Monday, 16 April 2012

Timed Out

There are a few things in my life I can guarantee.  

I will always overestimate how much is in my bank account. 

I will always underestimate the number of alcohol units I consume each week.  

I will always drop a morsel of every meal down my front. 

And now there is another 'inevitable'.  

I will always underestimate how much time I have.

In the past two weeks I have undergone a steep work learning curve.  So steep in fact I think even Bear Grylls would have turned on his Timberlands and said, ‘bugger that'.

Having enjoyed a relatively smooth transition from working 'for the man' to working for myself, I have been lucky to have found enough freelance writing work to keep me in Pop Tarts. However, as my two year old is about to start attending nursery three days a week (instead of two mornings – barely time to have a cup of tea and a wee) I decided to notch my work load up a little by joining one of the country's leading copywriting agencies.     

Three projects? No problem! This time next week? Of course, just send me the brief.


Like the first time I brought home our tiny new born daughter from the hospital, I genuinely did not have a clue what I had signed up for.

Morphing into Star Wars’ Jabba the Hutt chained to my lap top - Salacious Crumb - I angrily occupied a corner of our spare room for the next three days.  

Occasionally barking orders at my endlessly patient partner, such as, ‘feed the dog' and 'bring more Smarties' I didn't cook dinner, or shower for three days.  

At one point, in fear of not meeting my self imposed deadline I attempted to pull an ‘all nighter’.

A phenomenon not experienced since my days at Leeds University. An ‘all nighter’ in your mid-thirties, with a small child and a pug, is quite different.  

For a start there is no sneaking off to the bar for last orders, or necking pro-plus like pac man to help you ‘push on til dawn’. No, an all nighter in your mid thirties basically entails staying up unitl 11.30, drinking lots of early grey tea and being quite cross.
On day two, when I briefly left my work fug to *walk the dog (*angrily drag dog round park in attempt to vent work stress on innocent members of the public and squirrels) I left the boot of my car open. Not unlocked, but open. With my hand bag on show. Open. 

Thankfully it was so *brazen (*idiotic) that anyone passing must have thought I was *nearby (*an utter moron with nothing worth stealing except a prescription for complete and utter idiocy), instead of half a mile away foaming at the local wildlife.

Now two weeks into writing for the copywriting agency, I have finally found my work/life groove.    

Whether I can sustain this without turning squirrels into hand puppets is another matter.

Juggling balls - how’s your work/life/baby/dog balance?



  1. I love this! This is my life too. Ahhhhhh!!! THIS IS MY LIFE TOO. Books, kids, dogs, deadlines... bleugh. I am supposed to be delivering a book in the next few months. I'm still only halfway through the first draft. In fact, diversion from the nausea that soaks me is why I came to read your blog!! Work-life balance? That's the problem wine was invented to solve, right?

    Lovely writing - Melissa. Good luck with the copywriting and maybe that old uni fall-back - the four proplus with three diet cokes and a coffee - will help with the all-nighter.

  2. Aw, exactly wine is the glue that holds writey/child/dog mums together in a world that's going tits up. I can't imagine what you're going through with your book. I think I'd drink our local bargain booze dry.

    It will be amazing though when you get there. Thinking of you :)

  3. Melissa, you make me laugh. Thank you. I have signed up to three blogs, one gives me great recipes and kitchen advice, the other two make me laugh out loud.

    I am fortunate enough that as and when I need to do all nighters (I work in the catering trade) I am away from home. I used to keep going on caffeine, fags and bacon sarnies. I have since discovered that an all nighter on weight watchers biscuits and squash just doesn't do it!

    I hope you get the balance right. I shall keep checking the Rye for squirrel carcases!!