April 18, 2013

Keeping Busy

One would think that resigning from one's full-time job would result in having more time in your day to accomplish other tasks, right?  Well, in this case, one would be wrong.  This week has been a mad case of over-booking on my part, and I'm honestly regretting not scheduling myself any personal time to process any of the major life events that have happened for me this week.

Flying Finish (I'm in the turquoise)

I'm not dealing so well with the whole Boston tragedy.  I've been emotional about it all week, and unprepared-ly, but understandably so.  Running a marathon is a monumental thing for anyone, but my marathon experience resonates so deeply in my being that this terrible event has absolutely shaken me to the core.  So many runners will tell you the same thing - their family was right where those bombs went off for their race, as my family was for mine.  The last 0.2 miles of the Chicago Marathon are run uphill - a shorter version of our own "Heartbreak Hill" heading east on Roosevelt Rd. over the rail yard tracks for our commuter train system.  But then that hill crests and you turn north on Columbus Ave. running full-long and downhill towards the city, cheering bandstands of spectators to your left and right as you enter the red and white chute that symbolizes the end of the race and the beginning of your life as a person who has just accomplished an amazing feat.  My memories of that chute are vivid.  As I crested the hill, I heard my name screamed loud and clear to my left, and there was my mom, my dad and my boyfriend at the time, cheering and waving me on from the front row of the bleachers.  Their pride in my accomplishments gave me wings, my legs no longer ached, and I flew across the finish line.

Until - BOOM! BOOM! - and that finish line explodes.  The flags, the stands and the clear road ahead go up in smoke.  Cheers become screams.  And triumph turns to chaos.  

On Monday I will join what will hopefully be thousands of other runners in the Chicago area for the Runners for Boston run with RAM Racing.  It's a sad reason to be getting together.  But I hope that whatever money we raise and whatever attention we get from the media sends a positive message of hope through our community.  If you are trying to crush the human spirit, marathoners (and runners in general) are the wrong group of people to target.  It's a phrase and an idea that has been echoed through the ranks all week and one I believe in wholeheartedly.  I am proud to be a part of this amazing community.  It's the only thing that has made this week a little more bearable.

But otherwise, I have thrown myself into my various works and projects to keep busy.  For this week in particular, I have been employed at at least 2 different jobs every day.  In preparation for the big resignation day, I have been padding myself out with various part time employments, in addition to my full time job, which has rendered my life a mess of day-to-day commuting, bag-carrying and general sleeplessness.  But it makes me feel better to know that I have a "back-up" plan if all else fails.  I just need to be careful not to let the part-time jobs interfere with the real reason that I quit, and that is to get my own company to the next step of development.

The general run down is as follows (and I'm naming names here because this is all information anyone could find about me on Linked In):

Full Time Job - General Manager for the Greenhouse Theater Center.  This is a multi-use theatrical facility that has 4 theater spaces and a couple of office/rehearsal spaces.  We rent to a number of itinerant theater companies every year who produce their seasons of plays with us, in addition to various special events, school shows and other performances.  It's a busy place.  And it runs with me, one other full-time staffer, and a gaggle of amazing part-time staffers who all work in various job capacities.

Part Time Job #1 - Stage Management Sub for Blue Man Group Chicago.  Yep, those crazy Blue drumming dudes.  I am a lucky girl that gets to go and hang out with them a few times a month.  Right now we are in Group Season which is our busiest of the year.  The show schedule swells to 14 shows a week, so there is lots of work to go around.

Part Time Job #2 - Admin Assistant for Dance SPA.  I totally got bit by the Zumba craze a couple of years ago and this neighbourhood dance studio was in the perfect location for me to take classes.  My instructor, and owner of the studio, Christa, became a fast friend and was one of the key players in my huge weight-loss journey.  She has been one of my biggest fans, and I'm one of hers in return (her spunk is unmatchable in any class in Chicago!) and so when she needed some help in the office, I was only too quick to volunteer.  I work for her twice a week, helping check in her class participants and with some marketing and office administration work for the company.

Part Time Job #3 - Primary School Tutor.  As I was considering making the big move to leaving my job, I decided that listing my resume on a site that matches babysitters and tutors with families who need them wouldn't be such a bad idea.  I didn't know that it would work so quickly!  Within 2 days of posting, I got a request from a family that had to pull their little one out of pre-school because of a long illness.  She's feeling MUCH better now, but needs some extra help to get her ready for making the leap to full-time kindergarten classes, so that's where I come in.  We work together on Thursday mornings for a couple of hours, learning how to read and write and count and play.  She's a doll - adorable, but typically higher energy than my usual morning output!

Part Time Job #4 - Benefit Committee Chair for Porchlight Music Theatre.  This is a volunteer gig that I took on before really knowing about or contemplating the demands on my time of all of the above.  I've got one more month in this gig before I will hand it over to the next in line, but the past month in this position saw our annual fundraising Gala on April 7th.  A huge task for anyone, I quite honestly though that that event might break me, but it didn't, and thankfully it was successful, and now we're just in the planning stages for our final fundraising event of the season before I can step down.

Athletic Training - Chicago Triathlon, August 25, 2013.  At some point I will drag my brand new tri bike out of my office and get to ride it.  So far I have only been beefing up my running miles again and spending what time I can in the pool.  I'm starting to get a little nervous that I'm not further along in the game.  But the rain in Chicago has been incessant and it is sapping more than spirits at the moment.  To a new-to-tri bike rider, it's making the roads too slippery for my low confidence on two wheels and keeping me either home-bound or running with soggy feet.  At least when I"m swimming I know that I'm SUPPOSED to be wet.

And finally, The Dream - Producer of the Kiss Kiss Cabaret Club, LLC.  This is the big daddy.  This is the one I'm cashing in my chips on.  For the past 2 years, my co-producer and I have been working our butts off on this weekly show that plays every Friday night at the Greenhouse (my full-time gig for those of you following along).  We have been amazed and humbled by the success of the show and the audiences who continue to come to see us every, single week.  We have an amazing cast and crew of dedicated individuals who make the show happen every week, and I am just like a proud mama when I talk about my beautiful baby.  But we knew from the beginning that the show wasn't the endgame goal.  We knew that we had plans that far surpassed the production of a weekly cabaret show. 

And that, dear friends, is what I am setting forth to do and what I hope to focus on for the majority of my blogs.  I know building this business is going to come with many ups and downs and complications and decisions, but this is my way of documenting it all, and hopefully, one day, being able to look back and see for myself just how far I've come.

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