Well, I haven’t blogged in a few days because 1) I’ve been busy with work, and 2) there’s not much to report. My weight bounced up (thank you, saltier than usual food and some poorly planned back to back menus) and it has since come down, almost all the way back to where it was. It usually takes about 3 days to stabilize, so I’m hoping to see a happier number tomorrow. These things just take time. Eating and exercise are back on track, so that’s a plus.
I do have some good news. I went to the gym last Saturday to do my weekly treadmill 5K. I need new running shoes, which I will get at the end of this week, so I didn’t want to run too much. And in fact, after 90 seconds of running, my feet were hurting. I knew I was going to be on my feet most of the day afterward – Saturday gym time is 6:30 am – so I elected to see how fast I could walk that distance. My previous best time was 46:35 and I was hoping to beat it by 30 seconds. I didn’t; but, I did finish in 46:12, which is a new personal best. And I was encouraged that I could actually maintain that pace just by walking. That tells me I’ve been selling myself short and should be able to make much better time when I do a combination of walking and jogging. My hope is that by this Saturday I’ll have new, more comfortable shoes and be able to bring my time down to 45:30, or better, to keep myself on track.
I have 3 big things I’m focused on right now, things that are relatively new in my life. First is my fitness. I know that’s not really new, but I feel like I’ve found a new groove, so it feels new to me. Giving up soda was huge. So was getting in 10,000 steps each day. All of these gradual changes are ones I’d made before, but had fallen out of those good habits. It feels great to be making those changes again. Second is our new puppy, Posey, who is keeping me active each day. She’s doing much better with her training, fewer accidents, etc. Just need to get her to sleep through the night. And third is work.
I haven’t said much about work, so I’ll fill you in on a few details. In addition to writing articles for 2 web sites, I write advertising copy for magazines. The kind of work I do is called “advertorial,” which is a piece that reads like an article but is actually paid advertising. They’re like mini profiles/feature articles on advertisers or their businesses. Although I live in Idaho, my oldest client is still in my native California. I interview advertisers on the phone, write their ads, and correspond via email for revisions and approval. It’s great that I can still do this for them, even after living in Idaho for 8 years, but the time zone difference can be a pain sometimes. Then last year, right around this time, I noticed an ad for a local publishing company looking for someone to do exactly what I do and I eagerly applied. I’ve been working with them ever since. It was a great match. I have a ton of experience (15 years) and have developed a certain “formula,” although I hate to use that word, for this type of work. They were relatively new and looking for help, not expecting to find anyone with a lot of experience. I became their lead writer relatively quickly, and it is a real pleasure to do this kind of work for local clients.
In the beginning, I was just the writer, and that was fine. I’m a big believer in letting people do what they do best. Just like I interview business owners who don’t have the time or skills to write their own ad, if someone else wants the responsibility of overseeing a staff, coordinating assignments, and reaching out to clients, then by all means, I’ll let them do it. I have enough stuff to juggle in my schedule.
Well, last month, my publisher approached me and asked if I’d like some more responsibility. We met for coffee and he told me there had been some personnel changes and he was looking for someone to take over managing editor duties. I was a little hesitant at first. That’s a lot of work, you know. But I figured this would be a good opportunity for me. Not only is it more to add to my resume, but it’s a welcome pay increase as well. So, I am now doing a lot more than I was before, and if things go well, I should be able to count on steady work, and pay, for most of the year. For a freelancer, that’s about all you can ever wish for. The nice thing is that I am still able to fit it into my schedule, along with my other clients. There are always going to be weeks when there’s too much to do and too little time, but for the most part, I keep myself pretty well organized and can usually prevent those weeks when everything is due at once.
This has been a big step forward for me, both personally and professionally. I’m trying very hard to increase my earnings and I have several “behind the scenes” projects in the works. When I’m busy with my steady gigs, however, I don’t have much time to work on those projects. But … it’s good to keep them on the To Do list and work them in when I have time. Just getting into the habit of working for several hours a day, every day, is progress. My challenge is to be able to do that and still cook, clean, run a household, and most importantly, be a good mother to my two children. Very soon, my son will be starting baseball, and that’s another commitment. I am very involved in that, usually keeping score for his team or other team mom-like duties, plus taking him to and from practices and games most days of the week, all the while keeping an eye on my daughter. Baseball goes from March to July, so it’s a good chunk of the year with crazy schedules. Fortunately, I love it and there’s always a way to make it work.
So … that’s probably more than you ever wanted to know about what I do. But it’s a big part of my life right now, and it impacts my fitness goals, so I thought it made sense to share. On weeks like this, when I’m swamped in work, I feel like holding steady is about all I can do. But I think I’ve taken the approach that as long as I don’t throw my hands up and say, “Screw this. I quit,” that’s progress. I know things will balance out eventually. I’ll have weeks where I lose more and weeks where I lose less. And that’s perfectly OK with me.