Today, I went to some meetings at the company where I used to be an employee. I walked its grey corridors in my red shoes. A small part of me was slightly envious that I no longer work there – there’s always an amazing buzz, the employees are young and trendy, the buildings are modern and stylish and the coffee is excellent. Despite all this, most of me knows that the last thing I need is an office, a boss and an access card. Where I am right now is exactly where I need to be right now.
Instead of my being an employee of the company, the company is now one of my customers. I work for various departments, doing different writing-related jobs: a bit of editing here, some white papers there, an online article or two here and there. Today I met with three different people who have work for me. They all have tons of work for me. I am trying not to hyperventilate.
There’s so much work.
There’s so much work.
There’s so much work. And I have three kids, and three hours four times a week free to do the work in, unless I want to do it late at night, in my pyjamas when all the world has gone to sleep. Not to mention the house I need to maintain, the friendships that require time and commitment, the novel I dearly would like to get bloody written, the handsome man who occasionally would like me to look up from my computer and acknowledge his sweet presence, the blog posts that need to be composed.
Luckily though, I was wearing my red shoes:
My red shoes, like those of Mma Makutsi, assistant to intrepid lady detective Mma Ramotswe in Alexander McCall Smith’s lovely Botswanan detective series, pinch. But, like Mma Makutsi’s blue shoes, my red shoes give me courage. If I can wear these and walk all over the company’s campus, keep smiling and nodding and saying “yes” to all the work they want me to do, then I can find the time to do the work.
I feel panic, but when I look at my red shoes I feel happy. They are coping shoes, getting-it-together shoes, working-all-night-and-meeting-that-deadline but still-getting-up-the-next-morning-to-feed-the-children shoes. If nothing else, I have to live up to my shoes. They are shoes with panache, with gusto, and with attitude.
Bring on those white papers! Bring on the 170-page editing job! Bring on the book chapters! My shoes and I are ready.