An Update from the Land of the Busy Working Lady who Misses You!

Hi there, tiny corner of the internet who reads this little site.   Thanks for being there.  This is the first time I’ve logged in since December.   When I signed in the first thing I saw was an unfinished Christmas-themed draft from December 14th that will I guess have to wait until next year.  With all the time demands of my actual paying day job, I just couldn’t muster enough energy to finish it.

Then I noticed in the WordPress dashboard the little statistics graph, and there it shows me that somewhere between 40-70 people visit this website a day.  Yes, that’s a teeny tiny number in the grand scale of the internet, but I was actually pretty happy about it.  No new posts since December, and yet there’s still something here worth the attention of that many people each day?  That’s pretty cool!

Life in the past couple months has been quite the learning experience.  As I’ve mentioned here before, I’m a TV producer, and I just completed my first episode for which I was the writer and lead producer.  It was an immense responsibility, and I really struggled with some of the same themes that led me to start this blog:  deciding what to say, and feeling confident in my own voice; recognizing and renegotiating my irrational goals of perfection and excellence; and most of all, the really humbling experience of not being good at something, despite all the effort put toward it.

That isn’t to say I was bad at it– I think far from that– but as silly as it is to say out loud (or to type here, I guess) if the universe was conspiring to teach me one lesson at all, it was “Just because it is difficult and you are making mistakes doesn’t mean you are failing.  Success and ease are different things.”

The episode faced a lot of setbacks, many of which were so frustratingly out of my control:  people dropping out while I was on the road to interview them, difficulty securing shoot locations, an actor who showed up in a suit so ill-fitting that I literally taped the back of it to improve how it lay on his form, legal notes upon legal notes to be addressed, last-minute editorial changes, and issues getting crucial footage. I was an associate producer for a long time, so I’ve seen lots of shows get made, and this one I can say had more bumps that the usual… (!!!)  Then, there were all the day-to-day mistakes I made along the way which resulted in the script getting gutted and reworked on a few different occasions.

So often I’d find myself daydreaming about walking out the door, only to be lovingly snapped out of the moment by the talented editor and associate producer who were also working their butts off to make this thing go, and who needed direction from me.   So I soldiered on, shaky on my pins, because I had to.  Sometimes I felt I was maybe doing it for their sake, as I was sooo over it!

The point is I was doing the absolute best job I could muster, working crazy long days, nights, and weekends trying to get this show in order, and it didn’t feel good.  It did not feel good.  Hell no, it didn’t.

But it doesn’t have to feel good to be good, if that makes sense.  Sounds so ridiculously obvious now, but trust me, I had to fall flat on my ass over and over and over again before I started getting the drift.

There’s a podcast I’ve found so helpful and inspiring over these trying past couple months.   It’s called Good Life Project and is hosted by Jonathan Fields.

Because I’m tired, writing this in a hotel room after a long day of shooting interviews for my next show, here’s its iTunes description:

“Inspirational, unfiltered conversations and stories about finding meaning, happiness, purpose, inspiration, creativity, motivation, spirituality, love, confidence and success in life. From iconic world-shakers to everyday people, every story matters.”

At its core, the podcast tackles the idea of living an authentic life according to your own values, whatever that might mean to you.

This episode in particular was the episode that hit me like a lightning bolt, and the universe delivered it to me just when I needed to hear this message most.

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This episode’s description from the GLP website:

What if one of the biggest pieces of “success advice” was wrong?

There’s a particular strategy that’s become hot in the world of success and personal development. It’s been hailed as the secret to accelerated results and success on a level and at a pace that’d be near impossible without it.

It’s called “modeling.” On the most basic level, the advice is to find someone who has done what you want to do, deconstruct everything they’ve done to get where they are, then do those same things yourself.

Problem is, that can be pretty dangerous advice. It can and often does lead not to success, not to a good life, but to a whole lot of angst, anxiety and failure.

Why that happens and what to do about is what we’re talking about on today’s short and sweet GLP Riff.

 

If you listen to the piece, it will make more sense, but my point is at a certain point with my show I was modeling my approach based on what appeared to be the successful and efficient approaches of producers I admired and respected, but perhaps I didn’t account for the ways those producers and I are very different people when it came to trying to carry out their approaches to the letter.

I had spent so much time thinking, I didn’t do this nearly as well as So-and-So would have done it without realizing that maybe So-and-So’s way of doing things, while great, isn’t necessarily the best fit for who I am.  Maybe there is more than one approach to getting the job done.  Hell, maybe So-and-So even did it wrong a few times before he or she figured out what works best.

While not in Spanish, Good Life Project has helped me to “savor life the Spanish way” by forcing me to slow down, relax, and move forward with intention.  While I can’t slow down the demands of my work right now, I can slow down the stream of thoughts racing through my head and attend to it.

I usually listen to this in the morning during my fifteen minute walk to work, and last week I heard the episode below which made me think about this blog.

I’ve missed writing in this blog, and felt bad about myself at times, thinking things like Oh you should make a better effort to carve out time to write on the blog, even if you are working. You are giving up on something important to you.   And I felt like I wasn’t enough, because with work demanding so much from me right now, I’ve been able to give very little effort to anything outside of it!

Then I listened to the following episode, which talks about becoming more effective by doing one thing at a time rather than a bunch of things simultaneously but not well:

If you listened to the piece, then you probably know where this is going.  I’m feeling pretty triste to tell you this, but it may be another month or two before I’m able to return to this blog with any regularity. I’d rather write useful posts that get 40 visits a day in the long run than crap that gets 40 views ever, especially if I dream of seeing 400 or 4,000 hits a day.

So until Show #2 in the Pays Me Money Real World is closer to completion and on sure footing, I’ve really got to focus my efforts there.  But just because I’ll be gone for a bit, it doesn’t mean I’ll be gone for ever.  This is important to me, important enough that maybe it can wait just a bit.

Nos vemos pronto, ¿vale?  

 

2 thoughts on “An Update from the Land of the Busy Working Lady who Misses You!

  1. Hey there! I can’t believe that I came across this blog! It seems like I had an almost identical experience to you. I studied in Madrid in 2003 for six months, and for the past 13 years I’ve been craving all things Castillian. In a parallel world, I too have found nearly all of the resources that you have found (at least in the TV section). I’ve been frustrated by Netflix’s inability to categorize movies from Spain. I’ve watched Velvet and am just starting on Gran Hotel!

  2. Hi Sean! It’s lovely to hear from you. I apologize for taking so long to respond; this poor blog has been suffering at the expense of my paying work these days, and then (happily) because I was on vacation in Madrid and Sevilla recently! Hoping to post about those experiences coming up. It was AWESOME flying Iberia so I could watch movies from Spain. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by, and hope to see you here again! (P.S. My Spanish tutor is from Barcelona and says Águila Roja is on Netflix and pretty great, too. Haven’t made my way to it yet!)

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