Dear Job, it’s not you, it’s me (mostly)

My work has been quite the butt-kicker this year. My company’s fiscal year ends on December 31, so the first couple of months of the new year are usually focused on closing the books and getting prepared for the annual visit from the auditors. In addition to that, we changed our payroll processor and our accounting software at the beginning of this year, and neither went glitch-free – we still have kinks we’re working out from both. When I took a week off to travel east at the beginning of May – for my son’s college graduation and 7-months-delayed honeymoon, both non-negotiable – I was already behind. A week after my return, we were down two people – one planned, one a big shock – and we still are; it’s felt like crisis mode ever since. I made a list of the projects I need to make priorities for the next few days before I left the office this afternoon, and that helped me get some focus. But I feel like I probably don’t even know everything that’s fallen through the cracks, on top of the plenty of things I do know about. I think the word for it is “overwhelmed,” and I don’t know when it will stop, but I’m trying to figure it out.

My guilty secret in the midst of all this is that I’ve added a complication that’s no one’s fault but mine, and that’s this thing right here. A few months ago I started taking my blogging seriously, both as a writer and a reader/commenter on other blogs. The blog is listed (and cross-posted) on BlogHer, and claimed on Technorati. I also began submitting articles online (lucky for me that Work It, Mom! came along, and that members drive its content – it’s been a perfect opportunity). And I really like it. Writing engages my thought processes in a way that numbers don’t – “creative” and “accounting” aren’t supposed to go together (no good can come of that) – and it’s just fun. I’m not a professional writer – but I hope I’m not a hack – and I don’t know if this will ever turn into much more than it is, but I’m really glad I’m doing it and I want to keep going.

But I recognize that another reason I’m jumping into the writing and blogging with such enthusiasm is because it’s a refuge and a respite from the work stress – which is good, up to a point, and I’m afraid I may have gone beyond that point.

I think I need to work on learning another balancing act. It’s not going to be an even split by any means, but both of these things matter to me. I want to do well at the work I’m paid to do, and I know I’m capable. I also know my heart’s not in it right now, but sometimes “being a professional” means that really doesn’t matter and you just have to get things done. But when I’m there, I need to be there, and remind myself that there is plenty of time to be here. I have a great boss, one who knows the quality of work I can produce and is pretty flexible as long as the work gets done, and I’ve been riding on that…even though if I’m honest, I have to admit the situation right now doesn’t exactly warrant it. The “grandmother of blogging” made some good points about work/blog balance in this post – if you’ve been there and have any ideas to share, please do so – leave a comment!

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