tuesday tip — accountability.

Last week I wrote about taking one thing at a time. I wrote about how important it is to slow down and breathe for a minute if you’re feeling overwhelmed. I also divulged about my minor (ha) mental breakdown over being too busy and stressed out this fall.

Sometimes, I really think I should heed my own words instead of just writing and publishing them.

At any rate, as if I didn’t have enough things going on in my life, I’ve decided to participate in National Novel Writing Month for the first time. For those of you who don’t know, NaNoWriMo is an event orchestrated every November by the Office of Letters and Light, a creative writing non-profit agency, that encourages writers to hammer out a novel (50,000 words to be exact) in a mere 30 days. If you do the math (which I rarely do, since I’m a writer) that’s writing a minimum of 1,667 words a day starting today and ending November 30th. No editing, no deleting, just writing.

It actually works out quite nicely for me since my birthday is December 1st. This means that, if I finish this, I will give myself the first draft of an original novel on my 26th birthday. You’re welcome, future self!

While I officially committed to participating in NaNoWriMo 2011 last week, I’ve actually been contemplating it since NaNoWriMo 2010. I didn’t participate last year because, well, I don’t write fiction. As a matter of fact, the last fiction I wrote was probably some dumb poem in college and I undoubtedly burned it before anyone else could find and read it. But, a handful of people have told me over the last year that I should write a book. So, I thought, why not?

Apart from being so disgustingly busy and on the verge of burnout, you mean? Well, I don’t know, why not? Hey! No one asked you, inner monologue!

When I decided to go for it, my next step could have been one of two things:

  1. Not tell anyone about my 50,000 word goal in hopes that if I failed at it I wouldn’t be embarrassed.
  2. Tell all my friends (and blog readers) and ask them (you) to hold me accountable and pray for me during this inevitably stressful month.

Clearly, I’ve chosen the latter.

But not intentionally, mind you.

At first, I was going to go with option number 1. I didn’t want to tell anyone. Writing a novel in 30 days (ugh, typing it out makes me tremble with fear) is arguably the most terrifying and difficult thing I’ve ever attempted and, at this point in the game, failure seems pretty imminent. But, once I squeaked the news to my husband, he felt so proud of me (for what?! I haven’t done anything yet!) that he compulsively broadcasted the news to any and everyone he came across. What a guy, that husband. What. A. Guy.

And so. I’ve told people. And I’m telling you. And I’m asking for support, love, and prayer throughout this process. (Oh, um, and I’m getting a pool going to see how many days into the challenge that I’ll publicly break down mid-composition in indecipherable sobs. What’s your bet? My money’s on November 15th — exactly half way to either success or failure. Come on, big money!) And in case you’re wondering, I will still be blogging throughout November. I can feel my eyes drying up and the carpal tunnel starting to set in already! Yay!

Anyway.

TODAY’S SELF-LOVE TIP: BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE.

If you think writing a novel in 30 days is a lofty goal, remember that making a commitment to change your mindset and love yourself is a pretty solid aspiration as well. As much as I’d love to say that I’ve made this transformation on my own, I can’t because I’d be lying through my teeth. I couldn’t have gotten to where I am today without being open and honest with my close friends and family about the things I struggle with and asking them to support me in recovery.

Yes, accountability is scary. Oh lord, do I know it. It’s terrifying to be watched and guided. But it’s necessary for growth and change. Leaning on other people is not a sign of weakness. Rather, it’s a sign of maturity and acceptance that we weren’t created to be strong enough on our own. We were created to allow the strengths of our peers step in when our weaknesses reign supreme.

And so, I challenge you to open up and ask to be held accountable. Ask someone you trust to call you out when you talk negatively about yourself or others. Ask someone to go jeans shopping with you and reinforce your mindset that the size number on the label doesn’t define your worth. When you let someone else carry a part of your burden, it becomes that much lighter.

Also, I ask you to hold me accountable in November. I’ve set out to do something and darn it I want to do it. But I know I can’t do it alone. Be there for me, friends?

fail-odex.

The past couple of weeks have been pretty rough for me at work. I almost got fired once and today, on the coattails of my brush with unemployment, I made a mistake of epic proportions.

For most people, this wouldn’t be so bad. I mean, as of 6:20 PM I still have a job, right?

But for whatever reason I seem to have some sort of Rolodex in my brain where some sadist asshole (read: me) has recorded each and every failure I’ve ever made in my history. Consequently, each time I fail, that Rolodex (or failodex, if you will) comes to life and starts spinning furiously, spitting out painful excerpts from each fail-entry for me to relive. It’s as if each time I fail, I’ve failed each of my past failures all over again.

And I am crushed into nothing. Just a shell of a girl who once had promise.

A few minutes ago as I was soaking in my consolatory not-hot-enough bubble bath (formulated with dish soap because, alas, I’ve failed at buying more bubble bath) chugging my consolatory bottle (not glass) of riesling, the failodex began to rear its ugly head. Under usual circumstances, my next move would be to get out of the bath, dig my journal out of my purse, and begin to scribble down the most hateful, obscene things about myself imaginable.

But this time, I decided to try something different. I decided to turn to my blog, where I’m accountable to my readers.

You see, when it comes to my written journal, I’m the only one (hopefully) that will ever see what’s inside. I have free reign to dig myself into the deepest hole of self-degradation possible, only to go back and read it the next time I fail and remember just how crappy of a person I am. But Lindsay Durrenberger happens to have friends, and I know they don’t want me to talk badly about her on the Internet.

So instead, today, I’d like to create a winodex (if for nothing else, a way for me to stop feeling so darn crappy about myself.)

Here are some examples of times I’ve been a winner at life:

This is a picture of me after I got hit on by a very attractive boy. He gave me his phone number on the dollar. He ended up being a total creep, but for the time being, I was a winner.

This is a picture from my wedding day, where I made the best decision ever. I married the best guy a girl could ask for. WIN.

Here, my good friend Chelsea and I are about to split a weird sausage in Elberta, Alabama. Chelsea got sick to her stomach afterward. I did not because I’m a winner.

Here I’m about to blow out candles on a birthday cake made for me by my very best friend Nikki. My friend Kyle is in the background making a really stupid face. I win because it’s my birthday, and also because my face looks better than Kyle’s.

My good friend Jessica and my husband Dan are making a heart around me because they love me. I win.

I got to go to Scotland when I was studying abroad in London. This is where this picture was taken. Winners are cultured. Hence, I win.

Dan and I went as Jim and Pam for Halloween a couple years ago. We obviously win at this.

This was taken right after Dan proposed to me. Is this picture full of win or what?

For those of you who know me well, you know I hate cold weather. This was taken when Dan and I went to Illinois to visit his family. I didn’t complain ONCE the entire trip about how cold I was. WIN WIN WIN.

Hopefully this will help me with future failures.

stressed about not being stressed.

Okay, okay, okay. I’ve been sucking at this. Sorry. Please forgive me; I’ve changed jobs and I’m trying to get myself acclimated to this new life. But alas! Here I am!

Four days in, I really like my new job. I went from broadcast news to web marketing. It’s under the same giant golf umbrella that is mass media, but at a much different pace. I’ve come from having deadlines that approach in minutes to deadlines that creep up in days and/or weeks. Believe it or not, I’m having a very hard time getting used to this. It’s difficult to suppress the urge to speed through my projects that aren’t due until October. But I think I’m getting the hang of taking it slow and steady.

I’m also getting used to the idea of having sick days and holidays off. What is this notion? I don’t know.

My schedule is also throwing me a bit. You wouldn’t think so but an hour and a half makes a world of difference. I used to head into work at 9:30 a.m. but now my work day starts at 8:00. So it’s hard for me to balance working out in the morning and getting to work in time, since the gym doesn’t even open until 6:15 and running around my neighborhood in the dark (or light, for that matter) is a plea to be raped, robbed, murdered, and/or eaten. Eeek. But! I always get a lunch break (that I don’t feel guilty about) and I’m headed home by 5:00. I’m even on my couch in time to watch the news! (My first love, you know.)

And I can also be home in time to cook dinner! Yay! That’s what I’ve been wanting forever! To get home with enough time and energy to cook my husband a delicious and healthy (and creative!) supper!

This is the part where I’d blog about some snazzy new recipe I’ve found in the past week. But naturally, I haven’t felt like cooking all week. Our meals have varied from Zaxby’s to Jimmy John’s to a swanky local French bistro (where I had a lamb/pasta/olive oil/tarragon dish that I’m almost positive I could have whipped up myself for much less money. Sigh.) But! I will not be discouraged! I’m headed in the right direction!

And we got a nice little jump start by getting a sweet one-year wedding anniversary presents from one of my wonderful bridesmaids: a ten-piece stainless steel cookware set AND a one-year subscription to Cooking Light magazine! I was absolutely floored. What a sweet gift. We haven’t gotten an issue yet but the cookware set cooks like a dream. Thankfully we were able to get rid of all our old, scratched up, chemical-emitting Teflon pans. How amazing!

I’ve also subscribed to All Recipes and get a delicious new recipe in my inbox everyday. For all you cooking newbies, this is the way to go!

Where else can I go to transform myself into the perfect wife? Leave me comments and let me know!

blog reform.

Well, it sure has been awhile, hasn’t it?

After my elongated hiatus, I decided to take my blog in a different direction. As fun as it is to poke fun at the world of broadcast news, frankly it’s just too easy. Seriously. Working in news is kind of like dating the bad boy in high school. Sure he’s edgy, trendy, and extremely exciting. He makes your heart race and your palms sweat. But he doesn’t treat you right, he’ll never buy you dinner, and he refuses to let you see your family on holidays. But when you move on, and date someone else, you have no regrets. No, you look back on news fondly. You’d never take him back, but you’re glad you did it. Because now you know you deserve better.

This is mostly why I put in my two weeks notice.

So. New job, new life, new blog.

Hope it’s just as entertaining from here on out.

I’m back, y’all!

i can see the headline now: tiger/producer eats fresh face.

Yesterday a group of students from a local university excitedly shuffled into the newsroom around 2:30 p.m. to observe us and take notes on our daily goings-about. It was refreshing to see such interested and excited individuals in the newsroom again. Enthusiasm generally runs thin around this place.

They all introduced themselves, but I forgot all of their names save one. The one I remembered was Lindsay, spelled just like I spell it. Lindsay. And she was African-American. I have never met an African-American Lindsay, let alone one who spells it L-I-N-D-S-A-Y. Crazy.

Lindsay’s classmate #1 came up to me around 4:50 p.m. (ten minutes before my show) and asked me what I was doing. I thought I answered like this:
“Oh you know, it’s ten minutes before my show, so I’m just finishing up writing and putting all the last-minute touches on my show. You know, crunch time!” (Imagine me saying it with an obnoxious smile on my face.) She nodded along with my explanations and furiously scribbled down notes, thanked me, and stepped away.

happy happy happy lindsay!

My associate producer relayed to me that I answered like this:
“WELL YOU KNOW IT’S TEN MINUTES BEFORE MY SHOW AND SO I’M REALLY BUSY AND I WISH YOU’D GO AWAY AND LET ME WORK.” (Scowl.)

GET OUT OF MY FACE UNDERLING!

Hmm.

Do I ever come across that way to you? I don’t mean to. I’m sorry if I’ve ever turned into some weird scowling tiger/producer monster while I’m working. I don’t mean it. Really.

😦

happy holidays?

Ahhh. Memorial Day weekend approaches. What will I do with my three-day-weekend? I should take a beach getaway! Or maybe go visit my mom! Or maybe-

Oh wait. I work Monday. Of course. Because it’s a holiday, and journalists don’t get those days off. How silly of me.

I don’t know what it’s like for production folks (like myself) but I’ve heard it said that in most TV markets, the holidays are actually a pretty joyous occasion for the on air staff. If there are even newscasts at all (which there might not be, say, on Christmas when the station could just run re-runs of Christmas specials or whatever) the seasoned anchors get the day off and the young, fresh-faced, up-and-coming reporters get to fight over the anchor desk for one day. One lucky choice reporter gets to anchor that day, meaning he or she snags some material for a resume tape and the anchor who’s been at the station for 30-some years gets to spend the day away from work enjoying quality time with his or her family.

Can you guess where I’m going with this?

That ain’t the way we do it, kid.

All of our shows must (for some crazy unknown reason) go on. Regular anchors anchor. Reporters report. Producers produce. Directors direct.

Now, don’t fret. Not everyone works each holiday. But everyone works holidays. Does that makes sense? There is a trade off. If we’re scheduled to work Memorial Day (like yours truly) then we get the July 4th holiday off (which is actually Monday, July 5th.) Seems like a nice nod, right? A consolation of sorts? But I think it really isn’t. And here’s why: we get paid time and a half on the holidays and our station is too bloody cheap to afford to pay everyone overtime each holiday. I truly believe that if the money was there, we’d all be here each and every holiday. I truly and honestly believe that.

Because our work is our life. And that is that.

But hey! Monday, July 5th is the day after I get back from my week in Illinois for Cornerstone! So that’s neat!

crazyperson@emailswereallyget.com

This is REALLY an email we got in the “news” email account at the station. We deal with these people everyday, whether by phone or email or (yes) snail mail. I’m so delighted to share this little gem with you, readers. ENJOY.

Subject: bad

medicine/bia polar/Cornell/will made your gout hunt hurt. children 4thkilling self/doctors 3rd/aids 2nd/ strokes, heart attracts 1st. water causesstrokes too. more water than meat in your body. more water than land in everstate world too. more great business on the right goes east. they spendmillions telling you where to put business. roughest road there is goingnorth, smoothest coming south. coldest room in your home is on the northside of your home, hottest south side. world and state same way. ever thingthere is say there is a god you just don’t look. if I don’t speak out therocks will they do they lean one way another. trees do too.