A long time ago, I had a really successful advertising copy writing business. That is, of course, if you define success as working seven days a week, on vacations, and in maternity wards. And that was definitely my definition. I loved being the go-to word girl. I loved having a client list that any Madison Avenue ad agency would envy. And I really loved the money.
Money money money money money.
I truly believed that the more money I made, the more time I’d eventually have to spend with my family. Because, you see, I would have money, and therefore I wouldn’t have to work. Except, as you probably know and I learned the hard way, it doesn’t work that way.
The more I worked, the more I worked. I didn’t see my husband. I didn’t see my kids. I saw my computer. The day I faxed ad copy to a client from the nurse’s station at Valley Hospital (where my then two month-old son, Cuyler, was recovering from surgery) it dawned on me that I didn’t have a business. My business had me.
I’d like to say that I immediately saw the light and stopped to smell the roses, but that would be a lie. In fact, I didn’t make the decision to “work to live” and not “live to work” until, drum roll please… today. (Cuyler turns 12 next month. I thought it was about time I called a moratorium on mulling.) In all seriousness though, I recently re-launched my copy writing business and, thank my lucky stars, several of my old clients have come back. My old workaholic habits tried to come back, too, but I put my foot down.
On the grass.
Before I got started this morning, I took a walk in the rain. I brought my camera and took a couple of shots of “the girls.” (I think there’s a guy or two in there, too. Look really closely.)
Then I went in, dried off, and flat-ironed my hair. (Hey, I can’t focus with the frizzies and besides, it delayed my arrival at my desk.) I’ve been here for five pretty productive hours now and I’m about done. Both my boys want back rubs, my man wants company on the couch, and there’s a nice J. Lohr cabernet calling my name. “Suzy, Suzy! Step away from the computer.” Old Suzy would’ve said, “Not so fast, blondie, you didn’t bill enough.” But new Suzy knows better.
And she’s got the cow pics to prove it.
This made me smile :).
Love this…I start and end my days about the same way…walking in our woods and taking photographs, and walking my dog, Toby. Working from home is great, esp. in an area with lots of nature around and the beach a short drive away. And J.Lohr is a familar presence in this house!
Best to you and your man, Susan. Looking forward to your second book…I’ve read the first one several times now. 🙂
And you got to talk to me too!! What a fantabulous day 🙂 Love the cows.
I left my last corporate job when my boss came to a meaningless meeting while her 3 year old son was in the hospital. I decided our world views were too different. For me, it was the right decision. Give me cows any day!
What a beautifully written piece. I still think you can skip the flat iron; your hair is lovely with or without it!
Susan- This is my most favorite blog of yours probably because it rings so true to my heart. There is never enough time or money in our day; yet by spending time on the more important things in life, we don’t miss the extra buck we didn’t make. Lots of love to you!
Good for you, Susan. I hope you keep it up. It’s a hard habit to break when you are as hard a worker as I’m thinking you are!
Thank you for this. I know many of us struggle with a battle between responsibilities and ambition and family and sometimes I just ‘lose the plot’ and forget what the point was.
Answer: cows. Or, in my case, not opening the email until the school bus is gone. sitting down for lunch. putting a nap on the to-do list.