Who knew my reaction to the election is not unusual …

I read a fascinating article in last Sunday’s New York Times. It’s about how the election is sending America to the couch,  shrinka whopping 52% of Americans, to be precise. Both Republicans and Democrats, by the way.

Before we go any further, though, let me clarify. In my case, there is no therapy involved. I have nothing against therapy, far from it, but for me, a Canadian, to get so carried away over this presidential race that I’d need to talk to a professional about it would be quite Continue reading

I’m in the dog house …

Bartlett, one of my cats, is pissed off with me.  Majorly so; and he’s giving me the cold shoulder.  I catch him giving me dirty looks BartlettBlogMay23sometimes, too.  Trust me, he’s very good at letting me know where I stand.  Which at this moment in time is very low on his top-ten list of favourites.

I didn’t do anything per se, I swear.

Thing is, when I worked full time he was used to not having me around all the time.  But in the six or so years I’ve been freelancing he’s become accustomed to me being home a lot more.

If I was going to be really honest with you, which apparently I am, I’d admit there are some days I don’t go out at all.  There are some days I’m so busy writing I don’t ever get out of my Continue reading

The perfect spot …

The other day Michelle (The Green Study), a blogger I follow, wrote about her quest to find the perfect place to write; and then park benchasked us, her fellow bloggers, to share how we “create space and time to work.”

When I reviewed my rather long-winded (sorry, Michelle) comment I thought, to myself, “This isn’t a comment, it’s a blog post.” So I decided to keep Michelle’s idea going by sharing what works best for me; and hopefully you’ll be inspired to do the same.  Here goes:

I am one of the lucky ones. A career as an ad agency writer/creative director has

Continue reading

The tighter they are, the better I like it …

No, I am not talking about my jeans.  Or Spanx.  I’m talking about deadlines.  Yeah, I’m one of those sickos who loves deadlines.  I thrive on ’em.  So stressneedless to say this WordPress Daily Prompt is right up my alley:

“Do you thrive under pressure or crumble at the thought of it?  Does your best stuff surface as the deadline approaches or do you need to iterate, day after day to achieve something you’re proud of?  Tell us how you work best.”

It’s a good thing I’m a stress junkie, because advertising is all about deadlines.  They’re a constant and they’re brutal.  And they seem to get worse and worse all the time.  As I think about it, it’d be a stressful business even without the deadlines.

Why?

You try sitting in front  of a blank computer screen every day waiting for an idea to hit you, or words and sentences and images to start forming in your mind.  It’s not easy, trust me.  I’ve been doing this for a Continue reading

Day 270. At Ease …

Ahhhhh … it feels SO good.  A two-day break from movies.  A two-day break from trying to fit client work, my blog and HotDocs into sixteen or so hours.  It’s relaxingamazing how much time it all takes.  How much time it takes up.  How little time it leaves for ME.

I have to admit, I’ve been a bit stressed trying to get it all done.  It’s not like I’m crazy busy.  Writing a blog every day definitely does add pressure, but I love doing it.  My client work load is certainly manageable.  And I’ve only been seeing one, and occasionally two, docs a day.  So what’s the big deal?

Well, by the time the cats are dealt with, my blog’s posted and I’m showered, fed and dressed it’s late morning.  Until it’s time to leave for the theatre, I’m busy taking care of business.  When the films are in the evening, even early evening, it’s not bad.  But when they’re in the daytime, it really interrupts my day.  And ends up putting pressure on me.

When you’re going to regular movies during the year, you just have to get there before they start.  Even if you’ve got seconds to spare.  But with festivals you want to get there at least a half hour prior; and, if you’re particular  about where you sit (aisle seats, close or far away from the screen, etc.) you have to line up early.  An hour or Continue reading

Day 226. A Mystery

Yesterday I spent some time talking about advertising.  It made me think a lot about the industry.  And the people who are attracted to it.  As I said, it’s very stressful, painand not just occasionally.  It’s pretty much the norm.

The hours are long.  There’s no such thing as overtime pay.  Budgets are tight, and getting tighter all the time.  There’s never enough people.  There’s never enough time.  The pressure is always on.   The days of 2-or-3-hour, 4-martini lunches are long, long gone.  Never to return.  If they ever really existed at all.

So what’s the draw?

Why do we want to work in the business, to begin with?  Why do we knowingly walk right into the fire?  Eyes wide open.  What keeps us there?

Are we masochists?  Martyrs?  Gluttons for punishment?  Into pain?  Stress junkies.  Out of our minds?

What’s with us, anyway?  What’s the common thread?  Do we all have a gene no one else has?  Or are we missing one, most Continue reading

Day 172. No Shit

Thought I’d share another one of those ‘thoughts’ from my friend’s email with you. From the other day. One was actually the subject of yesterday’s blog post. This one made me giggle; and brought more than a few images to mind. But humour aside, there is a valid pigeonlife lesson in it. Something well worth remembering:

“Accept the fact that some days you’re the pigeon, and some days you’re the statue.”

This is very true. And the sooner we accept it, get over it, deal with it, learn to live with it and move on the better. Otherwise life gets to be a real drag.

For some reason I seem to think I’m the statue more often. What about you?

Maybe it’s because those ‘events’ are more memorable. They’re usually more dramatic, that’s for sure. And very often they teach you something. Leave a lasting impression. And I’m not talking about the visible ‘stains’, either. Just want to clarify.

None of us is immune. None of us will get through life unscathed. We’re all bound to have both good and bad days. And frankly, life would be awfully boring, if every day was the same. If everything went exactly as we wanted it to go, all the time.

Continue reading

Day 111. Say Ohm

I’ve tried Yoga several times.  I like it well enough.  But I prefer Pilates.  While a lot of the movements and poses are the same, Pilates is all about building a strong core, at the same time as it builds your flexibility, strength and endurance.  It also puts emphasis on spinal and pelvic alignment, breathing and improving coordination, balance and posture.

The aim of Yoga, on the other hand, is to unite the mind, the body and the spirit.  It helps you become more aware.  It helps you find personal harmony.  It helps you relax.  All the while, making you more fit and energetic.

Probably the most significant difference between the two, is that Pilates incorporates both mat work and the use of special Pilates machines.  As opposed to Yoga, where your body’s own weight is used for resistance; and a lot Continue reading

Day 26. Good Vibrations

I’ve taken guided meditation classes in the past, and although I no longer go, I do still meditate.  Probably not as often as I should, but I do from time to time.  And I keep promising myself that I’ll do it every day.  So I am very familiar with the sound, the intonation of Om.  I find it very soothing, and comforting.  I also like the look of the sacred symbol, itself.  So I decided, when I went to India, that I would look for one I could wear on a chain or ribbon, around my neck.

From the moment I bought it, I never took it off, even to sleep. Or shower.  Then, about six months ago, I felt like my neck was always irritated.  And sure enough, when I looked closely with a magnifying mirror, there was some redness around where the chain sits.  I bought another chain.  Same thing happened.  So I took it off before going to bed, thinking that maybe when I moved in my sleep, the chain rubbed against my skin.  Sure enough, the rash disappeared after several days.  At first I’d put it back on every morning.  And then, days would go by and I’d forget to put it on.  And eventually it just stayed in my bedside table drawer.

To be honest, I missed it in the beginning.  It felt strange, like something that had been protecting me was gone.  Sort of how you feel if you drive without a seat belt. But then time passed and I forgot about it.

Until the other day.  Life has been a bit stressful, lately.  Not life threatening.  Not life altering.  But not smooth sailing, either.  I’ve felt it.  And I’ve been carrying it around with me, which is unusual.  Wearing it, like an extra layer of clothing.  An unnecessary layer of clothing.  Which, actually, is stressful, in itself.  So back to the other day.  I woke up and my first thought was:

Where’s my Om?

The inside of the drawer where I’d put it, had become a bit of a mess (and yes, I did hear my mother sigh).  So I had to rummage through papers and little boxes and Continue reading