The Work of Not Working

This week has been really busy for me.

I researched dog kennels for hours, contemplated what I was looking for in a dog kennel for hours, mulled through my options, made appointments with sales reps, talked with those sales reps and then bought two dog kennels. Analyst skills: check.

With the super nice weather this week in Saint Louis, I have been meeting my goal of walking three miles (with pups) each day.

Dog training skills: check.

Lent started up as mentioned in my post from Wednesday, so there has been a renewal of spiritual practice which has opened my mind to understand why some of my creative projects were stalled out… they needed a foundational practice.

This feels like an accomplishment similar to identifying the dog kennels. Analyst / Product Development skills: check.

PS – dog kennels are confusing and expensive. I ended up going with a specific brand, saving about a thousand dollars compared to the others.


Accounting Department skills: check. (Oh, I also completed our family’s February budget review… add Excel skills: check)

All of our kids are at the other parents’ this week so we have had a bit of a honeymoon week. I rose to the challenge of using up everything in our fridge and freezer and stumbled upon the creation of a carrot bisque recipe. Netflix cooking challenge champion skills: check.

It was about 4 in the afternoon, I had roasted carrots and aromatics sweating in the pot. The sun was SO pretty and I had the window open.

I didn’t cook with music as the silence in the house was golden (see aforementioned note about kids not being here). After a taste test of the roasted carrot soup left me with a sliver of rosemary on my tongue, I thought: this should be smooth. This should be a bisque.

Without multi tasking on a conference call, without thinking about how much time I had, without any tie to any thing, I pulled out a sieve and started the slow process of one ladle of soup at a time… pushing through the sieve… watching with satisfaction (again, satisfaction akin to the not spending $1,500 on dog crates) as the soup pooled up in the receiving bowl.

So simple. So creative. So strategic.

I have thought a lot this week about life as a creative and desiring progress and accomplishment to be redefined in my mind.

I notice when friends or fellow writers call me to rattle their projects around. I notice when friends reach out for perspective or just to chat.

I proofread a friend’s work, for pete’s sake. I am working all the time. Professional friend and pro bono life analyst.

The work of not working occurs when I see what I am doing or how I am doing something because I am “not working” and consider whether or not what I am enjoying doing or how I am enjoying doing it should somehow be what I do for work. Following?

Having been a part of 2020’s “Great Resignation” as I “retired from corporate life” has given me a freedom that seems to be wide open space for thoughts of “what do I do with this thing I like doing” or some kind of jolt to ascribe value or extend offering to even the simplest joys. I was a half step away from ordering jar labels and whipping up another batch of carrot bisque for my family members in town.

I am starting to want this time back, if that makes sense. I want that thinking to subside and I want to emerge different. In too many ways, that thinking is similar to how I saw everything I did at Enterprise. How do I get the right people to notice the skill and hire it, promote it, pay it.

What does it look like to just exist without wondering what something is or should be?

What does it feel like to simple operate without marketing?

Part of my Lenten practice has been to resurrect (pun slightly intended) my study of Yoga Sutra. It is not lost on me that the first couple of days on chapter one (the portion of contemplation) have brought the strong reminder of impressions of the mind as distractions.

I dog eared pages from my practice last night to investigate further today… to journal or reflect or whatever I am going to do to understand a bit more about why they got the precious dog ear fold. I know – for the most part – they got the fold because they were helping me remember that all of this work thinking, the pattern of needing to work, is likely the obstacle to the unfolding of the next chapter of my creative life.

Fascinating. Anybody else out there not working and thinking all the time about work? Is this an American thing???

For those that know me … I think this is the next layer of saran wrap to remove.

Ok… now on to it… erin

About the Oneness of Mankind

Full moon be damned, here I am planning and building on active visions… while I fold laundry, have coffee and train the pups at my feet to feel free to go, but welcome to stay.

In my last published post, I mentioned being in the market for a digital camera after tossing my iphone in the wash w/ the towels. Coincidentally, I am writing this post on my laptop on top of a stack of folded hoodies on top of the washing machine in which the towels are ready to move on in their cycle to the dryer. Pleased to say I do not believe any electronics will come up in the wash.

The room is warm, it is raining outside and I have chosen this moment to baseline myself in Frozen Spaghetti.

sidenote: If you search Frozen Spaghetti, do you get a page or two of recipes, questions about freezing spaghetti, etc?

The idea of being a human in this world, as I understand it, is to be recognized as a specific gift because you have the ability to be spiritual, have a consciousness. The more I have worked at this idea, I realize the grass is greener. I look at the spirituality of waves and or consciousness of trees and roots and I get a little smile… that sure does look nice.

At the present moment, I am planning a little open house for my sister’s birthday which is this Thursday. The home feels good, been doing about 20 – 30 minutes of wipe down, dishes, touch ups as I move through it. The whiteboards are clean and updated. There is a fresh batch of lentil chowder in the fridge and ingredients for hummus in the cabinet… soon to be on the counter…

My experience of being home and my experience of being “a Martha” (to be Christian about it) really brings out my deep motivation to belong and to please / welcome / create to invite others to belong. My core wants you to be safe and comfortable near me so that I can be by you.

And, that is where my life comes together. I retired from corporate life because I was no longer safe where I was. I did not like my humor, my ego’s active protective self. I did not like how I was becoming critical, suspicious, etc of others. I was somewhere, for a long time, and I had not grown in 4 years.. almost 5… no real markers of my creativity in flight, making the world a better place. The reason I stayed for all that time was the platform: that company was access to make the world a better place for hundreds… thousands… millions of people. The suppliers, the riders, the drivers, the people – the world around me was changing and requiring new things with COVID and I was absolutely ready to go.

Let’s make the world better.

And – trust me – I was shocked when the cruise ship of my life actually called my purpose forward. A 7th grader failing science… a 15 year old learning to drive… three new child souls in the household… two new cats… one husband, my marriage. Me.

In the change I have undergone in the past year, I am so confident. Not only in that it is never really necessary to try and explain these things.

Not only in my creativity, ability to listen, and my genuine ideas for humanity.

But in my present moments… as they come… because my actions are lining up to my intentions… my awareness of myself is making my each choice OK with me. I am trusting myself more, these days – even in the things I thought were failures, mistakes or shameful parts of myself in the past.

Maybe this will come out in a Netflix series, my sitcom, or my screenplay. My fiction may tell this story or my children’s rhymes.

But – no matter what – it will come out because it has to as living true to my self and all there forementioned is in fact a purpose. A simple one to follow, at minimum. Anything else requires more answers to questions that don’t matter to my laundry.. to my coffee.. to my dogs.

And to these here towels…

these are the days of my life. :)

<cue Imagine by John Lennon>

happy tuesday, ya’ll. erin

Opening Up About 16 Years

My box from Enterprise came today. The little pieces of my years at work collected in one pretty heavy cube shaped box. Acquisitions, certifications, jobs thrown for, people managed, gifts received, business cards saved, nail polish once loved but probably not good anymore.

Fun little boxes with pictures of my daughters speckled along my favorites of all the notebooks: my dreams, my ideal jobs, my pitches, my love for people – customers – my hopes to be an adopted Taylor.

Somewhere in that box is a review or two from Kristi… beloved mentor, manager and friend.

I think one of the things that hurts is the outpouring of support and recognition I received for being “one of the brightest” and yet seeing the notes and business plans for two… three of those “bigger jobs” I threw for. Business Plans that stole time from my 4 year old, 6 year old then 8 year old, 10 year old to go for it, to demonstrate it: be a boss, get on that path to the VP gig. Bringing my family to work parties where there are rides, BBQs, fountains and sunshine.

For the ball games and hockey games with work people who are your people; adorned with family-esque loyalty and trust.

Needless to say: I did not get those jobs.

I evolved in my role, I out performed it, I grew tired… a little bored… then I got married and, with that, got a vision of a garden and family. The corporate ideas once had felt minor compared to the ideas for the house in the Pacific Northwest, the Webster studio, the music… the music… the music. Winning a Grammy more obtainable than a Director level job. “Let’s get this one life”, David and I thought.

Back to this morning. I continued through the box and came across my portfolio and feel this immense pride.

…in my Visio skills… in my practical way of laying things out… in my ability to communicate what matters.

As I manage this household and balance ideas of task orientation (dishes / laundry), personal progress and performance (teens / sports / school), communication and administration of feedback (all of our emotional / social growth) with this idea of compassionate rebounding (the spiritual unfolding), team work (blending family) and ongoing support and love (because hashtag you got one life. love your neighbor) I realize – should I ever return to the corporate world – my resume will be stocked with more than sufficient quality personnel leadership experience.

5 Human Beings.

Under jurisdiction in which I am a main influencer.

How much more satisfying will my thriving other worldly bubble be than a realized daydream of afternoon sunlight pouring into an executive office on Corporate Park drive? We will see.

With the right song and mindset I think maybe I could have it all, you know? But – right now I guess I just want the one next, best thing:

an established rhythm so I can work on my book(s).

Okay. That felt good to write. Love you all.