If there’s one quote I’ll like to be known for – it’s that “I write so that I don’t strangle anyone.” I was fortunate enough to realize early on in my career that it’s always a better idea to use your keyboard instead of your belt with bosses and coworkers. Many a blog post or a late-night journal entry has kept me in check and enabled me to keep things in perspective as opposed to the stress forcing me into a full-on cage match in my cubicle.
As a general rule, most people will drive you crazy if you carpool with them – so don’t let them in. There’s always going to be traffic, there’s always going to be work meetings, there’s always going to be people texting and not paying attention, there’s always going to be family commitments that you don’t have enough time for, and you’re very rarely (if ever) going to be appreciated at work! Get control over it or it will overtake you!
The key to happiness isn’t a big revelation people, the key is to be able to identify and create a little, protected zone where you have something that’s just for you; it’s that simple. Even if it’s just for a few minutes here and there, those little escapes will maintain order and sanity in your life. When I enter my zone and get pulled into a favorite book, am able to grab some wine with my beautiful wife, or just sit and play Star Wars with my sons – I get a sense of calm and meaning that the rest of the day can’t give me.
I write a humor blog not because I’m so funny and I just need to show everyone – one glance at my face tells them that. I write because it gives me a sense of meaning and accomplishment and I take a lot of pride in what I write. It’s an escape where I can take a few minutes and get into some deep keyboard action where no one else exists except for me and that keyboard. It’s my party and I’ll type if I want to!
Once I post something I’ve written, there’s a great feeling of accomplishment that’s hard to duplicate. It’s sending a little piece of me into the vast internet galaxy and hoping that someone out there seeking a new experience and few good chuckles will find my message in a bottle.
This isn’t something I get paid to do, but I love it more than anything in my work career. It fulfills me in a way that defies explanation. I know what you’re thinking: When I’m already so busy, who wants added work to write something, edit the piece, find a couple of silly pictures to accompany it, post it, and then start anew? It isn’t work to me – it’s a labor of love. Sure, I have lazy times when I can’t be bothered with it because life has gotten in the way and overloaded me, but like a devoted pup or an aging bottle of scotch, it’s always there waiting when I need it.
If someone reads something that I’ve written and laughs or likes and shares it with their friends, that’s a feeling you can’t describe. I write to create something and hope that people like it and as a byproduct of that it resonates with someone. Being funny is all in perspective and my sense of humor might not be for everyone, but sometimes you strike a cord and people just connect with your words.
Truth be told, some of my friends and some members of my family don’t even bother to read it, but I take solace in the fact that there are a bunch of strangers that follow me and look forward to things I write. They like it and they share it and they comment on it and they follow me and they encourage me. There are days at work when I literally wanna place my junk into a metal fan because it’s so bad, but when I write – it immediately takes me to another place which makes up for the worst day in my office anytime!
I start writing something and it transports me away and then I go back to it later on or move onto another topic, but it’s that escape that keeps me coming back. It’s the feeling of satisfaction that fills a need and makes everything a little better. I’m like everyone else, I dream of walking into work one day and saying “screw this, it isn’t what I love and I won’t do it one more day!” but of course I don’t really do that – that’s what dreams are for. They let you imagine a world of your own creation where you’re in control and life is what you make of it. I’m extremely lucky to have this positive outlet, when I see so many people bogged down and struggling to get through the day to day.
The issue of course becomes how do I maintain a blog about embarrassing shitting stories and experiences where I come off like the combination of equal parts George Costanza and Larry David with a hint of Woody Allen mixed in without sacrificing my professional reputation at work? Simple, I use a pen name – Immodium Abuser. It’s my super hero secret identity and protects my career while giving me the freedom to write honestly and put it out there without having to worry if people see it. The insecurity and fear doesn’t rule me the way it would if I published under my real name. Can you imagine if I had to explain to my boss why in the world I tormented my brother’s girlfriend with a life-size, plastic Baby Jesus, why people from Imodium AD tried to stage an intervention with me or tell him about my sister shitting on a cat? Some things are just better left out of the office…
6 thoughts on “Work life balance or how I learned to use my keyboard instead of my belt”
I raised a very curious eyebrow when I saw I was followed by “Immodium Abuser” so I had to stop by and check this all out. Looks funny. Best of luck and remain, take that immodium addiction one day at a time.
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Thanks, I have that effect on people… 🙂
I read your stuff and not just because I think your wife is a saint…it is mostly pretty good.
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She is a saint – a very, very, very patient saint!!! Thanks I appreciate it! I guess mostly pretty good is OK, it’s not really good or pretty good or just good, but I’ll take mostly pretty good anyday!
Spoken like a true writer! Nothing like a pen and a blank piece of paper – or a keyboard!
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Thanks. I have the hardest time publishing things. I always want to tinker with it and make it better instead of letting it go and thinking it’s good enough