Month: July 2015

Somewhat of a celebration.

I still have a huge pile of work on my desk. A lot of tasks to get through and things that people are waiting for. At least I’ve dispatched most of the That Company paperwork now, there are only one or two minor bits of admin outstanding.

I felt I should celebrate signing the deal, but I was not sure how. So I ordered two books from Amazon that I will have to read for work and reinstated my World of Warcraft account. LOL, this is how boring I am. I haven’t played for three months. I certainly don’t have the time or money right now to go on holiday, so I will go and ride my horse for an hour on the beaches of Tanaris and maybe kill a few things.

I went to the gym and the bloody pool was closed because they are doing weeks of refurbishment. I will have to start doing treadmill and weight training again.

tanaris

Kool and the Gang: Celebration (1981)

Presto Change-o! / 20 Years

It is dark here in London because it is 4am.

I am still at my desk, and right now I am having a little celebration.

After weeks of negotiation, I have just signed a contract with That Company, and in so doing, I have significantly changed the course of my career.

Shazam! I am a new woman.

I am having a liqueur to mark this long-awaited moment, for it really is a huge turning point. With one signature in the right box, my working life has changed dramatically, perhaps for ever.

As part of all the associated paperwork, I spent several hours today making a comprehensive list of everything I’ve ever published in any kind of professional journal or forum. It took several hours because I haven’t even thought of compiling such a list for a long time, because I didn’t need to.

When I had finished, it stretched back 20 years. This year is the 20th anniversary of the very first time I had something in print. It was a book review that appeared in a small social science journal. 20 years.

I feel old. Also proud. Also excited. Also tired, because it is 4am. Definitely time for a nightcap. I raise my glass to you, readers. We are in this together. Onwards and upwards.

TLYW.

Progress.

This project of completely overhauling my life and finances is certainly keeping me busy. The last week has been very repetitive, I am just at my desk all day and half the evening, doing paperwork and taking care of business as best I can.

Let’s take a look at the big life plan that I drew up in April when I was really starting to feel the urgency of changing my life in important ways. Perhaps we will be able to detect some progress.

plan 01

This crude picture is how I imagine my life. Several months ago I realised that while my life was in way better shape than when I started this blog in 2010, certain areas of it were causing me a lot of pain. Specifically, the red zone on the map, which represents my working life and how I earn my money. It did not make any meaningful connection with my personal ethics, philosophy or raison d’etre, which is represented by the blue zone that you see there. Because of this noticeable incongruence, further problems arose, such as lacklustre business strategy and a relaxed approach to personal spending, because I wasn’t very emotionally attached to the money I was making.

Then a few things in my personal life suddenly went crash, forcing my hand. The following three months were pretty terrifying as I reviewed a lot of options, talked to a couple of hundred business contacts and tried to figure out how re-engineer my career and finances while still paying the mortgage. There were times when it was very scary, I couldn’t eat and I had low levels of confidence in the generosity of the universe.

During this period I wrote most of a book.

Where we are today. The red zone has changed dramatically and consequently the blue zone is bright blue.

  • That Company sent me a contract today. I have a query about clause thirty-something. At least they know I am reading the small print. I think we are almost there. I want to get it signed off, then I can celebrate. This means working in a new sector that is very close to my heart, that I am excited about and that I can serve with real joy and sincerity. I will be a lot busier and have less money but I can do valuable work with a clear conscience.
  • This means the blue zone is finally a real thing. I can do work that I love and feel good about what I earn and who I am. This is so important. I’ve waited for this opportunity for a long time.
  • A new literary agent emailed me about my book, she sounds like she really gets it. I still can’t believe that I had ‘write a book’ on my list of things to do and then I did it and now literary agents talk to me about it.
  • I have a financial adviser now and we have had several conversations about mortgages and pensions EEURGH. I am having a Finance point for that. Look at me being a responsible grown-up.

While I’ve been so busy overhauling my working life, some things have suffered. The yellow zone in the middle needs some urgent attention now. I am gaining weight, I need to get my hair cut again and my teeth are showing the evidence of occasional stress-fuelled lapses into smoking and coffee.

Time to create some activity in the yellow zone. The fitness zone.

I still have mountains of work on my desk so it is going to be difficult, but not impossible.

I will check in here and celebrate when I’ve entered the gym. I’m about ready now. I need to lose some weight and be fit and healthy for the next 12 months of exciting challenges. It’s my birthday next month. I’d like to be in a regular gym habit before then.

Peace, strength, motivation, general mojo to all of you lovely readers, whatever your quest may be. Hang on in there. We will have the lives we want. In the meantime, let’s have a tune.

The Isley Brothers: Who’s That Lady (1973)

Plus ca change.

I am really sorry my life is so boring at the moment. Here are the news headlines:

  • I had another massive headache over the weekend, the third in three weeks.
  • I attended meetings. Now I can enjoy a few much-needed days at my desk and get important stuff done from here like paying tax bills.
  • The sofa is about 95% of the way to being assembled. It is quite small, I think it will be okay and I will be able to squeeze it in somewhere in my living room. There are two awkward screws that have to be fitted and I need to get someone over here to help me do them.
  • I have a pile of business related paperwork to do, admin, proposals and such.
  • I am still waiting for That Company to fine tune the small print on their stuff.
  • The broken iPad is still here.
  • The literary agent is still waiting.
  • My house is reasonably clean but there is signficant laundry.
  • The boy who I quite wanted to date turned out to be a non-starter.
  • I ate half a family size tiramisu today so at least there’s no danger of me starving to death.

Rubbish, isn’t it. I should start going to the gym. Now I’m slightly more relaxed about the work and finance situation I am starting to want to use the pool.

There is no milk and I have a sofa that I want about as much as I want another baby.

Totally exhausted. Meetings, proposals, phone conferences, meetings. It doesn’t stop.

Last night I went to bed at 7pm and that’s why I was awake at 3.30 this morning, only to discover that there is no milk in the house so I can’t have any coffee.

I have another long, long day of meetings ahead of me and I know they are going to serve coffee in doll-size cups. What I need is a bucket of coffee. I have to leave here at 8am. I think I am going to get ready for work now, then by 7am the local shops should be open and I will be able to get some milk before going out.

So glad it is nearly the weekend. Also, I just checked my diary and was overjoyed to discover that I have only ONE meeting next week. Amazing. Perhaps I will be able to take care of some things that aren’t meetings, eg:

– writing more stuff for the literary agent

– returning my iPad for repair, it broke a month ago and I haven’t had even a moment since then to send it to Apple

– there’s an IKEA sofa that I bought out of sheer desperation because of needing something to sleep on so that I can have Airbnb guests and not have to sleep on the floor like last time. I really did not want a sofa, in any way, it was a distress purchase. My flat isn’t big enough to house it, I resent its presence here and I would gladly return it to IKEA but it too has been hanging around my living room for a month. I doubt they will have it back now and they would certainly expect me to pay for a courier to take it away, the cost of which is about what the sofa itself is worth. It is here now, isn’t it, and I have no choice but to assemble it or just stare it at taking up my whole living room floor in its packaging. After the magnificent efforts I’ve made over the last 5 years to resist having one in the house.

This picture shows the size of my flat:

cube

My history with sofas:

– Threw out the first one along with the TV in 2010 when I evicted an old boyfriend and started the blog.

– Did not regret it. I have been saving the space ever since for a concert-size vibraphone, something I’ve waited my entire life to own.

– Threw out a second sofa quite recently because it was taking up warehouse space and I needed to empty the warehouse because warehouse units in London cost as much as owning a home.

– Now a third sofa is in my life. It is like herpes. Fucking unwanted furniture, sofas are determined to be in my life and in my tiny cube of a flat. No matter what I do, they keep coming back.

This is what I have waited my whole life for, and by the way I am not getting any younger and my reflexes are not getting any faster, if I want to ever play the vibraphone, I need to get on it immediately or give up hope:

vibra

This is what I have instead. I hate it. It is a symbol of despair and of defeat. I wish I could return it and buy a vibraphone instead.

sofa 1

At least I now have enough hope of That Company actually paying me some money that I’m no longer looking for a flatmate because that was an utterly ridiculous situation. This flat has one normal size bedroom and one box room that you could keep a hamster in if it wasn’t prone to claustrophobia. My former plan, born more out of panic than anything else, was to rent out my bedroom and sleep in the hamster room, overlooking the fact that I am not the size of a hamster, I own clothes, at least 75% of which are business clothes, and I have also crammed the entire contents of my business and office into my flat as well.

On we go.

Not much is happening that is blogworthy because I am just knee deep in meetings all the time. Also we are having Britain’s harshest heatwave in 10 years and the whole country lacks air conditioning. So I’ve been sweating through a busy work week of travelling around London on the Underground and having to be brilliant and sparkly at people’s offices. Not surprisingly, by Friday I had another headache.

A quick summary of where we are up to:

  • I am fat and tired. As things started to look better on the work and money front, my appetite returned and so of course excess flab is coming back. One thing that has suffered while I’ve been dealing with the last 8-10 weeks of major life restructuring is my health. I eat pretty cleanly but I need to get some exercise. .
  • It looks like I have reached an agreement with That Company, we are still finalising the details. Still haven’t signed anything.
  • Business in general is slightly improved. Slightly. The market has changed, but it is there.
  • I think everything is going to be okay.
  • The literary agent is waiting for me. I want to write and send a new sample chapter. I apologised for the fact that I have to attend to business for several days.
  • My house is a tip.
  • I met an exciting boy last weekend who I want to date. I am playing it cool. There is no other way to play it. I don’t know what the chances are of even seeing him again, it took two months to set up the first date because of all of the above.

I have so much to do. It’s now 4pm on Sunday afternoon and I have no option but to get all my work stuff together for the coming week.

Church.

DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince: Summertime (1991)