Thursday, September 15, 2011


(Staircase Noise, Winchester Mystery House, California, 2005)

I still haven't unpacked my boxes from work.

At the end of this month it's been 3 months since I left my job. It feels like 3 days. Three long, hectic days filled with nothing I thought they would be, filled to the brim. Where did three months go?

I haven't held still for a moment, yet I also haven't produced.

There it is. Production.

My soul is sold on this concept of production. Productization. Productivity. Producer. Production as indicated by output and measured by dollars earned. I can tell myself I value other things - the exercise that has let me keep my weight while stress-eating, the extra time and closeness with my kids, getting some aspects of our house-life in order - and I still judge myself for failing to produce.

The supportive coach in me asks me to reframe. Reframe. I note the personal progress (it feels like regress, but I think I had to go back to go forward). I feel the change in me as I let go of some things that have been with me a long time. I am expanding my networks, feeling around for my path, seeking help. I am mulling and living with what is now. Way to go!

The 6 Sigma Blackbelt in me snorts. The supportive coach gives him a dirty look. He steps forward. He says, "All of this production work means nothing until there is sold product, and then we can measure it by how much it sells and for what price."

I don't know how to answer that. I stammer. I look at my feet. The supportive coach purses her lips.

The outraged child can't sit still.

"Shut up shut up shut up shut up!" she cries. We all shudder. When she gets started we know it's the long haul.

"Who cares?" she wails. "Why should I even CARE? This sucks. This all sucks. I don't want to work. I want to tell stories. All day. Leave me alone and let me tell stories and stop bugging me with all this money stuff. Aren't we supposed to trust the universe or something?" She pouts, her arms crossed. The rest of the room laughs. Some of us think she's cute, but there are others grumbling. I can hear them muttering.

"She's going to bring us all down."
"She's forgetting that she's not the only kid who's affected"
"The universe? What's that supposed to be?"
"If we listen to her, we'll waste our time"
"She's so immature, thinking we can do what we want all day"
"It's not about fun, life is about work."

It goes on and on. I close my eyes. I stuff my fingers in my ears and try to listen for what I feel.

It's just too noisy in here.


  1. I have these same loud, overbearing, pushy committee members dogging me all day, too, only mine say "You gotta' ship." which means the same thing as produce and sell and ka-ching. I also have the soft voice asking timidly "Aren't we supposed to trust the universe? I mean, if I'm good, won't everything all work out?" I guess that makes us cousins, Sugar. I also totally understand about 3 months feeling more like 3 weeks - 3 days, even. My office (I almost can't type that word, preferring "studio" or, if you want to know the truth "jeannedom") is at home. Which is mighty convenient for productivity . . . ON PAPER. In reality, it's a mean trick disguised as opportunity to be super productive.

    If you need an outside support coach for a little while, one who will hold you accountable, let me know.

    And hey, though I'm sorry my committee has twins who reside in Canada, I did enjoy this post. Love how you ended on a chuckle. xo

  2. yes, i know those feelings. i have always been glad that my work, graphics, always has a deadline, which forces me to get things done.
    but even when you feel like you aren't being productive, in the way that you think you should be, that time is still valuable. you are experiencing, living, absorbing.
    kick all those inner critics in the butt. they just want attention. give them less, not more, eventually they will get tired and go away.


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