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Monthly Archives: October 2012

I am still a little bit in shock about the response to Hurricane Sandy. Those of us who live in Brooklyn but who work in Manhattan are gently being prodded to return to the office, despite these nightmarish conditions (horrible traffic, no trains, limited bus service). I was trying to think about ways I could get into Manhattan tomorrow (the G to the 7? Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge to the 6? Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge to the bus? Share a cab to Midtown?). My teeth started to hurt from all the grinding.

And I realized that my self-imposed exile from obsessively putting my job ahead of my own sanity was informing this desire to get into Manhattan.

I honestly feel that the most responsible thing I can do is to stay out of everyone’s way for the next few days. Nobody will be hurt or get in trouble if these donations are processed a few days late, or if a meeting is rescheduled. So much of this work happens electronically anyway, just through email. Why am I getting all worked up?

Clearly, I am stir crazy, and feeling a little helpless. I would like for things to get back to normal. But this isn’t a normal circumstance. This is a 100 year storm that has devastated the NYC area. It’s time to just sit back, take a deep breath, and be grateful that I can walk to the store for some rice later.

Everything else will keep.

(I am starting to wonder if this is the ultimate example of work-life balance/out of balance, or if I am just intensely and unforgivable lazy.Votes?)

I have been asked to work remotely today because so many people are without power in the suburbs. Scary! I know we have one Long Island-er and two people in Westchester, as well as a bunch of folks in Brooklyn who can’t get into Manhattan because of the train shutdown. The people we work with are also dealing with some pretty serious issues, including flooding and other damage.

So, here I am. Logged in via remote desktop to my work computer. But the question is, what do I have to do? The current answer is ‘not much.’ I get a feeling this is about peace of mind more than actual work tasks. When I used to work from home, it was always because I had a very intensive, single-focus project to bang out. I needed quiet and privacy, which were not abundant in my old office. In this instance, I am just available to do work-related tasks. Simply being present and connected is my value.

So here I am. I guess I’ll make a pot of tea and wait for some instructions. I have to say, I am relieved to be working and therefore collecting a paycheck.

I’m still feeling so lucky to have emerged relatively unscathed from this storm.

Hurricane Sandy was a really serious storm. There have been a lot of devastating consequences in the 5 boroughs and in New Jersey. I am so relieved that my neighborhood is elevated, and everything seems relatively safe and secure. We lost cable and internet, but power stayed on all night. I feel so lucky and blessed to be safe and sound, when so many people are dealing with flooding, and worse.

However, I am missing work this week because of the storm and the trains are down. I missed worked yesterday and today, and until the trains back up, I doubt I will be able to go into Manhattan.

For me, this represents a loss of income. I don’t get paid, or get to take vacation days. For people who are paid my the hour (like I am right now) these disruptions can be economically devastating. It’s disconcerting, to be sure. I am heartened to see several local businesses open this morning, and later today, I’m going to go over to the bookstore. There is also a clothing and book drive at a local school, I might go make a donation.

But again, everything is about perspective. Safe, sound, dry, warm, fed, this is what matters.

I hope all of you are well and safe.

Sometimes, all I think about is how I am “unemployed” or “underemployed” and it bums me out. It’s a drag.

But actually, I have done a lot of things in the last 9 months:

  • applied for at least 70 jobs, and gone on at least 20 interviews
  • started this blog, which now has almost 210 posts and 5000 views
  • learned to knit, and made three scarves (one for each of my immediate family members) plus a cowl that is for me that is almost done!
  • started Bikram yoga (again)
  • kept running
  • managed to pay my rent on time every month despite not having a consistent income
  • taught myself how to make curry at home, instead of ordering out
  • made 80 cold calls in one morning
  • taught a workshop for individual artists
  • quit working for someone who was verbally abusive to me and to others

These are all big, real accomplishments. A year ago, I was running, but I wasn’t doing much of the other stuff on this list.

Not all accomplishment are financial. Not all accomplishments come with a title. That’s okay with me.

 

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