Demand Studios, eHow and all things wonderful

So, after my last cathartic post, I am feeling slightly better. Every now and then you just need to blog and get it out of your system before you can move on and be productive. I guess that was my two minutes of crying and pitching a fit…and now for something completely different.

I’ve been doing pretty well on the article writing. I just recently got my internet hooked up, so this coming week will likely be a little more productive. It’s odd with my husband working 6 days on and 3 days off. My ‘weekend’ changes from one week to the next. But, honestly, its nice because my schedule is now totally wide open and flexible. Yesterday, I didn’t feel much like getting dressed and sitting in the office, so I turned on the tube, made breakfast and worked in my jammies. From bed. Sooo awesome. I don’t recommend it for daily use, but it rocked yesterday. Fresh, cold, organic tomatoes and hot corned beef and potato hash…mmmm. Total comfort food. Not to mention the orange juice that tasted like it was freshly squeezed.

I’ve learned that having what you want comes at a price, and the question you need to ask yourself, is ‘what are you willing to give up?’  I was willing to give up security (clearly), tenure, several shards of my self esteem, a steady paycheck and most definitely my ego. Was it worth it? Absolutely. I would give it all up again in a heart beat, even with all the crying and fit pitching associated with it.

So how do you work from home without losing your sanity? I’ve done some research, and of course some short term trial and error, and here are my two cents.

1. Drink Coffee. Still have breakfast like you normally would. If you used to munch at your desk or sip on a latte while getting your morning started, then do it at your home office. Spend a few moments each morning at rest, waking up. Watch the news, the weather channel, or have quiet time with God, whatever your thing is. I have a friend who watches Good Morning America every morning, religiously.

2. Take a shower, brush your teeth and ‘get dressed’ just like you would if you were going to work outside of your home. Now, this being said, I don’t mean wearing ‘dress’ clothes, but if you’re a woman–put on light make-up, wear a bra, etc. The rule of thumb, if someone were to come to your door, would you be embarrassed? I personally prefer comfy pants and fitted t-shirts or sweaters. But, I make a point to ‘get’ ready each morning like normal.

3. Invest in whatever you need to make your office space comfortable and productive. A really good chair, with padding, etc. I have a huge chair and a half that I have in my office so that when my back and knees start hurting, I can stretch out and still write. I also have a plethora of candles that I love to smell. I made sure to position my desk so that I can look out of the window and see the wood line.

4. Set aside days for stuff like housework and laundry. Don’t try to do this while you’re working. Believe me, its the same with novel writing, you’ll suddenly find that those household chores are FAR more interesting and in dire need of your attention.

5. Don’t work 8 hours straight. Or eight hours a day if you can help it. I’ve read that 5 hours a day is more ideal if you are working at home. There are a myriad of reasons for this, and why you can get away with working less. If you were working at a typical office/cubicle job, and if you’re real with yourself then you’ll admit you did an awful lot of staring at your desk. It’s why I love the movie Office Space. (There will likely be a whole separate blog dedicated to this).

So, I will leave you with this thought…

“I thoroughly disapprove of duels. Should a man challenge me, I would take him forgivingly, lovingly, by the hand to a quiet place and kill him.”  —Mark Twain.

Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn!

Why do things always, without exception, hurt worse than we think they will? And if this is the case, why don’t we learn to anticipate more? My apologies for blogging again about personal stuff instead of my usual (if you are reading this on facebook—go to the actual blog page at www.jschancellor.wordpress.com).

I recently quit my job, see Associated Content for an article entitled, “The Psychology of Job Loss,” and you’ll see that I need to take my own advice. But is that ever possible? If you can manage to figure out how, do tell. This was my first real week away from the job. I know that this will take time and that five years is a decent stint for someone my age, especially since it’s all I’ve known since college. Despite all of that, I feel like horse crap. Why? I don’t know—maybe something about feeling kicked off of a cliff; that I was running toward of my own volition. Friday was anti-climatic, which was to be expected considering that I was practically on my own as I closed up shop. But there was no goodbye, no screw you—nothing. I dropped my keys off in the drop slot Monday (no one even asked me for them), and there was something hollow and empty about that. There was no gathering for margaritas or farewell lunch, or even a good riddance card. I don’t know what I expected after five years. I don’t think I gave it any thought at all until I noticed how empty I was feeling. How empty I am feeling.

Bottom line is that it doesn’t matter in the end. I made my decision and I am married to it now. I don’t regret quitting. In fact, all of this has made me that much more pleased with my decision. I guess it just didn’t feel real until now. It’s been a rough week. My writing is going fine. Demand Studios pays on time for the record.

So, what have I learned from all of this? I’ve learned that you can’t place your worth on your job, unless you are working for yourself and doing what you can call a true passion. Find something you love to do and then find someone who will pay you for it. If you wouldn’t do it for nothing, then you’re in the wrong industry. Yeah—someone out there is saying that there needs to be garbage collectors and who would do that voluntarily? Truth is, I don’t know. All I know is that everyone out there has something that they excel at/in and our world would be a better place if all of us focused on our strengths instead of a paycheck. Again, I realize I’m being a bit idealistic. Aren’t I always?

I suppose what really bothers me is how little, the company I worked for, cared. Things in our economy are still rough, I get it, but don’t put me in a position to fail and then act like it was in everyone’s benefit that I decided on my own accord to leave. I functioned quite well for four and a half years before growing intensely miserable—for a myriad of reasons, not the least of which was my inability to work in mass confusion and disorganization. This hurts because I left feeling totally incompetent and like I was a waste of air. I understand corporate America is cold—that it won’t coddle you and that career placement is cut throat. But the problem is, this company was supposed to be different.  This company was supposed to be family oriented and in reality, it’s just like any other property management company. Nothing special, nothing out of the ordinary and if average is all they are shooting for, then I wish them the best of luck. I have no doubt they’ll reach utter anonymity in the industry and moderate efficacy in employee retention, with startlingly little effort.  It’s a shame too, because they were so damn close to being more. It wouldn’t be tragic if they were light years from being exceptional. Employees who come first will keep their customers first. Employees who are treated as more than a means to financial gain will work harder for every dollar they make for themselves and for the company. Employees who are valued as human beings, with unique personalities and strengths, will purpose to overcome the obstacles that will inevitably come.

Have I burnt a bridge by posting this? I write under a pen name, so probably not, but honestly—I don’t care anymore. I hate to feel this way, but I won’t deny it. Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.