23. Lessons Learned

WORK

Working with our client has been a good experience. I realize that I need to write a lot more regularly so that I am sharp and in practice if this is what I want to do. I gave notice at Berkeley and am going to dedicate my Fridays to collecting interviews and writing profiles. I had a nice interview with a senior editor at Chronicle Books about publishing a photography profile book. A step closer; I now have more information and am less intimidated. I am also going to try and find a class to take or a writing group to join. All this feels really good. I signed up with a temp agency—we’ll see what comes of that, but it’s a step. The site we’re developing is going to be beautiful and I’m proud of my copy. It’s been challenging: partly because I worry that I’m not actually any good, and partly because I’m out of practice. I don’t know where this will lead me, what comes next, but I am feeling incredibly relaxed about that.

 

Lessons learned. No matter how busy you get, begin everyday with a little project management. Stay in constant and honest communication with the client—and yourself. John has been working hard. His weakness is communicating and probably prioritizing. I have been watching my feelings through this, aware of my fear of disappointing our client, my friends, as well as my anxiety for John’s performance. I have been conscious of my feelings, but I have also allowed them to just be there without giving them power. (1) I am not John’s keeper and (2) what is the worst thing that will happen if we disappoint a client? What is it I am actually afraid of? As with everything, looking square at the thing that scares you diminishes its power. The site is going to be beautiful, they are going to be thrilled and we will be proud. If we work on another project together again, we will do a better job with project management. I will probably be the one in the future who works with clients and manages expectations. But maybe this is the only project we do together, who knows. It’s been a lot of fun, even though it’s been tiring and stressful. Another thing to realize is that neglecting your body does not serve you in the end. We have both been foregoing sleep and our running. Both our bodies ache and we are exhausted to the point of collapse. I have gone to bed at one every night for a week and risen early. John has gone to bed much later than that, if he sleeps at all.

 

I also want us to have someone help us set up our office to be ergonomically correct and help us select appropriate chairs. It is so vital to take care of your body.

 

SOUL

I read a wonderful book by a Zen Buddhist psychologist titled: There is Nothing Wrong with You. It is about the negative, judging voices in our head and life. Recommended!