Friday, September 2, 2011

Out of synch.

It took just four days.

Four days after a peaceful, wholly relaxing vacation I found myself bursting into tears after a mishap at home became the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back.

This Monday had come around and I was more than prepared. Vacation had given me a zen-like outlook on the coming work week. When I learned of a photo spread not running in one of the papers while I was gone, I literally shrugged it off and said, "Oh well, it will run next week." I didn't even flinch, for one second. Very much unlike the last time I went on vacation and the same story ran on top of one another on the same page ... but that's a different story. Vacation had swept away any stresses I had, entirely.

I noticed though, as Monday drew on, my insides tightening. I learned that afternoon of something occurring which I had taken measures for it to specifically not, and in an unexpected place, too. I felt frustrated and defeated four hours into my work day. I covered a three-hour-long meeting that night and the writing of an article about it totally drained me.

Getting a grip on the newspapers after having not tended to them for a week was harder than I expected. It didn't help that I had leftover photo spread photos to figure out, an unhappy customer who took out an ad specifically for the aforementioned photo spread which didn't run, and a fast approaching deadline for an article running in a supplement.

I love my job. I really, really do. It's everything I planned on doing, although not as early on in my career, but I'm not complaining. The truth of the matter is that it's just hard running the show sometimes, especially after not being in it for a week, and having two newspapers.

I was able to successfully submit the supplement article, about cider donuts, on time. I was able to wrap up the papers and "put them to bed" at 8:30 Wednesday evening, which is way too late for me. They're normally done by 5. I couldn't believe how out of synch I was feeling.

On my production day, Thursday, I was immediately pulled aside by our ad manager who informed me I was missing a key bakery in my cider donut story and I needed to contact them right at that second to get a blurb in about them. By then, my insides had become twisted like a pretzel. I could literally feel the stress inside of me. I told her I would remedy the problem and went to proof my papers. In the middle of proofing, I was asked if I had contacted the bakery, which I had not - yet. She was (as she should be) visibly worried (making ME worried) and told me I needed it in as soon as possible, before she leaves that day. Internally, I fell apart. I haven't a clue how I didn't burst into tears just then because my eyes were stinging with their burn.

I proofed the pages I was working on, called up the bakery and interviewed the owner. In transit, my laptop's Word program CRASHED. Like, randomly quit.  Come on!

I sat staring at my computer shooting laser beams of hate at the metal square. Thankfully, I recovered the document. Quickly, I typed up a blurb about the bakery and finished proofing the pages. My co-workers were able to make me laugh and I forgot about how stressful the day had been.

Later that evening at home, one last fiasco (not really, quite minor)  happened and I couldn't keep my cool anymore. I burst into tears and sobbed into a cold wash cloth in our bathroom until Sean appeared and the wash cloth turned into the crook of his neck and eventually my pillow. Sean made dinner, we ate it in bed and I got under the covers at 9 p.m. and watched Big Bang Theory and fell asleep. I woke up at 9:30 a.m. today.

I didn't intended to turn this into a debbie downer post, but this blog is if anything, truthful, and I feel better when I write. I'm so surprised how quickly my vacation zen disappeared. But I have decided to implement some steps to do something about my work life.

On vacation, I turned off my work mail on my iPhone. This was the best thing I've ever done. I felt no nagging need to check my work mail because I couldn't see it! I mean, I saw my yahoo mail, but that's not really stress-inducing to look at. So, I'm keeping it turned off. I'm not bringing work with me wherever I go. Out to dinner, on the couch, over the weekend - no.

On a related note, I'm not going to check my work email at home after hours unless I'm working from home. I will not start my mornings anymore by turning my iMac on at home and immediately clicking the mail app.

Hopefully these steps will help me separate my work and home lives, which, when you're a reporter, are kind of hard to keep apart.

This weekend will be a nice, mini vacation, and hopefully will recharge my over-used, already exhausted batteries. Sean and I are attending our good friends Marie and Bjorn's wedding in Plymouth and I am SO excited! Marie is responsible for mine and Sean's paths crossing, and she's the sweetest and toughest lady I know. I absolutely adore her. Bjorn's pretty badass, too.

I plan to go back to the beach, read another book and be in the company of Sean's siblings and their significant others who I whole heartedly enjoy.


  1. Sounds like me girl ::)) came home from my first vacation in 5 years without my kids only for 3 days to a hurrican lol which I dont handle any weather well latey after the tornado's lol both of my girls starting school...not to mention the paperwork that goes with that...on top of the huge Autumnfest goal I had to meet which I went in at 7:30 in the morning to do ..oh and don't forget your on early deadline ohhhh and we have Monday off so I better get my ads in for The fair guide deadline is Wednesday....There must be some crazzzzzzyyyyy Moon coming our way lol Hoping thing will slow down soon...We do have a busy job ...but like you I love it....Signed you know who lol ...Can't figure out your profile thing lol :::))) to drained from this week lol

  2. Ahh, I'm sorry it was a hard day back :( You certainly needed that time away and I'm sure tomorrow will be better :) When you're a busy person, it's hard to separate different aspects of your life....but I'm trying and am glad you are too!! Makes for a healthier person :)