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All in a day’s work

Ever since I was downsized from my corporate job, my daily routine as a freelancer is eerily similar.

In the morning I eat breakfast, make coffee, check e-mails, print out my To Do list, polish and submit stories if I have any due, tell an editor I forgot to ask for photos – if I forgot to ask for photos, ponder markets for essays I wrote or ideas I have yet to put on paper, procrastinate, set up interviews for assigned stories; and maybe, if I’m not too frazzled from all that activity, because, whew, that is a lot, write something new.

I also fit in a 50-minute workout on the treadmill, a shower and pay careful attention to the way I blow dry my hair. Because hair can make or break your day. At least that’s what my mother taught me.

Meanwhile, there are dishes in the sink. You could say I am diabolical about the order in which I place them in the dishwasher. I also wipe the counter and push the lightweight vacuum across the kitchen floor to remove the Rice Krispies my husband generously shared with the dog in the middle of the night – at least the Rice Krispies that didn’t land in her bowl. Oh, I start the laundry and let the dog out a couple of times, then clean her off upon re-entry if the backyard is muddy or wet.

Though those chores need to be done, they disrupt the thinking and the planning and the writing part of my day – so much that I don’t return to the thinking and the planning and the writing (if I do indeed write) until the middle of the afternoon and suddenly it’s 3:00 pm and my son comes home from school and I have the perfect excuse to quit the planning and the thinking and the writing because those things require my total focus while cleaning does not.

I forgot to mention that I run out to Starbucks or Caribou when I need to break up the monotony. I also forage for snacks in the kitchen when I’m only sort of hungry and check the TV schedule so I can record whatever shows I usually watch that evening because two nights a week we attend our son’s basketball games and I’d hate hate hate to miss the latest Real Housewives of Beverly Hills because of that. When the games are home I set up the concessions stand with a couple of other moms, something I did not beg to do.

Oh, yeah. There are days I’m required to go to Gordon’s for pop and Gatorade and candy and popcorn and hot dogs for the aforementioned concessions when I am not e-mailing or texting the hell out of these other moms. Because we also plan teacher night, senior night and the end-of-season banquet. Who invented this stuff?

Sometimes, I run to the bank to deposit a check. Many days I can be found in the fruit and veggie aisle at Kroger’s, and, well, any other aisle, too. And occasionally I pick up my husband’s prescriptions at Rite-Aid.

Am I missing anything? Ah, there’s the hour or so I waste on Facebook although I am giving Facebook-free days a trial run – the longer I can go without it, the less addicted I’ll be.

I also obsess over things I have no control over and love any excuse to go to Target.

It’s a wonder I get any work done at all.

What’s your day like?

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February 13, 2013 - 12:10 am

Johnny Velazquez, PhD - Whew, Pam, By the time I finished reading your blog, I got so tired, that I plunked down in front of my TV set, had something to eat, and convinced myself that I really needed a break.
This is such an eye opener to those of us who need to be serious about our passion. Thank you. Blessings.

February 13, 2013 - 2:13 am

Jo-Anne Meadows - Wow some think I am busy but this made me tired just reading it…lol
Did you belive me………….no………oh well I would sit and argue the point but I have to go and find the toilet paper Leo says there is none in the toilet……….and I hope there is none in the toilet but do hope there is some in the bathroom…………lol

February 13, 2013 - 1:39 pm

Pam Houghton - Ha! Well, it would be nice to block out all those must-do things like chores and shopping. πŸ™‚

February 13, 2013 - 1:40 pm

Pam Houghton - I hope so too! Ha ha! πŸ™‚

February 13, 2013 - 9:29 pm

in pursuit - Oh girl, I think my day looks very similar to yours.. and every other mom/writer out there, right? I wish i could say I write as much as you do or that I got paid for it. Well, I guess I do. I am the social media manager for a boutique recruiting firm. I write for him. He pays me. But it’s not MY writing for ME. Anyway, i often feel like my day is made up of a million tiny chopped up pieces rather than the big chunks of when I worked full time. However, if Target is one of thos pieces (and it often is) I’ll take it! πŸ˜‰

February 14, 2013 - 1:30 pm

Pam Houghton - “Anyway, i often feel like my day is made up of a million tiny chopped up pieces rather than the big chunks of when I worked full time” – perfect description! It’s quite an adjustment! Thanks, Vicky!

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