Adjusting to Full Time

It’s my impression, that when people take “real” jobs, they usually have a while to prepare themselves. You know, just a week or two to figure out what they’re going to do with the kids, how they’re going to commute, and all that. Well, since I was already working for this company as a freelancer, and because there was a lot of work to get done, and since I signed my contracts on the first of the month, I decided to just jump on in and ride this full-time thing like some county fair roller coaster (you know the kind, where half the fun is the danger that the thing could go off the rails at any moment?)

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So I guess it’s not too surprising that the last week and half have felt pretty hectic. To make things even more exciting, my first week also happened to be my daughters first week of kindergarten (that’s her on the left in her uniform on the first day – man, I adore her), and Daniel started a new project that has him super busy. Then there’s the little guy, who is, generally speaking, very easy, but who nonetheless needs to be fed, showered and taken to “school” twice a week in the afternoons. It’s been a scheduling nightmare.

Thankfully, we got our girl signed up for some after school programs which started this week and have bought us a few days of sanity. The rest, we’ll just have to juggle as we go.

On the plus side, my new boss bought me a fancy new MacBook Pro with a big-ol monitor. I’ve been working on a little screen for so long, that when I did finally get all my files transferred over and the big screen whirred to life – I felt like I was working on a football field. So much room to put windows next to each other, and not have to bounce in and out programs. Also – I have to say that walking into the Mac store and saying something like “I’m here for my computer,” was really fun. My boss (still getting used to that word) ordered it ahead of time, so all I had to do was go pick it up.

Also, I am very happy to report that I have found time to keep working on the novel. For the past three mornings I’ve been getting up at 5:15, nursing a cup of coffee and enjoying the perfect silence of the house as I plug away at the story. I’m actually amazed at how productive the time has been. I only have an hour, but it’s really good time. I had a little break through on the story this morning that has me excited enough that I may actually keep this up-before-dawn routine going. I might even become (gasp) a morning person.

So that’s the haps. I’m still considering myself in transition, so you’ll have to forgive me if I’m a little less regular with the posts right now, but I can already see how things will settle in. And it’s looking good.

Big Changes

There’s big goings on ’round these parts as of late.

I mentioned a few months ago that my biggest client asked what it would take to get me to give up this freelance life and come on as full time employee. The way he broached the subject, I kind of figured he was talking way down the line, but times flies, companies flourish (even in this economy) and all of a sudden, he’s making me an offer I can’t refuse.

So I am now a full time employee of Tripepi Smith and Associates. It’s a great company, and I really like the work I’m doing (which is pretty much the same work I was doing before, just more of it). The exciting thing for me is that I don’t have to be constantly scrambling to find clients, I don’t have to deal with invoicing, and I still get work on my own schedule, from home.

But then, that last bit there is a little sticky. See, the space I work out of at my home is about to be transformed into my mom’s room. My mom, who has been hating living in Oakland for a long time, and struggling to make payments on her home, has finally decided to move on. She is packing up her whole life, renting out the house, and living with me and my family while she figures out what’s next. I’m very excited to have her (Daniel and I may actually have a regular date night with her on hand to help out), but the change in living arrangements meant I had to seek out a new office space.

Tripepi Smith is located in Orange County, and there’s no way I’m commuting down that far every day, so I checked out some co-working spaces here in LA. I found one called Kleverdog, in Chinatown. This is my first day here. I left the house as soon as the nanny arrived, drove the three mile commute, and was working away by 8:30. So far so good. What’s more, they’re having a special today, and so I bought a 10 day card for $75. Only $7.50 a day to come work in a quiet, air conditioned, free wifi, free coffee, free cookie environment (they’ll be lucky to break even after I have my fill of coffee and cookies). I’m absolutely loving it. A complete delineation between home life and work life – what a thing. While I’m here I can’t do laundry, or wash a dish. There is nothing nagging me but the work.

But, the one thing I have missed all day is my little boy. It’s not like I really see much of him during a regular work day anyway (I usually disappear into my office as soon as the nanny arrives), but he hears me every time I come out to make myself a cup of coffee and comes running. “Ah!” he yells and does his little bow-legged trot up to me. I toss him in the air and get a little snuggle action while the coffee brews, then it’s back to work. Kelverdog ain’t got nothing that compares with that.

Still, most moms have to take this step away from their babies after a very short maternity leave, so I’ll just count myself lucky and keep moving forward.

The one thing I must, must, must do now is figure out how to make time for my fiction. I am truly fortunate to have found full time employment as a writer, but what I really want to do is finish my novel. One of the women in my writing group suggested getting up early, before the kids. They get up at 6:30, so I’d have to be up by 5:15 to get an hour of writing in (after accounting for the 15 minutes it takes the coffee to kick in). Or I can try and write at night (but frankly, I’m so stinking tired at the end of the day, it rarely happens). This dilemma has been a a fairly serious source of stress. It’s the one big unanswered question in the wake of all these changes.