Monday, April 04, 2005

Would you like some temporizing with that?

OK, that was a long visit with the in-laws. It went well, as such things are measured, but it was long (just in case I failed to mention that) and drained all of our energy. During the last week I started working on a couple of ideas for posting here but kept getting pulled away by family obligations, and helping out with campaigns for the local election we're having tomorrow, and with work. Lots and lots of work. All of a sudden I got insanely busy with two different clients. Thursday and Friday I ended up spending all day at one of their sites, and learned how out of shape I am for being in an office all day.

One tends to forget how much energy goes into being presentable in an office environment. Here at home, no matter how busy I get, I still only need to look and act professional enough to suit the cat, and then the kids when they come home. I don't have to (1) wear decent (and therefore uncomfortable) clothing, (2) refrain from closing my eyes other than blinking for 8 to 10 hours, (3) smile and nod at acquaintances and perfect strangers alike ALL DAY LONG, face frozen into a mask of vapid congeniality, (4) keep away from the comics and off the internet (ever notice how offices these days are almost universally laid out in such a way that no matter where the computer is, the screen can be seen from the doorway?), or (5) talk about traffic, weather, or Michael Jackson. I did all of these things last week and was exhausted at the end of it. Not that I'm complaining--I was happy for the work, and it was my favorite client. It's just that the region of my brain that controls office demeanor has obviously atrophied. Not sure what other skills I've lost without noticing, but I was grateful to learn that I can still sit in a three-hour meeting and convincingly pretend that oh yes, I understand exactly what you're talking about, oh absolutely, we can take care of that with no trouble at all (sweat!).

We are also back on track with the foster child placement I've discussed here, so that added to last week's excitement. Details to follow, but we are now into a transition plan that should culminate in a 6-year-old boy moving in during the last week of April. Lots to do between now and then, but we feel experienced enough that we don't need to quietly freak out every couple of days. Plus Daughter is not very enthusiastic this time around, so we're trying not to make a huge deal of it. She has a long history of being great with kids younger than her, though, so we hope that she'll warm to the idea and to him as she gets to know him.

As I said, several posts are in the works. Just don't ask when they'll get done. They always seem so brilliant, compelling, and perfectly balanced in my head. Then I start to write them out and they look like deflated balloons on the screen. Does that happen to, you know, real bloggers?

Oh, well. For now, must get back to work.


Blogger Charlie said...

They always seem so brilliant, compelling, and perfectly balanced in my head. Then I start to write them out and they look like deflated balloons on the screen. Does that happen to, you know, real bloggers?

I don't exactly count myself as a "real blogger," but that happens to me almost every time I sit down to write. I can count on one hand the number of posts I ended up actually liking.

But I keep going, because the alternative is to not have any audience whatsoever, and it is really a very rewarding pastime.

4/04/2005 10:07 PM  
Blogger portia said...

"Real bloggers," tsk tsk, for shame. Clearly you missed Day 1 of Blogging 101: All Blogs Are Real Blogs, Thus the Inherent Beauty of Blogs!

Day Two, you remember (as you so clearly demonstrate proficiency), is Masturbation vs. Content: Discernment Is Our Friend.

Keep up the good work. :)

4/05/2005 2:21 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

It's true, I DID miss Day 1 of Blogging 101! Dammit. I never got the schedule in the mail, and then all of a sudden all these people had been blogging forever without me! But thanks for the encouragement.

And Charlie, you're right, it totally beats the alternative and is highly satisfying, even when it isn't coming out right.

4/05/2005 11:08 PM  
Blogger alice, uptown said...

You phrase it so well: the region of my brain that controls office demeanor has obviously atrophied.
I am sitting in my nightgown at noon. This is the way my home office runs -- dress code strictly optional, no nylons, heels, or pearls unless it's the rare occasion a new client comes to call.

Then, yea, I can pull it together for 3 hours -- but twice a week at most, usually no more than twice a month.

I don't see how anyone can manage more and stay sane -- particularly since I've run a test and three hours one-on-one equals the work of an 8 hour day w/office interruptions and the question of whether you'll be able to hold up your end of the water cooler conversation.

Not to mention that the commute is minimal and the coffee made to my exact specifications. And if I don't want to answer the phone, no one can be annoyed at me, since I never take calls during meetings -- putting the client first, at least at first glance. Plus, I can close the office at will-- and I do.

4/08/2005 10:37 AM  
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