11 June 2012


I don’t know how it happened, but somehow my life circled back to seven years ago when I graduated college and wondered, “O.K. What now?” In April I began volunteering in a business management role for a non-profit organization. As part of my duties, I was asked to help with an upcoming event and then, somehow, found myself running the event when the day came. I spent more hours working for that organization as a volunteer than I did when I was on the payroll – and my stress level was much higher.

On June 3 when the event was over, I felt relief. The event was done and I finally had time to get back to work on other projects with approaching deadlines. I also had time to act like an expat wife again – going to coffees, meeting friends for lunch and taking some time to relax in a café whenever time allowed. I had time to read! And, imagine this – I had time to write. And, because I had free time in my schedule, I had a chance to go out and do things about which I could then go home and write.

This feels good but I now feel that I am at a crossroads, wondering what my next step should be. Again. This is the third time – first with college and second after experiencing a somewhat dull version of the expat wife lifestyle upon relocation – I have found myself contemplating my career’s future. Do I start my business and become an entrepreneur, responsible for an actual company? Do I continue volunteering and enjoy the work without the demands of office hours and approved vacation time? Do I abandon all quests for a paycheck in the short term to focus on a book? Can I do two things at once?

I try not to bombard my head with work stresses, though I do have self-induced heart palpitations daily when all of these options come to mind. I suppose I should continue doing what I’m doing, try out each of my options and then see which one comes out ahead. Maybe I will be able to balance two at the same time and still be able to breathe, drink some coffee and have some sort of a home and social life. That’s my Walgreens world.

Walgreens is an American drug store chain similar to Guardian and Boots, but I am just guessing it is closer to Boots since 12 or more Guardian stores could fit into a single Walgreen’s floor plan. The store ran an advertising campaign dedicated to a place called “Perfect,” where “the only crime is not having ice cream on your pie…carpets never stain…windows are self-cleaning…” and an endless supply of tissues came out of a single box. The tag line then states something about how we don’t actually live in Perfect, so we have Walgreens to visit for all of our needs.

Shortly after the commercials aired, I adopted the campaign and simply stated whatever I wanted “in my Walgreens world.” This world was everywhere, including work, which likely contributed to the most Walgreens statements. I would say something like, “In my Walgreens world, this person would have actually done the research before presenting me with this communication.” “In my Walgreens world, people would read this e-mail and do what is requested, but we all know that they won’t.” I stopped using the phrase after I stopped working. Hmm. I never thought of that before.

No comments: