Tag Archives: Work

I’m not complaining


I taught a workshop last weekendWild Writing, Crazy Wisdom, a mix of yoga, meditation, and writing practice — and only two people showed up. Don’t get me wrong, they SHOWED UP, but…

This is why I got certified to teach yoga, so that I could teach this very thing, this magic mix of practices. I’ve been crossfading, or trying to, from my job at a university for the past six years. Laura Simms talks about the crossfade a lot, that time when you are still working your current job while also trying to grow your new career, so you essentially are doing two jobs. I feel some days like I’ve got what amounts to three jobs, and then there’s the laundry, and bills that need paid, and my floor is covered in dog hair and the toilet needs cleaned and my dogs are bored and I can’t remember the last time I flossed my teeth and I really want to go to the gym if only I had the time or the energy — and that doesn’t even include the things I want to do because I love them, like read a book or watch a movie or take a nap or hang out with my husband.

The truth is, when I teach my 7 am Tuesday morning yoga class, I’m only paid $3 per student, and a few weeks ago no one showed up, and last week my one regular student said she was starting a new job so probably wouldn’t be coming anymore. And my weekend workshops? The yoga studio gets to keep 40% of what I make, and then another 25% might go to taxes, so when only two people show up, there’s not a lot left — certainly not enough to justify a shift to a new career.

And I’ve been blogging like it’s my religion for six years. My weekly “Something Good” post is republished on Yoganonymous — they are partners with Wanderlust, and when I first started sharing my list, the editor was a friend who valued my work and paid me $25 per post. As soon as she was gone, they stopped paying me, offering me the “exposure” instead, which I gladly (sort of) took because the mission of my list is to inject some basic goodness into everyone’s Monday and “exposure” helps me do that, but again… no change in career is going to happen there.

And there are some really good reasons to stay where I’m at — my boss appreciates my work, I get tons of positive feedback, most of my colleagues are really good people that I love working with, it’s that magic mix of what I’m good at being what someone else needs, I have really good benefits (health insurance, paid sick leave, yearly raises, retirement, and summers off), and I have no way of knowing if the new career I’ve imagined in my head will be any more fulfilling or any less stressful than what I’m already doing, (and once I leave, it’s not like I can come right back if it doesn’t work out).

I’m not complaining, just giving you the backstory for my point: recently I’ve been thinking that maybe my university job is what I do to be able to fund the gifts I offer in other ways, that it isn’t about changing careers or making enough money somewhere else or getting anything like fame for myself. If money weren’t an issue, I know what I’d do, how I’d spend my days — but money is an issue, and I can’t pretend like its not.

Gratitude Friday

mcmurrypondsgold021. Fall weather, sunny and cool. The light is amazing and everything is tinged gold. Wool socks, soup, and flannel are all finally appropriate choices.

2. Communicating with Sam. I don’t know if we are closer because Dexter is gone or if I’m paying closer attention for some other reason, or both, but Sam understands and can communicate so much more than I realized. Although, when he stands in front of the TV, whining and talking to the various animals he sees, I don’t know if he’s the smartest dog we’ve ever had or the dumbest.

hikingsam3. Clarifying my new CSU project, being happy enough with it to think that maybe I’ll be at that job longer than I used to think, that I can make it fit with the bigger sense of my life and work.

4. Where we walk. I realized yesterday, as I was Instagramming pictures of the fall colors and naming the locations on our morning walk, that we go through three parks and four natural areas on our route, that we simply open the front door and go, get to visit all these beautiful places. One thing I didn’t get a picture of yesterday was the three white-tailed deer we startled in the fog, who ran from us, leaping, tails raised high, like giant bunnies.

one of four

one of four

5. Open Heart Project. This evening, we will start our second annual virtual retreat. Susan schedules time for creating and resting, along with meditation and dharma talks and discussion. I can’t wait.

Bonus Joy: Eric. Two specific things this week made me stop and think how incredibly grateful I am for him. One is I’m reading a book Brene’ Brown recommended, Marriage Rules: A Manual for the Married and the Coupled Up, and it’s making me realize how good we have it, because so many of the issues the book works with are things we just don’t struggle with, or that we worked out already — not to say we are perfect by any means. The other was I noticed he’d recaulked the bathtub while I was away at my retreat. He’s always doing stuff like that, taking care of things, and not bothering to brag on himself for it, like I probably would. In just a few short weeks, we will have been married for 20 years. Partnering with him was the smartest thing I ever did.


yep, we eloped and wore green

NaBloPoMo Prompt: If You Could Have Any Job

Today’s NaBloPoMo Prompt is: If you could have any job (and instantly have the training and qualifications to do it) which job would you want? This will come as no surprise to most of you, but the job I would want, the work I’d like to do and get paid for, is writing and teaching.

This in so many ways is what I already do, but the current context, the specific manifestation isn’t an exact fit for how I imagine it, isn’t perfect, is not quite what my heart longs for, what I dream of. I’m not paid for most of the writing I do, and as I am teaching on behalf of a larger entity that doesn’t necessarily share my core values, that activity is restricted and contorted in ways that in turn limit and confuse what I do.

I want to teach what I know, what I love, what I’m trying to learn myself to people who chose to learn with me, are there because of a personal choice, interest, desire, and while I would offer them feedback, I’d never again assign another grade (and if I did, it would be an A for showing up and trying).

Through writing and teaching, in this ideal job, I would help people heal, ease suffering, encourage and inspire health and wellness, wholeheartedness. Together, my students and I would cultivate compassion, courage, and confidence. We would do good work together, work that would center us and then ripple out into the larger world, making things better on a bigger scale.

The training I still want to do this work is to be certified as a yoga and meditation instructor. I might also might train to be a life coach or some other therapeutic practice. In this “job,” this heart/life work, I’d blog, write books and essays, give readings and workshops, offer ecourses, facilitate retreats, make art, and work one on one with people. I’m imagining these people as mostly women who are either attempting to recover, heal, reconnect with their creativity, their heart’s longing and hunger, or those healing from, dealing with grief, loss, change, trauma.

But for now, I continue on with my current paid work, where I’m feeling so overwhelmed I’m considering going in on Saturday to try and catch up, even though I’m coming down with a cold, but where I also get to hang out with some really awesome people.

August Break: Day Three

Time to make the donuts.

Even though my contract for my nine months of paid work with Colorado State University doesn’t officially begin until August 15th, summer vacation is over. I went in for a half a day last week, and yesterday for a meeting. Today is the Administrative Professional Council’s annual retreat, and yesterday I got word that the thing that typically starts my year, my first official project, is being sent to me on Monday (and it’s the kind of thing that needs done asap). I also need to put together my syllabus for my Writing for the Web class, and the week after next is our Graduate Teaching Assistantship training, various other meetings, and another training workshop I’m helping to facilitate, so time to make the donuts.

This is what my writing desk looks like this morning. It’s strange, this constant moving between my creative self-directed work and my paid work. I have to admit, I would have loved to stay in summer a little bit longer, and I should warn anyone I encounter at work in the next few weeks: I still have summer brain.