I have a situation that I am dealing with in my domestic environment and it’s making it difficult to focus on work. Perhaps you have been accused of being a workaholic or, you are the accuser. Whatever the case may be this is a serious accusation. I was married to a workaholic, now we are divorced. He worked all the time and was never home. I know the loneliness of being in a relationship with a workaholic. I know lot’s of “aholics” in general, and he’s calling me the wrong one.
A workaholic is a person who compulsively works hard and long hours. I am getting harassed by my insignificant other (this is a conscious choice of words in this moment) that my work is a joke. I’m constantly working and not “present”. I make money, he doesn’t complain when I buy him new sneakers or put extra gas in the tank. I’m a comic and he’s resentful. He’s resentful of the fact that I get to laugh all day. It’s my job. What he doesn’t understand is that being a comic is HARD WORK. My job duties are extensive. They consist of not too serious research and development, exhaustive social media mastery, and competent writing skills. My brain is my greatest enterprise, as is yours to you.
Let’s start with research and development. As in all professions, one has to learn their trade. It’s not my fault that I have to read laugh out loud books by people like David Sedaris, watch Colbert Nation nightly to keep relevant and informed both comedically and politically and stay up late to study my fellow colleagues stand up on Comedy Central. AND I’m a great MOM. I never watch South Park until the kids are in bed. If your not continually growing, keeping current and learning new skills to compete in today’s workforce, your out and there’s someone standing in line to take your job. Long hours are required as you know.
Next is social networking. To be competitive in todays industrial markets, social networking has become like a map is to a tourist in Tibet. Without it, your lost. I spend hours friending and posting on Facebook, I have three accounts. Twitter is a huge resource for business. I make lists of different markets to research funny. I have a list of comedians that I put a lot of time and effort into, a list of media and editors because you never know, the 76’ers, ok that’s not legit for work but you know you eat your lunch at your desk and then go shopping for a half hour on your “lunch break”, business people and life coaches because reading their tweets gives me inspiration to start my day. They always tweet other peoples positive quotes! Then I post their tweets on my Facebook pages which is linked to my twitter account and website, see, it’s hard work. Now the big daddy of them all is Linkedin. I have strategic objectives and goals that I must meet by weeks end or myself will be really angry with me in the weekly staff meeting. Linkedin is for grown ups. The big time. The successful folks. I am in 50 groups. I make comments depending on my trending analysis reports I adhere too. I’m new to Linkedin but I feel my big break is coming and it’s going to be from “net-working” on that site. This takes time.
Finally, it’s time to write. Now once inspiration hits me, I don’t know when, why or where, but when that happens, stay away from me. If you are a writer you can relate to what I’m saying. If your not you can relate with what I’m saying too because it applies to you in some way. Writing is a craft and my craft has a rhythm. Writers have their own methods, for me, an idea comes and I have to purge it onto the page in one sitting. You have projects and reports that have deadlines. You don’t want to break your flow because if you do… your work has a hiccup, and that can mean three times the hours to complete. I do have help in this department. It’s a member of my team called spell check and grammar. Spelling is so easy now that I don’t need to spell correctly, but I do. I start to write a word and halfway through writing it, the word pops up. It’s awesome! If I do misspell or get stuck on something tricky like a hyphen, my computer underlines it in red for me so I can fix it later in tools. The wretchedness our predecessors must have suffered with pencil, paper and dictionary is beyond my comprehension. I wonder how their significant others dealt with that. It must of taken weeks just to write one essay. My other main tool is the app. (short for application) that is the most sacred tool this writer has, the dictionary to thesaurus app. I just spelled thesaurus wrong (2x’s and it’s underlined in red, yah). You hit this little icon (picture) and a window, (you know that thing that you… just kidding, I’m a comic) pops up on my screen. I can find funnier words using it than the originals in my head but it’s labor intensive. Back and forth, back and forth, minimize, maximize but it is worth the effort. I would give up a limb for that app.
Most people endure long hours and makes sacrifices for their families to work. Workers commute on trains daily and some get home to sleeping kids, so I don’t understand why I’m being called a workaholic, I work from home. Just because I’m laying on the couch doesn’t mean I’m not working. I am, remember research and development. I have a boardroom, it just happens to be my lounge chair outside and I’m not thrilled about listening to comedy podcasts like WTF all the time either. I miss my kids too. I want to hear the pitter-patter of their stomping and fighting.
In my defense, and maybe yours as well, I am a dedicated worker contributing to my families finances. Workaholism is not the same as working hard. I renounce that painful label because of one word in the definition that I believe sums up the “affliction”, compulsive. I am not compulsive. I KNOW what I’m doing and it off to laugh, I mean, work I go…