Sunday, February 7, 2010

(Don't) Quit Your Day Job

     Sitting here this Sunday eve, I start to feel the effects of PMS; “Pre-Monday Syndrome.” Now mind you I am blessed in the fact that my work week actually starts on Tuesday so I am spared what many feel in a handful of hours from now.

     Monday mornings, I do have to return to my drill sergeant duties in getting the troops ready for school, my chef’s duties in getting lunches ready and often off to the grocery to buy the required sustenance for the upcoming week, and I once again return my attention to the online banking and work related emails. Oh yes taxes...*urp*...taxes. (I think I threw up in my mouth a little).

     Anyhow – I often briefly scan my Facebook account to see what friends are up to, my duties on other accounts, posts and random how-do-you do’s. Most of the status updates however, post laments of Monday and the related dread of its arrival.

     In writing my book, one point I observed is that if people “hated” Mondays as much as they profess on my scrolling social network screen; and they lived an average life of approximately eighty years, they would be spending 11.4 years of their life in a state of dread and dismay. Profound huh? Add another day to the mix and, well, you do the math!

I think this stems a lot from the proverbial “Day Job” that haunts us.

     I find it interesting as I sat here most of this wonderful Sunday creating my book proposal and query letters for my book I have written. I spent hours upon hours (my kids were gone or entertained), feverishly trying to give my dream the leverage to get published and perhaps unfurling my sails to venture into new and uncharted blue waters. My dream is to one day be at my own book signing, my book an inspirational tome to where I hope the attendees are if not moved at least entertained. I want the cardigan sweater with the patches on the elbows. I want progressively bad eyesight that accompanies the career of a writer. Okay, maybe not.

     Why is it I spent much of my coveted weekend propped in front of a keyboard “working” when I now dread going back to work? Why do others feel the same? When did our dreams of doing what we do, just simply become an income generator, a hurdle to get through, and like an old lover, we now only consider a friend (if at all)?

     What is interesting to me is when I ask people, “If money was not a concern, would you be doing what you are doing now?” The answer most often is “no”. Secondly and peculiarly is that what we would do for fulfillment is quite often completely and randomly different from what we now do. Does this shift occur from boredom with the task? Does it occur from external disillusionment? Were expectations to high to begin with? Perhaps a force we could not see like the economy caused our emotional detachment. Maybe who is in charge of our progression is a hindrance. It is rough when your boss is a mean or lazy a-hole, and you are self-employed...

     I often hear, “Don’t quit your day job” directed to someone following their passion. Usually a discouraging outburst by someone who wants to see you tethered to that which weighs you down. Ah, the day job; the nemesis of excitement, yet that which provides the necessary sustainability to exist in the dreamless world, and slows our progression to be able to peer through our sextant and focus on the next guiding star.

     What helps me is in reaching for my goals and new territory is that I realize that my day job is truly what keeps my boat afloat in the meantime. Also I am more aware of when I am simply wasting time. Recharging is one thing, but when I could be utilizing my efforts to achieve whatever task, hobby, or dream I need to work on, I am more in tune to my application of my mental and physical efforts.

     Funny too is that I realize now that in my desire to not be at work, and have my leisure time, I would often waste much of it with boring tasks, watching TV, or daydreaming. The daydreaming spent wishing my life were different. Who was to blame? What can I do differently?

     Now as I sit and try to narrow my 11.4 years to a more palatable number, I also spend reasonable time with reasonable expectations on adding variety to my life. Quit my day job? Who knows? The next best-selling author? I still don’t know. Cardigan sweater with the patches? Wal-Mart here I come.

     What I do find is that when my job and life become boring or challenging, the effort I can dedicate to another goal or dream is enough to distract from my displeasure with the “same ‘ole, same ‘ole.” It is energizing and nourishing. It often alleviates the “day job” from the target of my whining, and redirects my focus to healthier tasks.

     From hairdresser to writer is quite an odd transition. As I said, many of us find where we are quite a bit different from where we wish we could be. As I look here to my right I have a small square hanging from my wall with the inspirational quote: “What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?” I am attempting mine---what would you do?

  This is also posted on Writers Rising  


Healing Morning said...

I didn't exactly quit my day job - it poofed a little over 18 months ago along w/ millions of other jobs affected by the downturn in the economy. As a result, amidst much stress, fear and eventual leveling out to a practical approach, I came full circle and am writing (tech & creative) for a living again.

It's rare that we get to combine our avocation with our vocation, but so far, I am blessed in this regard. Baby steps being put into place to re-establish in new writing venues, as well as continuing to work on my own manuscript. I, too, have dreams and intentions of being published and doing that book signing tour - who knows, perhaps we'll meet one another face to face in the big picture process!

~ Dawn

YogaSavy said...

I am blessed to teach yoga( a passion of mine)I am also blessed that my family supports me on this. There is a shift in your calling and if you can follow it then you are one of the lucky ones. All the very best and enjoy while it is there. namaste....

Jeannine Pratt Evans said...

OK, So I find myself in your situation : Love to cook, write but in "hair school". Never really had a passion for hair nor a talent but hey I am 41 looking for a change and My husband is doing the Barber School. So it is working out and I am actually enjoying it. My passion will always be cooking, is it because I am Italian?? who knows?? Always wanted to write a book after my first Kidney Transplant in 1989. Maybe jot my thoughts down on how to help others that were too young to go through the "Transformation" that I did. Then Life hits and I have kids and a husband and end up working retail for almost 20 years when my Kidney decides to Fail and I have the whole Dialysis, Transplantion process to do over again only now I am 40. Still thinking of all the "near death" experiences, life lessons, intresting people and Doctor's who are Awesome and some who are clueless that I could write about in a book. My writting passion usually comes on if I hear a certain Barry Manilow song. Odd?? Week-end in New england. I imagine myself much like you glasses, hair in a french twist, Sweater. (No patches) But on Oprah (and I really don't care for her). I have an over whelming urge and sometimes start to write. All the trials I have had to face and people who I have met and learned from. I hope many have learned from me. I am a very positive and upbeat person who wished I could do my passion but than that "doubt" comes in and blows it away. FEAR!!! over my passion becoming my posion! I have a friend from school maybe you remeber her Tisha Cooper?? She graduation with Megan and I. Always said I should open a little Bistro somewhere. Who knows maybe I just might!! A little place called "Beauty and the Bistro". I need to trade mark or register that name quick. Since I lived in Italy for awhile it have that flair. Thanks for the inspiration!!!

Timberwolf123 said...


I understand about the taxes thing....I've done them for the last 11 years. As far as Monday goes I'd love to have to worry about going into a job on Monday morning, any job. I too was laid off over 8 months ago & still trying to find employment.

Anyway the bottom line is life is to short to lose 11.4 years of your life. I start everyday with joy regardless of what I'm doing & if we can't make a living doing what we love, we need to find time to enjoy it even with the work we do.

Thanks for sharing,



schmitz.88 said...

Yea I hate Mondays. I use to like them until College. So I defiantly feel the PMS! It is like as you get older the weeks go by so fast and the weekends go by a lot faster. I need more time to relax but I can’t once I do relax I am on to the next week of school. But on weekends I work Saturday and Sunday all day so I never have time to just chill out. I think it is awesome you are writing a book. You seem like a very inspiriting person. I think you will be great for people who are in need of motivation.

Brent said...

I'm fortunate in that i love what I do, I'm a self employed salesman and while it is a bit of a pain many times I find my occupation is well suited to my temperament. It is however, just a way to pay the bills. I'm working on many projects that could fill the role as my "dream job" It's finishing one before starting another that gets me every time. Im OK with that though. I like keeping my creative projects as something done for their own sake without money as the motivator (not that I would turn it away.) I don't mind Mondays either, It's the Sundays that get me. I love having a little block of time that is all mine and on Sunday I feel it creeping away.

Vicki said...

I quit my day job to "find myelf" (aka sitting on the couch or going shopping). It's only a tempory thing while I work out what I want to do. The strange thing is I still hate Mondays. You just can't make some people happy.

TirzahLaughs said...

I don't mind my

I don't love it but I don't dread it. I've had jobs I dreaded. But it's unrealistic to just quit. You have to eat.

But you should always be looking for something better.

And I don't want my writing to be work.

I want to do it because I want to do it. Not because I'm required to do it.

Real jobs are frustrating because sometimes you're asked to do things that don't make sense.


Jacquie Janzen Yee said...

I'm loving my day job! I get to meet interesting people who inspire me to keep going and focus on what makes me, and my family and friends, happy. It's all about being authentic. I'm also VERY lucky that I have a husband who loves his job and that allows me the flexibility to pursue mine - writer and designer of lyrically beautiful things!

Thanks for following me and leaving such a supportive comment on our site, Artisan!


Tracy Wellenbrink said...

Anyone who can make me laugh gets the free pass, here's yours ! Thanks Tony, I will be back for some more fun later ! T

Bonnie Johnson said...

Wait for me! I'm in too.

I love finding great new blogs that inspire me and make me giggle at the same time.

Thanks Tony!

The third Tara Cronica girl, Bonnie

Hans said...

Why is Chuck Croll abusing Blogger Help Forum forum – allowing molestation, libel, and child pornography?

The pedophile stalker is roaming Blogger Help Forum for more than a week now, and moderator „nitecruzr“ alias Chuck Croll is still into his Bruno L. schtick, against better knowledge, see here:
Croll knows the avatars of the stalker and impersonator. He has read L’s alert blog and knows that L. is molested by this anonymous pervert since three years. He knows that the pedophile stalker has an avatar here under „NikolaiDersauger“, i.e. NikolaitheCocksucker in German. Further, he knows that the pervert is posting messages under „DerSaugerNikolai“ at YouTube, see this screenshot:
or directly at Youtube:
(though Youtube will delete the messages today, as every day for three years)
And still Croll doesn’t see fit to take action? It’s the easiest thing in the world to compare IPs, but Croll and his colleagues simply do nothing – more, they do delete all legitimate questions by other, long-time members of this forum.

All members of this forum have to endure this chaos because the moderators agree with impersonation, libel, and child pornography?

The avatars of the stalker:


Beth Eaton said...

Awesome blog! Thanks for finding my on Facebook! I look forward to talking with you and reading more!!

Noelle Nolan said...

I too am a MONDAY HATER. My work week unfortunately begins on Monday and goes through half a day on Friday, but I scheduled my own work week. Ah, the advantages of working for yourself. I do however find myself working on Saturdays and Sundays trying to meet deadlines or fix things that just aren't exactly right.

One day when my paychecks allow me to, I will have free weekends and maybe ditch the awful Monday!

Great Post!

Ron Cooper said...

I was a newspaper reporter for many years, so deadline driven that it took the joy out of life. I quit to become a workshop leader and freelance writer, and haven't looked back since.

Now Monday morphs into Sunday, all in a blur--I'm working nearly all the time, but my "day job" is choosing which clients best fit my needs and with whom I'll be most happy.

Thanks for the column!