Without even planning on it, the last few mornings I’ve managed to wake up an hour before my alarm goes off. This is good news because it gives me an extra hour of typing time on my novel, which mostly translates to my ONLY typing time on my novel each day. I’m trying not to be too hard on myself over this, despite a few recent posts that bemoan this fact, because I’m planning a wedding. I’m not sure what I was smoking when I decided that it was no big deal to write a novel and plan a wedding at the same time. All I know is that I can’t just stop writing it because if I do, it will disappear into oblivion.
This morning was one of those mornings when I was up before everyone else. I cracked open my laptop and decided to check on some work stuff before starting. This proved to be fatal to any writing I’d had planned today. I had taken the day off yesterday due to back-to-school obligations, which meant I was already prone to a ton of stress today. I have an article printing Sunday that still needed tweaking, a couple of online articles that were still sitting in their rough draft form, and a contest that I’m running that starts the voting process today. It was the last one that caused me grief, as the voting function was apparently missing, and we had T-4 hours till go time.
Instead of writing, I had to spend the next hour on the phone with the tech guys in Texas, figuring out what was up with the site and somehow fix it. I was inches away from emailing my boss and telling him I had screwed up royally, but to not worry about it because I was quitting anyways. Fight or flight. It’s my favorite defense. Luckily I didn’t have to quit my job because the brilliant tech guy figured out the problem and walked me through fixing it. I get to keep my job, pet owners get to vote on who has the cutest dog, and all is right with the world.
Well, almost. My heroine is stuck in a dress shop with her son, unable to escape because I haven’t moved her past 5700 words and towards the part of the story that changes everything.
A coworker asked how Mr. W was doing in his new job, and I was happy to tell her he is like a different person. He still has the stress of holding a sales position, but if you work in sales you have to kind of thrive on that kind of stress. However, he’s happier at the end of the day. Before, he was struggling within himself, wanting to move forward and not knowing how, and hating that he was stuck where he was. My coworker described this same feeling, and was grateful to know she wasn’t alone. She constantly fears that the end of her job is near, afraid to lose her job while also wishing she could be anywhere else. I know of 7 people who have left the company in just the past few months, most of them in sales. And when it comes down to it, it’s because the pressure was too great.
This scares me. If the portion of our company who makes the money for it are all working in conditions that make them want to quit, then what happens to the rest of us? If the sales department tanks, we all tank. Upstairs where I work, we’re protected in our little bubble. But downstairs, it’s like they have the whips and chains out, ready to flank anyone who sells below goal.
If the whole sales team ups and quits, what of the countless hours and the part of my soul I’ve sacrificed for this job already? What then?
Beyond taking on the stress of our sales team, I’m feeling the stress in my own job. There are so very many hats I have to wear in my career, hats I’m admittedly lucky to be able to wear. But when I have to put all hats on at the same time, I implode. This is where I’m at this week. It makes me question everything I’m doing, whether it’s worth it, whether this position has served its purpose or not, and wonder if it’s time to move on. At times, the only thing stopping me is the question about where I would go after this. Write what I want to write full time? Sure! But I have to also pay the bills. At this time, the two don’t go hand in hand.
So for now I sit at my desk, toiling away at writing the mundane for the general public, taking my free time to create a novel and plan a wedding, keep tabs on my squirrely kids, attempt to be present for my fiancé, and remember to breathe in between. And little by little, I move a tiny bit closer to that dream that stands just beyond my fingertips, and the start of a happy, welcomed, new kind of stress.