The latest installment of my new frantic tradition brings me into uncharted territory.
You may recall from last week’s lunch post that I established a goal of writing a blog post every Tuesday during my thirty-minute lunch break, posting exactly whatever I was able to eject in that time period–no more, no less. Unfortunately, this Tuesday I have no such break, instead being swept up in the holiday activities of the office. Rather than retreating to the safety of the company computer lab, today I find myself in our largest conference room as I prepare for the annual Yankee Swap, anxiously munching on pizza and wringing my hands at the prospect of opening a Bedazzler in front of 40 coworkers.
It would be just about the worst thing possible for my lunchtime tradition to fail after one post, which means this comes to you via my mobile phone, as I semi-subtly fumble with the WordPress app under the table. It’s fine, I’m sure. Everyone is too busy fuming at each other over minor betrayals and shattered hopes. This year hopes are limited to a $10 maximum.
I’m accepting this as a lesson in tenacity. In order to improve my craft I have to be willing to meet the goals I set for myself, regardless of the anarchy around me, completing posts even as the Finance department collectively seethes about losing the bottle of Fireball for a Stranger Things Funko Pop (Barb, specifically).
My contribution: a copy of Jonathan Lethem’s Girl in Landscape, a last-minute pluck from my bookshelf, currently in the hands of our befuddled SysAdmin.
I, uh, don’t really understand Yankee Swaps very well.
This past week I wrapped up the first draft of a commissioned project (more on that soon). I took the day off work to do my rewrites. While my morning was a productive, optimistic, inspiring process, by the time late afternoon came around I was ready to disavow not only my fiction ambitions but the entirety of the English language, save for a few essential profanities. But that is, of course, the basis of professionalism: the ability to press forward and write and deliver despite bleary eyes, pounding head, and crippling despair at the realization that you’ve been using the word flanged wrong your entire life.
I got a Minion Funko Pop in the swap. What are these? Who buys them? Is this a kind of code? Am I going to die?
This is the closest I’ve ever come to being in a riot.
The point being, this post is representative of my professional ambition. As my thumbs smear nervous sweat across the screen, the bellows of my corporate kinsmen give me the strength tap out my lunchtime screed. If I can complete a post here, I can complete any story, anywhere, anytime.
No more excuses. Today, I am a professional.
Oh, thank God. Someone took the Minion.