Refining Goals and Getting Out of the Boiling Water

I had this friend a while back who was going through a difficult divorce.

Not that they aren’t all difficult.

This particular divorce, however, was complicated by massive amounts of debt, an unemployed soon-to-be-ex-husband and the necessity of taking on more debt to free herself of the situation. The upshot was, she took a second job. Because she already had a full-time, career-path day job, the second one had to be at night. So, she would work at the day job until 4, go home and sleep a few hours, go to the night job at 11, work until 7 in the morning and go to the day job.

Right: grueling schedule.

But, she only had to do it for a while. The night job at the hospital paid very well and her debt melted away. When she finally finished paying everything off, she went shopping. I know, because I went with her and she bought all new furniture. A gift to herself.

And now you can quit the second job and get some sleep again, I said.

No. She had more things she wanted the money for. She couldn’t give up the second income just yet. Just a little while longer.

After a while, she became so accustomed to this grueling schedule that she no longer notices the sleep deprivation. Right – the frog in the boiling water analogy.

To this day, she still does the night job a couple times a week

Yesterday, Angela James wrote on the Carina blog about the dangers of becoming obsessed with our jobs. She talks about overworking and taking time to relax, too.

Her post came at an interesting time for me because the other day, I mentioned to one of my CPs that I wanted to be full-time writer girl. She asked if it really would make that much difference for me, because I rarely seem to exceed about 2,500 words/day, even if I have all day to write. Glumly, I acknowledged that she was correct.

Then I realized, what it would mean is I’d no longer be working two jobs. I’ve been doing really long days for so many years now, that I’d kind of forgotten all the ways I’ve tightened my daily schedule to make this work. Even something as sleeping an hour later and going to the gym I like better but would add 1/2 hour to the time allotted for exercise would make a difference.

Several people commented on Angela’s post that her quip about having a goal of writing a book a month made them choke. It scared me, too.

It helps to adjust my goal, that I want to be a full-time writer, not necessarily to write more, though that would be nice, but to better enjoy my life.

Make it so!

8 Replies to “Refining Goals and Getting Out of the Boiling Water”

  1. Amen, sista! Great post? I think a lot of people can relate to this.
    Hey, I recognize that photo at the top of your blog.

    1. Thanks Boone! And yes, that’s totally the photo you took, that serendipitous shot when you bought me the martini without telling me you had left your billfold at home! You want a byline credit on the pic?

    1. That warms my heart, Gabi, to have you say that. You’re a good example of this. You’ve gone from two jobs to one and I bet you’ve been feeling like you should write more. Let the water cool down first! And then tell us what you find out, please.

  2. I’m working really hard to be able to quit day job and be full time author, have had all the ups and downs and etc of the day job I ever need. Plus the commute! Of course I need more than one book to be published LOL! That’s my dream, went with the business degree and the day job years ago because couldn’t afford to try writing as a career when kids were little but NOW, watch out! Enjoyed the post, between you and Angela, good words to consider.

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