Monday, May 21, 2012

Vacations over, now back to work

Coming back to work this morning I realize that while some things have changed, mostly it’s all the same.

I stayed moderately connected while I was away. I updated Twitter and Facebook occasionally, monitored email, read the news a little, returned a few necessary phone calls. That’s about it.

I noticed Facebook had its IPO. And now the share price has lost 20% from its last week high. Yawn.

NATO has its big meeting in Chicago. Yawn.

Europe’s economy is falling apart (again/still). Bigger yawn.

Oh, and work itself? Yeah, it’s still here. Still the same. It’s work... what else should I expect?

Work is reality right? And vacation is the fantasy??? I wish it were different.

But you know what? In many ways, what we believe is reality is not really reality really. Really.

Let me explain.

You may (or may not) be surprised to know that since 2008 I tasked myself with learning AS MUCH as possible AS QUICKLY as possible about the inner workings of our economy, the political effects on the economy, and how the news is reported according to trending and prognostication of possible events in the economy.

You may not be surprised (or may be) that all of the knowledge I gained means exactly diddly-squat when it comes to “reality”.

I put reality in quotes because what the economy and stock market see as “reality” is not the same “reality” you and I are used to.

Yes Virginia, Wall Street does not really view the world the same as we do.


I don’t really care.

Not anymore.

I mean, I care enough to keep apprised of events just enough to try to protect my family.

But one thing I learned is that there really is no protection if things ever do fail spectacularly.

And that’s not a defeatist mentality.

That’s realism at its finest.

I am by nature a very positive man. But, against the forces amassed against us if the Big One hits? (you know, the Big Financial Tsunami).

Face it folks, there is not a system in place to help you guard against the problems you would face if we approached anything close to another Great Depression.

You’d be all on your own.

But this is not a financial blog, nor a survivalist blog, and this is definitely not an End-Of-The-World blog... though it sure as hell is fun to write about it that sometimes, huh?

No, this blog is meant to bring a bit of escape, a bit of entertainment regardless of the economic or political environment we face at a given point in time.

This blog is meant to be a positive force of influence.

And so... how do we remain positive in this environment, or any other environment or “reality” we decide to imagine we live in?

Oh, I am SO glad you asked. Cause that’s what I REALLY want to feed you...

Step up to the chopping block and I will carve you a fine slab of roast beef that will simmer up just right in your crock pot making the best freaking Pot Roast you have ever tasted!

Get ready for:

1. Get back on the horse: 
Easier said than done, I know. But it’s not. Not really.
Just do it.
Get ‘er done.
Be all you can be.
See? There’s all kinds of corporate slogans out there urging you to get up and get busy and complete your life’s work! Now, all it takes is for you to do it. That’s it.

Click on that WORD icon. Start a new document. Type CHAPTER ONE in the center of the paper. And type out the first thoughts that hit your brain pan. Here’s mine:
                I am wearing underwear. That’s a first in about ten days. I went commando for a while. It wasn’t fun. Got things stuck in the zipper. I won’t go into detail.

2. Make a list: 
Simple. What’s the first thing you desire to finish? Write a blog post? Write it down. Write 2000 words? Write it down. Use bullet points, or little skulls, or take your fingernail clippings and paste them to the page and use them as dividers for your ideas. I don’t care. But make a list. It really helps.

What, you want more examples? Sheesh... you guys are NEEDY this morning. Ok, here’s mine:

Write a blog post.
Write 2000 words.
Put on underwear... LOL! Got ya!!!

But, really... that is my list. And for the record, I used toe nail clippings as bullet points. Thought you might appreciate the visual. And, no more zipper issues. Just sayin.

3. Focus on one task at a time: 
I am getting the blog post out of the way first, obviously. But, imagine if I kept going back and forth between this post and editing the 2nd Romy Malloy book? It might look something like this:
Hi fellow Plotters and Romy-ites!
Note: Romy cannot go pee here... she’s in a car dummy. Change this!!!
I just flew back from my vacation and BOY are my arms tired!
Note: WHY do you have Marks and Candy both in this scene when the last scene clearly shows Candy going back to the compound to find out where Tanner went????

See what I mean? Would you be able to follow that? So, yeah... focus on one task at a time.

4. Eat: 
Seems logical, even like a no-brainer, right? You’d be surprised, I do forget a lot.  (stop laughing, Chuckles... I ain’t that fat...).

I especially forget to eat when I am in THE ZONE. Oh, don’t get me wrong. I make up for it in quantity when I actually do sit down at the trough. But, if I get really hungry while I am writing, the work will suffer. I am not diabetic, but I have occasional low blood-sugar when I go too long without eating. Nothing that requires medical treatment, just a good dose of FOOD. And I get cranky. And if I am cranky is my writing going to be the best it can be?

The answer is NO, numb-nuts. So go eat something.

5. Sleep: 
Ahhh... blessed slumber. To sleep, perchance to dream. Yes, sleep is NECESSARY. Like food, if you go too long without sleep your writing will suffer.

If you have a deadline looming, then look back to #’s 2 and 3. Make a list. Focus on priorities. One step at a time. You will get it done.

Now, there may be something more I could say about front-loading your time more appropriately rather than back-loading.

What is that, you ask? It means get more of your crap done UP FRONT, at the beginning of your allotted time rather than procrastinating and putting it all off until the last few days.

Ok, ok, maybe you think you work well under pressure (really, you don’t though)... but if you REALLY believe that it’s so, then PRETEND all the pressure is at the FRONT of your scheduled days to work/write! You’re a writer damn it! MAKE BELIEVE!

Then you have ALL that time at the end to worry over spell checks, and block edits, and plotting and pacing of your story... and guess what? It will READ better!

And there you have it folks!

This is what I am focusing on today, as I resume my daily habits and leave the wonderful world of vacation behind. I miss it. I wish I could go back.

But, I guess the days filled with work are what make the vacations so amazing.

Too much of a good thing will do... something bad... I think...

For some reason, I cannot think of a reason I can’t be on vacation all the time.

Would that really be a bad thing?

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