I’m closing in on one year at the new job, and adjusting to the new corporate culture has been tough at times. Some weeks I do better than others, and this week was one of those others. By end of day Monday, I was considering buying a Century Bob Torso Training Bag for my office, which I felt HR would rather me smack than the live subjects that needed smacking. (Editor’s note: my friend and concert partner, Chris, has one of these. He likes to hide it behind the shower curtain in the guest bathroom tub and scare his guests. That’s pretty funny right there! He can’t seem to keep friends for some reason, though.)
One cultural adjustment about the new place has been lunch. Due to the rural location of the plant, going out for lunch isn’t a regular thing. Most people eat in or have someone run out and bring back lunch for groups and, therefore, people tend to work through lunch.
Now, I’m all for that, if the thinking is we leave earlier in the day, but that’s not really the case, either. On Monday and Tuesday this week, I ate at my desk, having my usual boring turkey and cheese sandwich with chips. Late on Tuesday, my boss canceled the standing Wednesday lunch meeting, leaving me a choice. I could make myself another turkey sammich, or having the aforementioned desire to smack Bob, I could take a midday break from the office. Wasn’t a hard decision. I pulled out of the parking lot, and for the first time at the job, I turned left, instead of right, and headed to the little town of Saluda, South Carolina to find lunch and do some exploring.
Unfortunately, lunch options in Saluda are pretty limited. I passed on the gas station Subway, as well as McDonald’s and Burger King, finally settling on a regional chain restaurant called Mig’s Pizza Castle. I ordered (surprise!) a Turkey sub. In my defense, it did have ham and bacon, so I went out on a small limb. I also had fries instead of chips. Since I was by myself, I ordered it to go and ate in my car in the parking lot, while I finished listening to a podcast.
In Search Of…
I ate fast because the sun was out and it was still August, and I was quickly becoming as toasty as my sub roll, even with the windows down. When I finished, I drove by the Saluda Historical Museum and Theater, which I had scoped out online doing research for my novel. One of the main locations of my new book is an old theater that is undergoing restoration, as the old Saluda theater has. I didn’t have time to go in, but I snapped a picture or two, and plan to go back.
Also, if I’m honest with you (which I mostly am, most of the time), I was also in search of inspiration for this week’s blog post. I like to have a post brewing by Wednesday afternoon, if not sooner, then I usually do the first draft Wednesday evening. Thursday nights are for adding images and polishing up the post. When finished, I hit the publish button before turning in for bed, and the Mailchimp service emails my posts at 5 am Friday mornings.
However, by Wednesday lunch this week, my mind wasn’t in it. I had nothing. I scanned my blog post idea list several times, but nothing jumped out. I was starting to consider using my “in case of emergency” new post I have in reserve if life goes nuts, keeping me from producing new content one week. However, next week appears to be that week, as I am traveling for work for the first time since February. So, I was determined to keep it in reserve one more week.
So, what’s the take away from this little mid-week diversion? Well, I returned to work in a slightly better mood, and the blog picture became a little clearer. I realized it’s some oft-repeated advice from many people over the years, and I’ll repeat it here, too: sometimes you have to change it up. Whether you’re stuck in a rut or need some space, try something new. Might be as simple as taking a different route to work or a new lunch adventure. Or you could try the egg white grill instead of chicken biscuit at Chick-fil-A. Could be exactly what you need.
Thanks for reading,
PS. Or maybe the takeaway is this: if you want to hit someone, consider a Century Bob instead. Heck, even if you don’t want to hit someone, buy a Bob. Hiding him in the guest bath to scare guests sounds like therapy, too.
PPS – Writing streak has made it to 87 days. Fiction new word counts were very low this week (~600) due to so much rework on the book. I’ve done some good work on the rewrites, I feel. However, I’m falling further behind on my goal to have the beta copies ready by labor day. I’m probably two weeks behind at this point.
PPPS – Grumpy Greg: American Airlines. Argh!