Guest Blogs

“Walking On Eggshells at Work and in Love”

I’m drifty and distracted at the office and at home – and the trouble I’m having focusing is starting to draw attention.

First of all, thank you to all of you who shared your stories and insight on work and life, the roadblocks, and also the successes in response to my last post.

For an upcoming conference I am attending, I was asked to choose my favorite quote for my bio. Ironically it is, “Go the distance.” Maybe I subconsciously pick it because it’s what I hope and strive for. It’s kind of like when someone with a few extra pounds gives themselves the Twitter handle “skinny girl,” if that makes any sense.

On the work front the program director (head honcho) has a vulture eye on me, perhaps unsure of what I am actually doing and where I am heading. True, I often appear a bit jittery, overwhelmed by a self-created tsunami of side projects and ideas, a good number of which don’t actually involve my real job or the task at hand.

The head honcho doesn’t say anything, but I know she has her eyes on me – her darting eyes masked by a perennial smile. At a recent meeting she gave me the evil eye as I clicked away after turning on my laptop. Hey, my colleagues do the same. They bring their laptops to meetings, but I still remember a few months ago when the head honcho took me aback by asking me what and why I was emailing during the meeting.

I was so taken aback I had no answer, when I really wanted to say, “Everyone else does it, why are you picking on me?” Okay, so I should be focused on the tasks at hand, the meetings, the assignments, but my mind loftily shifts and drifts to say a movie I want to see, a poem I want to write, a city I’d just love to visit. I can’t stop it.

Technology just makes it worse.

My palm-sized smartphone is like a candy store, an entry into my colorful but scattered thoughts. The phone is so good it’s bad. I can surf mindlessly into the corners and crevices of places to travel to, or seek stupid and useless bits of information like, “Whatever happened to the actors from Little House on the Prairie?”

Those who work with me, or who I work for, have come to see my initial energy and excitement for new ideas, as a quirk or even amusement.

“You’re also kind of entrepreneurial, you’re an interesting mix,” said a colleague I work with. When I share another idea I receive a “tsk, tsk” and a “Jane, not another idea!”

On the personal front, it drives the new husband crazy. I am talking about the honeymoon, the future kids, and a house when we aren’t even living on the same coast yet. “You are unbelievable,” he says. But it isn’t the kind of unbelievable as in great, awesome, ravishing. This is more like a sheesh. And I am left feeling torn. What about my color, my spark, my creativity, and kindness? At times, sadly, it doesn’t feel like those matter. Maybe I should just throw away the smartphone as a start.