Waiting for "The Call"

“Honey, it’s always crap. Every book I write is crap. It’s my job to fix the crap afterwards,” according to Nora Roberts. Well, I've got it half right. Still working on the "fixing it" part. "Trust your characters to be complex enough and to have enough emotional baggage. Force them to make hard choices." Advice from Michelle Styles that might help!

No more Superwoman! April 25, 2009

Filed under: Writing and Life — Autumn Macarthur @ 9:56 pm
Tags: ,

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Not much writing happening this week, as my job has fried my brain.

Well okay, maybe I should be more honest, I have allowed my job to fry my brain.

Now, I’m leaving, I finish on Tuesday. My manager has already sent my reference off, so nothing I do in the last week will make any difference to my future. What would be the sensible thing to do? Take it easy, right?

Not me. I have to see all my patients, do a million referrals, leave them with as much follow-up in place as I can, keep on worrying about them. I’ve run myself ragged every work day this week, despite the fact I’ve felt lousy and vaguely under the weather all week. Next week isn’t shaping up any better. I’m even considering doing an extra day of unpaid work just to tie up all the loose ends.  Being a caring professional is one thing, but this is going too far.

 I’m recognising a pattern here as it’s happened a few times now, over about ten years. I start a new job, feel I need to be Superwoman and do more than is humanly possible, take on too much, realise I can’t manage it all, and have to leave the job because once I’ve taken on that much it’s almost impossible to back out gracefully and reduce the workload. I really really really need to learn this lesson before I start in my new job!

No more Superwoman! My job is not my life. My job is part of my life. So is writing. So is my marriage. So is my health.

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2 Responses to “No more Superwoman!”

  1. Jodie Miller Says:

    Ease up there! I can totally understand your not wanting to leave any of your patients uncared for, but save some of yourself for yourself dear Jane. Can you dust off your copy of The Artist’s Way and start at the beginning again?

  2. waitingforthecall Says:

    Thanks Jodie!
    I finished on Tuesday, in a spectacular 13 hours work day of manic proportions. And I still didn’t get everything finished that I wanted to do. But I has to accpet I wasn’t going to get it all done, and let it go.
    I don’t regret taking that job, because I have learned so much from it, and I know I really did make a difference to some of my patients, too.
    The big lesson for me is to find ways to make sure I don’t do this again in my next job. Set my priorities and my boundaries early. Decide how much of my life my work is allowed to have, then stick to that. Remember that I am more than a nurse, I am a writer, a wife, a gardener, a spiritual seeker, and lots more besides. When I neglect those parts of me, I have less to bring to my nursing anyway.
    Hey, what’s happening with your memoir?


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