This post is to say, I’ll be back to my regular, sporadic posting the week after next. This is also to say I’m not sure if the novel will be finished by then, though.


Hmmm, as I write this Warren Zevon came on the radio singing “Poor, Poor Pitiful Me”

Where was I? Oh, right. I’m blaming the possible extended deadline for myself on the economic recession. Just when I found my groove with the novel, just when the light gleamed at the end of the tunnel, work became even more demanding thanwhat it was. Lots of meetings at seven a.m., lots of meetings at 5:30. Requests for us to work longer and longer hours, skip lunch, work more, do more. There are a lot of sties, cold sores and psoriasis flare ups around my office right now, I’ve noticed. But nobody complains – I don’t complain- because while the hours and time put in are daunting, none of us want to lose our jobs.

What a bloodbath. So many friends of mine, both in “real” life and friends I’ve met online, have lost their jobs, and each and every time it’s just – such a shock.  The talent employees are willing to release astounds me every time.

But what does this have to do with finishing my book? I originally thought that this upcoming week – wherein S. and I take off for upstate New York and his parents’ farm house – I would be able to complete the novel. I figured if i spent five to six hours every day on it for six days it would be done, but that thought was predicated on being farther along on it than I am now. Oh, I still write on it almost every day, but I have to get up earlier and earlier to do so and it gets squeezed into the time not taken up by work.  Finishing the novel is not an option. It will happen.

But after talking with S. last night, I have to admit it. I am tired. Exhausted, actually. Every day I fight my rising anxiety levels. I feel panicky, scared of becoming sick and needing time off and being let go because of that weakness. In reality, I know that if S. or I lost one of our jobs, we’d be fine. But if we both lost our jobs in the same period, we’d be screwed. And so when I was asked to call into just once conference call during my vacation, and finish one project, I said yes. I will work on my vacation, while still taking vacation time. In talking this over last night, I told S. I was releasing myself from my self-imposed deadline. Because when I am not working, I need to sleep, to read, to eat the food my mother-in-law so lovingly prepares and, after her surgery, lovingly prepare food for her. I need to walk my dog along the banks of the river that runs behind their house and let my mind wander, and then return to the house and pour a drink and sit by the fire and let my mind wander some more. I need all of that, so much more than I need to finish the last few chapters of my novel, right now.

I feel apologetic, writing this. So many people I know can’t afford to even think of allowing themselves time to wander, to rest, to heal. I feel like I’m asking for some absurd indulgence, something I don’t deserve. But at the same time, I know myself and my body and restorative week with my husband and my family and good old southern cooking (my in-laws are from North Carolina) will help tremendously.

I am curious to see how we all come out on the other side of this recession/depression. I have no doubt we WILL come out of it, but I wonder at the damage and wreckage left behind. S. has been traveling a lot for work and he said the sense of despair and desperation are particular to the rust belt cities we move through, that in the south, in cities like Raleigh and Atlanta, optimism still reigns supreme, that there is confidence in our overall survival. It makes him yearn to move to some sun-drenched southern city, where promise still blossoms. So we have a deal – if we both lose our jobs, we will use a bunch of our savings to get to pay several mortgage payments and then we will load up our car with the dog and some clothes and some c.d.’s and in the words of John Hiatt, drive south. We do like having a plan.

God, this post is all over the place, hmm? Onto another subject, I am really frustrated by the companies and corporations behaving in such a reactionary fashion to the economy. There have been, from the beginning, so many opportunities for leaders to do the right thing and it seems, to a t, none of them have done so.  Sometimes I wonder why I am fighting so hard to hang onto my job in a climate where the expectation is that I will probably lose it down the line, but at this point the fight is less about the salary and more about proving something…proving that when push comes to shove I will do whatever is necessary to move through difficulty and fight for what I believe I deserve.  won’t give up – the company will have to do that part.

A-hem. Anyway. That’s the scoop. I will return to this blog the week after next, novel or no novel. And in the meantime, I hope you stay warm and safe and that things go well for you.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Interlude

  1. Litlove says:

    What I hate most of all about a recession is the way that employers take advantage of it to abuse their employees. It’s a basic right to need sleep, relaxation, free time. You will work far less well and efficiently without it. And lets face it, where’s all this extra work coming from? If everyone’s working more, what’s the recession all about? That seems utterly screwed to me, but then, isn’t commercialism utterly screwed? It’s about excess and striving and greed, so when things are bad, let’s make everyone strive some more, excessively, because the greed isn’t being sated.

    I don’t know. If I ruled the world, all this would be very different.

    Courtney, sweetie, take care of yourself first, no matter what. If you don’t have you, you have nothing to work with. I always feel I can’t stand as a good example and have to stand as a terrible warning. I overworked and I got long-term sick, and you absolutely must not go there. I lived and worked through the bad recession of the early nineties, and the downturn at the start of the millenium. You know what, the world will keep on making money, because it likes it so much. And smart, able people like you and your husband will always find employment one way or another. Take your allotted time off and work on your novel. Now that, you owe to yourself. Love and hugs!

  2. Andi says:

    I’m with LitLove on this one, Courtney. We absolutely have to take care of ourselves first, not because we’re selfish but because other people need us. We all need to learn balance, and perhaps – ironically – the times when we need to learn it most are when it’s hardest to learn.

    My prayers are with you as you feel anxiety about your job and as you find balance and joy that we are meant to have.

  3. Dorothy W. says:

    Oh, Courtney, I’m so sorry to hear how busy you are and how stressful things have been. I know it’s easy to feel self-indulgent about these things, but really, you do need the time off and the rest and space to recuperate. You are absolutely right about that.

  4. Make Tea Not War says:

    The novel will be finished eventually & you are absolutely right not to make yourself ill trying to meet a self imposed deadline.

    The uncertainty of worrying about potential job losses is horrible & I think it sucks when employers take advantage of those fears.

  5. Emily Barton says:

    My advice: do not kill yourself over work. When the layoffs occur, no one pays any attention at all to who worked the hardest, gave the most, forwent vacations, was most passionate about doing what was right. All they look at are the numbers and whether or not they are going to be able to make the absurd profits they hope/need to make this year in order to survive.

  6. gumbomum says:

    This is the blogger formerly known as Yogamum, just letting some of my favorite blogger pals know that I am blogging over at a new place (see link above)!

  7. Courtney says:

    Everyone, thanks for your responses. I will begin replying more specifically to people next week when my regular blogging returns. I wish I could say I haven’t worked this week but the opposite is true – it’s practically all I’ve done. Right now, for me, there is no balance. But I am rested and full of good food and love for my family and confident the way things are now aren’t the way they will always be…

  8. ZoesMom says:

    I hope things improve for you and for everyone. I look forward to your return to blogging, but you should come first, before the blog. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s