myself so that I can feel as though I have time to choose rather than as though I’m on the hamster rack running, running, running…


  2. Wednesday, October 12, 2011 12:41 pm

    My life seems to be all or nothing. Mostly nothing.


  3. Lady DragonKeeper permalink
    Wednesday, October 12, 2011 3:01 pm

    Hmm … for now, my life seems the same: school, school, school. There are busier times than others, but I haven’t had “nothing” moments in a while … =)


  4. Wednesday, October 12, 2011 5:14 pm

    In my experience, it all hits at once and then I end up sick. OK, not always, but this fall, that’s exactly what it’s been for me here lately.


  5. Sherrinda permalink
    Wednesday, October 12, 2011 5:44 pm

    Yes! It is so strange how things come in waves. It’s either drought or flooding. I tend to like the droughts a bit better, because I like being a hermit. But I think it is not always the best thing to be so secluded. It breeds laziness in me, for some reason. 🙂


  6. Wednesday, October 12, 2011 6:13 pm

    Kaye your post is what I need. seeing how many jobs you applied for make me feel better about what happened yesterday. I am in the midst of job hunting. got a job interview at McDonalds which open in Dec only to be implied I may be to old to keep up with the busy times. (Im only 47 I am fit and I can work under pressure) I may still get a cleaning job there 4am – 7am but it was deflating them basically saying I am to old. Admittedly I haven’t seen anyone my age at a McDonalds.
    I have found when I have quite a bit to do everything seems to happen then other times when I seem to have nothing to do.
    I need to send some resumes out today and try to get over this feeling of being unwanted again. (I had forgotten this feeling from job interviews etc.)
    glad you have the work you need. for me 25 hours would be perfect.


  7. Rebekah W permalink
    Wednesday, October 12, 2011 7:42 pm

    I agree that at times it seems to be an ” all or nothing” life. Since starting my second job back in January I’ve had mostly all moments, and it only went up hill when I started doing more dog sitting for people that I know. When I just had the one job at the library, I did have a lot of just ” nothing” moments because once I graduated college I had my mornings free, so I was sleeping in till 11am, and would have completely wasted my whole morning, and felt that it was full of “nothing.” I’m pretty grateful to have these “all” moments because it gives me a sense of self worth and it keeps me busy. Plus now I am taking up extra activities like church volleyball.

    Though at times I miss my ” Me” moments, where I would like to just be in a quiet spot and journal or read a book that I have been meaning to finish for a while.

    I think these “all or nothing” moments come differently to different people.


  8. Thursday, October 13, 2011 2:35 pm

    I can definitely relate! I have weeks (or months!) where I am super, unbelievably busy and then a week where hardly anything is going on. I enjoy staying busy but have to remember that it’s okay to take down time, too. I’ve been dealing with sick kids for a week and a half at my job and definitely need today to just try and rest!


  9. Thursday, October 13, 2011 4:18 pm

    Yes, as we say in the South, when it rains it pours. It may be perception for each individual’s case/life. Football is king right now and every weekend is taken up with activities related to the games. So those weekends plus whatever happened the previous week, make for a load of “all.”


  10. Thursday, October 13, 2011 6:22 pm

    You signed a new contract??? How did I miss that? Congratulations! What’s the setting/series?


  11. Carol Moncado permalink
    Saturday, October 15, 2011 4:57 pm

    I agree it’s probably a little bit of both. I’m a homebody and for whatever reason this fall has been non-stop activity. At least it feels like it to me. I’m ready for weeks of nothing. It’s not gonna happen. Today is my now-10yo’s birthday. Friday is my will be 9yos birthday, followed by a visit to book signing [Lori Copeland] locally and then Tina Radcliffe and Mary Connealy [about 3 hours away, going with some friends], then birthday party weekend for both MIL and daughters [Sat and Sun], then my family coming for my birthday the next weekend, then a week off [for now], then local ACFW then Thanksgiving then… well then we’re into Christmas stuff.

    And I’ve had something every weekend since before ACFW too so I’m already in the middle and it looks like Jan before things calm down. At least.

    And the next three Wednesday mornings are doc and/or dentist appointments.

    Makes me want to cry.

    Being a hermit makes me tend toward depression too but so does the constant activities going on. Honestly, thinking about it all makes me want to cry. I’ll enjoy them all while they’re going on but I need some down time and soon desperately. My oldest 3 are in school and my youngest is in school 3 hours 3 days a week [I work the other two] so I do have a couple hours to myself 3 days a week but it’s just enough to sit back, relax and get ready to start writing when it’s time to stop – need a bit of down time before jumping in and it ain’t happenin’.


    And with this book now written ;), I’m off to clean the house some more before DH/sis get back from playing disc golf and make dinner. DH is leaving to a guy’s game night thing about 7 so if sis leaves and the kids go to bed at a reasonable hour I might get some of that tonight…

    But I’m not holding my breath :D.


    • Carol Moncado permalink
      Saturday, October 15, 2011 4:58 pm

      Er, that should say will be 8yo’s birthday… they’re 2 years apart not 12 months ;).


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