My Third Month Obsessing

Wouldn’t it be great to take some time off, to escape the daily grind and just BE for a while?

I used to think that, too. Then my boss surprised me with the gift of time — in summer, no less — and what have I done with it?

Mostly, I look for new jobs. I also obsess about the quickly deteriorating news industry, which just happens to be where my career was before May 1. And I spend WAY too much time online, thinking perhaps that my perfect job will be posted for just 30 seconds, so if I’m not online at the very moment it’s made public, I’ll miss out. Of course I’m sitting here reading the NYTimes, Salon.com, LATimes, Washington Post, and all other publications I find interesting. It’s not all Facebook Pathwords games. Really!

After 60 days, I haven’t learned to step away from the computer for more than a few hours at a time, despite my best efforts. And compounding that dependence is my husband, who bought me a Blackberry, so I’m never far from email and Facebook updates.

To my credit, I didn’t watch Michael Jackson’s memorial service yesterday. And it would take a lot longer than 60 days to get me to watch Oprah or Jerry Springer or another talking head on television. Yet the news sites I refresh relentlessly for updates aren’t keeping pace. My brain is turning to oatmeal, I’m afraid.

My conundrum: breaking away means forgetting that there are lots of unemployed writers around these parts, but letting this time pass without making productive use of it somehow seems inexcusable.

A quick search shows how other people spend three months when they have it:

Kate Gosslin of the Jon+Kate show apparently fired 40 staff members in 3 months

Darlene in Missouri paid off her credit cards in 3 months

Train to be an EMT in just 3 months! Are you ready to save a life?

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