Catching Up

June 7th, 2012 | Shonali Burke | 29 Comments

in thoughtYou know what’s funny about today’s post?

It almost didn’t get written.

Now, that’s not “laugh out loud” funny; in fact, it’s not humorous at all. Perhaps the only kind of “funny” it is, is if it made you raise an eyebrow and sarcastically smile, saying, “And how would that be different from all the other posts you haven’t written recently, Shonali?”

And since I suspect most of you are really nice, you’re not doing that (well, I hope you’re not!). In which case there is nothing to laugh at here.

As I sometimes say, when traffic backs up because of an accident and all the lookyloos: “Show’s over, folks! Nothing to see here! Go back to your homes!”

No! Don’t go back to your homes! Please stay right here! Just for a few more minutes!

So … anyway.

I’ve been feeling really bad that I haven’t been more visible here at WUL lately. I know you’ve had terrific guest posts to read; how about that Manwich post Howie wrote, or Dan’s “tweet after death” one? Super!

I am so grateful to all my guest bloggers for keeping WUL going – but this is my blog. And to not be able to show up at my own place hasn’t been easy.

The thing is, I had a huge career change recently, and adjusting to it is taking time.

My commute has gone from 15 seconds to 50 minutes, and that’s on a good day. However, I have found that I can drive most of the way through a national park, which means I can sometimes make silly videos that make people smile.

Because I was traveling and getting used to going into a “real” office, I stopped working out.. for almost a month! I picked that up again a couple of weeks ago and boy, is my body feeling the results of slacking off.

I’ve had to get used to being accountable for my time to someone else, working with a variety of personalities (and it’s different when you’re in an office, you know that) … and don’t even get me started on the personal “perks” independent practitioners/those working from home offices take for granted.

All this is to say, there has been so much for me to adjust to, I didn’t have the energy to blog.

Literally.

I’d wake up tired. I’d come home exhausted. And then I’d do it all over again the next day. And the next. And the…

I’m not complaining (really), but it’s a lot. That, by the way, is why this post almost didn’t get written.

Now

while I wouldn’t say I’ve found my overall groove, things are somewhat better than they were a month ago. I think.

And I know that I now have to find a way to get my blogging groove back… and that it has to work in my “new life.”

So there were two things I wanted to share: one, a thought, and the second, a question:

First, the thought.

I was talking to Richard Bagnall about this not too long ago. He could see how stressed I was getting, and suggested dropping one publishing day, specifically, Mondays.

After all, Mondays really are catch-up days for most of us, aren’t they? There’s so much reading/reviewing to get up to speed on, after what has hopefully been a relaxing weekend.

I know how overwhelming it feels to have to catch up on all that content … and I suspect you may feel the same way (about Mondays being content-heavy).

So how would it be if we just didn’t publish on Mondays? It would stress me out a lot less, and the team thinks it’s a good idea too. I just don’t know why I didn’t think of that earlier!

So that’s what I’m thinking of trying from next week (emergencies/critical issues excepted, of course).

Second, the question.

What do you think of this idea? And if you have been in a similar situation, how did you find your groove… and how long did it take you? Do you have any other words of wisdom to share?

And thank you for taking the time to catch up with me!

Image: irishwildcat via Flickr, CC 2.0

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Shonali Burke
Head honcho of Waxing UnLyrical, Shonali Burke is President & CEO of Shonali Burke Consulting, Inc. Based in the Washington, D.C., area, she loves helping for- and non-profit clients, both small and large, turn corporate codswallop into community cool™. She also loves ABBA, bacon, cooking, dogs, and Elvis. Wouldn't you like to be in her kitchen?
Shonali Burke
Shonali Burke
Shonali Burke

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28 comments
mdbarber
mdbarber

You have to keep/get your priorities in order my friend..and do as I say not as I do. There's your own health, there's John, there's your and John's relationship, then there's the guy(s) who are paying you to work for them. There's your family. Then there's professional networking in the DC area, associations and PDs. Your hobbies. Your friends. And...then and I'me sure I've forgotten a few things...there are those of us who enjoy your blog.

 

But we can also find our kicks in other ways. I just don't think it's a bad thing if you don't keep it up. But maybe that's because I'm taking a hiatus from my own right now too, and trying not to feel guilty about it. Times change and so do our priorities. You have to do what works for you; not what works for us. 

 

Enjoy your weekend. Enjoy John and the dogs. We'll still be here. 

Latest blog post:

KDillabough
KDillabough

Health first. Always. We're not going anywhere:) Cheers! Kaarina

rockstarjen
rockstarjen

GIve yourself a break, super lady! Heck, if you need to, drop down to 2-3 days a week until the blogging mojo returns. It's the quality, not the quantity, that counts. And I think we all know you're smarter and happier when you're sleeping and spending your time as you wish, not as you feel obligated.

TheJackB
TheJackB

Take care of yourself. Figure out whatever works for you. If that means cutting back a day, writing shorter/longer posts- it will be find for me.

 

As long as there is some passion/purpose I am a happy camper.

Latest blog post: The Summertime Blues

annedreshfield
annedreshfield

I agree with the other commenters, Shonali -- no one will blame you, or even disagree with you for not posting on Mondays! It's true, Monday is usually just crazy busy. And people will be more willing to sit down and really enjoy your blog posts and have a discussion around it the following day, particularly if they caught up with everything on Monday! I hope you keep enjoying your new job despite the adjustments and hassle of the commute (I feel your pain -- I've got an hour commute into San Francisco every day). 

richardbagnall
richardbagnall

Well I think it's a great idea... obviously! ;-)  The information an service that you provide to your community is sensational and I believe we all appreciate that we are lucky to have you doing it.  The PR industry needs more thought leaders and educators like you - don't break yourself, you're precious!

Krista
Krista

Shonali, I would never hold it against you for scaling back your blogging schedule! I am so happy you're taking on a new role and furthering your career-- that's wonderful. But I can only imagine the level of adjusting your'e going through from small practice to corporate office.

 

I can relate, as I've really let my blog lag lately because I'm also just exhausted after taking a graduate class this Spring semester and getting through a busy Spring. I know my role at my job will change in the new fiscal year, so I'm trying to figure out what works with my blog, if weekly or bi-weekly posting makes sense. I agree with @HowieSPM that your health and sanity are the most important. And so are the little things in life that make you smile, because all this social media and blogging stuff could disappear tomorrow-- and you know what? We'd be okay because we've got just as much going on in real ife that's more important!

 

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

I think your sanity and health are more important than anything. So I am sure the readers will be ok dropping a day. 50 mins?! I had that for a year every day in LA and it was very tiring. Is that driving or by Metro? Liking where you work is very important so many they can work something out like 3 hr paid lunches?

Shonali
Shonali moderator

 @mdbarber I've missed you!!!!

Are you doing ok? I'm relieved to hear you're taking a hiatus (and you shouldn't feel guilty, look at what you're telling me, LOL) - but that you're well... I hadn't heard from you in a while and I was hoping you were ok.

Today I rearranged parts of my kitchen. It was blissful.

Latest blog post: Toon Time: Balancing Act

Shonali
Shonali moderator

 @rockstarjen ... or lifting 35-lb kettlebells... ;P

Thank you, my dear friend! It really warms my heart to have your support - and as I said in my post, my team has been phenomenal - they're just amazing people.

Isn't it funny? Just when you think you're going to drown, suddenly everyone reaches out a lifesaving hand. From IRL (my husband, @richardbagnall  and friends like you and everyone else here) to online (so so many people)... it's amazing.

Shonali
Shonali moderator

 @TheJackB Thank you, my friend. That means a lot to me.

Shonali
Shonali moderator

 @annedreshfield How nice of you, thank you! Hey, where do you commute from into SF? We used to live in the Bay Area, and we had a 2-hour commute (one way)... O.M.G. It was horrid. That was a major reason we moved. I feel for you... especially if you're driving over the Bay Bridge!

It's amazing, how kind and understanding everyone is being. It overwhelms me. Thank you SO much.

I'm coming back to SF in October, btw - just found out that my proposal to speak at the 2012 PRSA International Conference was accepted. I don't know if you plan to attend, but it would be great to see you if possible!

Shonali
Shonali moderator

 @richardbagnall I think that's the first time anyone's called me precious! So you get an extra-special HUGE hug for that, my dear dear friend!

It was really a stroke of genius when you suggested that. Thank you SO much. So now you have to come back to the U.S. soon to give me my next big and smart move!

Shonali
Shonali moderator

 @Krista  You are such a doll! But this is what I mean, partly... I haven't even been able to stop by your blog, and you ARE in my Reader! I suppose I worry that people whose friendship I value - like you, @HowieSPM and so many more may think I've forgotten about them... which is absolutely not the case. But then, "real" friends won't think that, will they?

You take care of yourself, please... you will, won't you? Is there anything I can do to help?

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

 @Krista  but you just sent me an email saying how crushed you will be if @shonali doesn't increase to 3 posts per day. 8)

Shonali
Shonali moderator

 @HowieSPM Awww. Thank you! Yes, they are - sanity and health, I mean - but I also feel very obligated to everyone who has been so kind in building WUL up these last few years (and as a member of the blogging team, you know that includes you as well). That's why I've been feeling so stressed about it.

Yup, 50 minutes, and that's average. It's actually about the same by Metro, maybe 10 minutes longer (on Metro), but there are two reasons I drive as opposed to take Metro: 1) everyone is so friggin gloomy on Metro that it's completely depressing, and 2) it's actually cheaper for me to drive (can you believe that?!).

I don't know about the 3-hour paid lunches... I don't know if I'd survive them, I'd be packing on the pounds before you know it! I'm not saying I don't like my workplace - it's just very different from what I've been used to... I still think it's really about me getting used to something very different. I will say people have gone out of their way to make me feel welcome, and that has been really nice.

annedreshfield
annedreshfield

 @Shonali I live in Walnut Creek and I'm commuting into the SOMA district. I take BART every day and it's about a 45 minute ride, and a 10 minute walk to the office from there...it's not *too* bad. :) BART sure is congested, though! I was talking to someone the other day and they were saying that BART is carrying 3-4 times the amount of passengers it was initially built for. Crazy! The prices keep going up too, but I'd say it beats driving in during rush hour any day.

 

Aww, drat! I'll be back in school in Southern California by then. One of these days I'm going to have to meet some of the awesome Livefyre community members in person! :)

annedreshfield
annedreshfield

 @Shonali  @Brad Rosenstein Yes, they'd actually started running a train in and out by mid-afternoon, and there were several trains running by the end of the day. The footage coming in from the Bay Bridge was incredible. It was a complete parking lot! Luckily I was able to do my work from home instead of taking hours to get into the office in the city.

 

I've never taken BART to the airport, though I see plenty of people doing it. I'm sure it's a joy to use when you're flying into the city and need to get to, say, Walnut Creek! 

 

Yes, it looks like San Francisco very well may be where I settle right out of college...as long as I can afford it! I think it would be a great "first" city to live in. I have family scattered throughout the Bay, too, which makes for a wonderful support system. Can't ask for much more than that! 

Shonali
Shonali moderator

 @annedreshfield Good grief. Is it all back to normal now?

You know, when I was in SF a couple of months ago, I rode BART to the airport for the first time ever and remember thinking how pleasant a ride it was... I can't remember if the SFO extension was still in progress or already open when we were still there. But then, I also remembered what a pain the everyday commute was. Frankly, I think wherever one lives, one would think that!

If we'd lived closer to the City, or in the City, I don't know if we'd have moved. I love SF. I caught up with so many friends - like @Brad Rosenstein and many many more, who have remained good friends despite the years and distance - when I was there... and I literally felt as if I'd "come home." You don't get that feeling with a lot of places, so I think you are very lucky!

Shonali
Shonali moderator

 @annedreshfield Yes. It was horrid. And a significant factor in us moving from CA to DC... we knew we needed more of a "life," and that just wasn't possible if we were going to commute 4 hours a day!

Latest blog post: Blogging Upstream

annedreshfield
annedreshfield

 @Shonali Okay Shonali, that sounds absolutely horrible, you're right. I'm lucky to be a 10-15 minute drive from the WC station. I love the town, though! There's so much to do here! 

 

By the way, BART was horrible this morning. They didn't have the air on (dunno why -- it was in the high 70s in the East Bay at like, 8 am) and there was about 30 minutes of delays. Some guy was standing pressed up against me, facing me, the entire way. Ugh. Feel like I need another shower! Just need to remind myself that it could always be worse, right? ;) 

Shonali
Shonali moderator

 @annedreshfield I love Walnut Creek! We have very fond memories of going there for the art fairs, shopping, and just having fun in general. Well... you can definitely commiserate with me, then; we lived in Antioch which, as you know, is at the end of the Pittsburg-Baypoint line. And because Highway 4 was basically one lane at the time (I don't know if that's changed), it would take us about an hour to get to the PBP BART station, and then another 50-55 minutes to get into downtown SF. It just sucked the life out of us.

What a bummer that you won't be in SF when I visit - but I'm convinced that when one is meant to meet people, it will happen one way or another!

Latest blog post: Toon Time: Balancing Act

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  1. [...] I’m really, really sorry, but you know how crazy it’s been for me lately… and right now, I’m trying really hard to do a good job of catching up. [...]

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