A Productive Revelation

Although I find the 6 a.m. alarm to be extremely unsettling — it doesn’t take long to remember why it is so rudely and obnoxiously invading my dreams. I have somewhere to be. My day has structure and meaning again. And it is a good feeling. I am employed… at least for now.

As a freelance graphic designer, the position is a contracted one. Meaning that it will come to an end when the workflow shifts and the company no longer needs me. But it is employment nonetheless and a paycheck and experience and a source for networking as well as a means to generate additional items to place in the portfolio.

However, after seven months of NOT working, it is a stark change when compared to my typical non-structured day of snoozing until I feel like it, noontime bagel eating, bad TV watching and mind-numbing internet surfing. So far (albeit surprisingly) my nostalgia for all things lazy has not overshadowed the joy I find in being productive. I know. No one is MORE shocked than I am at this startling revelation.

It seems I expend vast amounts of mental energy imagining and writing about what it might be like to NEVER have to work. To live a life of leisure and of privilege. To NEVER interact with others… that is, unless I want to. But thou shalt never underestimate the positive power of productivity. Here are just a few things no one ever tells you about going BACK to work…

  • That coffee tastes and smells so much better in your work mug than in your cups at home.
  • That the idle chatter of co-workers can be much more entertaining than Lifetime television.
  • That slipping into a great pair of heels boosts more than your overall height.
  • That too much time spent alone with bagels, bad TV and one’s own thoughts is a dangerous thing. (See previous post)
  • That leaving the house miraculously helps you to pinpoint precisely where you are.

Understanding that my time in this new role is most likely limited… I’ve got to follow the advice of 38 Special and Hold on Loosely. Yes, I know that reference dates me a bit. Please stop doing the math, I’m trying to make a point. Like willing oneself not to fall too deeply in love with a warm, squiggly puppy you realize you cannot keep — I must hold my affection for my new (temporary) lot at arm’s length.

And hopefully—when all is said and done—I will have been reminded of where I am, where I’m going, all I have to offer and how great it feels to be a participant again. Even if that means getting up at the unnatural, ungodly hour of 6 a.m.

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10 thoughts on “A Productive Revelation

  1. Deb Franzoy says:

    Bravo! Well said.

    When REDTT lost it’s USDA grant funding in 2007, it took me 2.5 years (March 2010) to get back on campus. However, during that time I got a degree in Digital Graphic Design and started doing all kinds of fun stuff for print (my favorite) and WEB (not as fun as print). I remembered all the things that YOU used to teach me and learned more! (Believe me, I took every thing you said to my unexperienced ears and learned so much. You were so kind and helpful and a really great teacher. I still have all my editing and style notes from you and that I wrote out).

    Then all of a sudden there was a position on campus that would require not only my organizational skills as a program coordinator, but all my newly aquired GD skills as well. That’s the great part and they think I am a computer genius!! (though I am still far from it)

    But like your new position, this is another grant that could end in a heartbeat. But I will enjoy it, learn from it, make new friends and not think about the fact that it could/will end. So put on those heels, fire up that computer and enjoy every minute of your new found days! Best to ya!! PS: I didn’t even know there was a 6 a.m.!

    df

    • Deb, I have been meaning to say thank you so much for your kind words! I miss you and NMSU and all the great people that I worked with there. It truly was one of the best times of my life. 🙂 Hopefully you are there still for a long, long time!!

  2. Deb Franzoy says:

    OH, and what I meant to say was a big giant THANK YOU!!

    Thanks to you and all the girls you used to work with at NMSU. You gave me confidence in a field I didn’t even know I would fall in love with and enjoy tremendously!!

  3. Don says:

    I get to make my own hours. The problem with that is that I’m a real slave driver. If I was working for someone else, I’d quit. I happen to be typing this at 3:40 am.

    I don’t really know what else to say. I’m perplexed by the search for meaning, purpose, relevance, and mission. But then again, so is everyone else, in their own way.

    So, sounds like everything is going your way–and I’m happy about that.

    • Thank you! That is what I keep telling myself. When this contract is up (and I have to be prepared for the fact that it WILL be one day) I also have to believe that it will bring about good things and is a giant step in the right direction.

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