Thursday, September 22, 2011

Working girl

I love that movie. I do. Weepy McAwesomeness.

Anywaysies. I had a long day today and in fact am still in it. The plan is that I will land in three hours (am on a plane home from DC at this very minute), hop in the tracker, and drive my ass right up the coast. But...that's three hours away and by the time I arrive, I will have been up for nearly 24 hours, after a couple nights of four or five hours sleep.* Not sure that's wise. Stay tuned!

I spent all day yesterday in meetings all the way til 11:30pm, even pretty much having bizness meetings while drinking late at night with clients. That's how it goes. And I spent all day today with another favorite client. I have worked with them for nearly ten years, while at the last company and my current company, and there is absolutely no need to dress up for them. But today was a fancy biz-ness type day in which there were a Lot of Suits. So my colleague Jenn and I dolled it all up. She is always dolled up, actually. I am not. It's always a little nutty to be in these rooms with a bunch of dudes in suits. I am so not in my element. But whatevs, I do my best! And dress my best! I took this photo in their bathroom while on a break; that is how committed I am to YOU and THIS HERE BLAWG.

My Thrifted Best Bizness Style:
  • Red acrylic (!) beaded sweater $7
  • White t-shirt $2
  • Gray pin-striped straight skirt with pleats $5
  • No Boundaries black patent leather low platform pumps/ankle straps $7
  • Wide patent leather belt $2
  • Charm bracelet $3
  • Pretty mother of pearl flower clip ons $2
  • Sheer white scarf with gold edging and gold flower image $1
Not thrifted: Nothing. I'm that good.

What I think about this outfit now that I've seen the photo:
  • Man, nothing. Well maybe higher heels.
Total outfit cost: $29


*Let's discuss sleep, okay? Ten years ago, when I started working at my previous company and all the sudden had a bunch of east coast clients and a relatively new job, I would wake up at 5:30am, be on the 6am bus, and be at my desk by 6:30am. Which, btw, was usually before most of the east coast people were at THEIR desks. But that's how I liked it. And, I'm a night owl. So come 11pm, I'd get my second wind and work for awhile.

That meant that I would basically sleep from about 1:00am to 5:30am. I was seriously stressed the fuck out, I never dressed cute, I was overweight, and I was overworked. And, I got sick *all* the time. Like, for months at a time.

Then I got pneumonia. It was at the March for Women's Lives in DC in 2004, where I was part of a client's entourage and, of course, working. I was sick, whatevs, what else is new. But towards the end of the March, I hung back. My mister and some friends who had come for the March were off to the airport to go home, and I was flying back the next day. But, while my colleagues all got together at a local bar to figure out what we were gonna do next, I headed back to a friend's home where I was staying. I couldn't move. I couldn't talk. I was exceptionally ill. My dear co-worker, Rachel, took care of me and got me to the doctor. I shouldn't have flown home so ill but I did. And then I was out of work for about two weeks or so and for most of those two weeks, I couldn't speak.

Every day, I would wake up and try to talk...but no. Nothing. The mister would come home from work and I would be a mess. A mess. A weepy, heartbroken, desolate, abandoned, inconsolable mess. I had a pretty whack-a-doodle existential crisis, as in "If I don't speak, do I exist?" Ha ha ha ha. But not so much ha ha. It felt real.

But...something happened during that weird period. I slept. A lot. I used otc sleeping pills to stay asleep, too, so that fears of effing up with clients or becoming irrelevant to my workplace wouldn't keep me awake.

After a couple weeks, my voice came back and I went back to work...but something had changed. I took it a little easier. I kept taking the otc sleeping pills, and I slept. About seven hours every night. Sometimes, delightfully, a little more. And guess what? I have mostly not been sick since. A cold now and then. A day of tummy troubles once or twice a year. And last year I lost my voice for a week. But that's it. I like to say I never get sick, and that's not true, really. But it's mostly true. And I'm pretty sure it's because I sleep (and because I drink a lot of water, but that's another blawg post). It is the best thing I ever did for myself. Better than losing weight, fyi. The moral of the story is that I should probably get some sleep tonight and not drive three hours into the night. But, even if I don't, I know the real moral of the story: motherfucking sleep you silly ding-dong. It's not that complicated. The end.


  1. Agreed on the sleep - it's the linchpin to everything. Love the Suity McSuit outfit.

  2. It is a scientific fact that you can live longer without food than sleep. I'm glad to hear that sleep is more of a priority now. A healthy Madeline makes us all happy.
    I did say to Scott that I hoped you wouldn't drive up to Little River last night. Better safe than sorry.

  3. Anonymous (J Do) said....

    I remember that day with you and Rachel so well. We had so worked our god damned asses off for that March. It was such an inspirational day and you were sicker than most dogs...seriously ill.

    I am happy to hear that you changed your lifestyle. I'm sure it's still insane but in some perspective sort of way.

    Sometimes I think I've limited my upward mobility because I go home to sleep rather than network in DC. If I have, then fine. I am healthy. I am happy. I am working for good. I will live (knock on my wooden office desk) to see my son live his life.

    I use prescription medication to help me sleep because my mind never stops. Ever. Probably like yours. The only time it isn't whirring and processing is during sleep.

    So I'm glad you posted this. You are a role model in this business. Some of us try to live up to the pace and image you set. Owning up to sleep will help others, so thank you for that.

    I always worship you.

    J Do

  4. I didn't drive at night! Yay for grown-up-decision-making me!

    And - sally, I and my pals came to the hrc ice cream social that dc trip. remember?

    And - J-do - of course YOU remember all that. remember THE PICTURE we had to get? of the OTHER HRC? plus...thanks for your comments my friend. I don't know what I'm doing but glad to know that it looks okay from the outside! And, of course, mind racing? OH HELL TO THE YEAH.