Friday, July 16, 2010

I'm Back in the Saddle Again

I’m back in the saddle again
Out where a friend is a friend
Where the longhorn cattle feed
On the lowly jimson weed
I'm back in the saddle again.
– Ray Whitney

“Back in the saddle again” originally referred to cowboys and jockeys who went back to riding on horses, after injury or hiatus. In my case, it's a temporary "consulting" position in financial services, for up to three months.  Ah yes. Two hundred two days passed since I last found myself working for pay. Until Wednesday.

There's nothing quite like the trauma of becoming reacquainted with pantyhose.

It's not that I haven't been busy. I have worked very hard since January to learn stock and options trading and create my blog, so, yes, I have put in long days, but the rhythm of my days working at home was different. I'd stroll in my pajamas to the office around 7 am and turn on streaming quotes for stock trading, check my blog stats, read dozens and hundreds of financial and blogging publications, study stock charts, and maybe eventually go to the kitchen to grab some coffee. And often, in the middle of the day, I'd take off and go to yoga. Then I'd come back and learn some more.

A morning now involves finding suitable clothing, getting dressed, and heading out the door early. I have three meetings per week that begin at 7 am. I'll eat breakfast on days when there's time. My drive to the office traumatizes me, even though the office is closer than all of my previous work places. Driving of late has been ex rush hour and it's been too long since I've had to deal with other drivers cutting me off, going too slow or too fast.

Rush hour drivers of Salt Lake City, you'd be wise to yield to me.
I've survived the “new girl” routine … I discovered an overactive drinking fountain that squirts all the way to the men's room door.  I accidentally went down the wrong hall, a dead end with four offices, all open and occupied.  But I got a furnished, well appointed cube, and I was invited for someone's birthday cake on my first day. I have worked with several of the full time employees previously, so I'm among friends. Once I get started, my day flies.

I hope I can survive both working and having a life. My social calendar is jammed with fun get togethers with friends and social groups. I don't want to give anything up -- the beading group, the skating moms, the Cottonwood Heights single ladies and friends, the dining and dancing, all the rest -- but I'm a bit worried about balancing everything. Yoga is going to be hit or miss now. And because my job is temporary, I willingly persist with my blog and stock trading, my two activities with the greatest potential for short- and long-term cash flow, since it will be back to those when I'm done with this assignment. My brother's been texting me several times a day to give me the stock chart scoop.  And a website that wants to host my blog wrote yesterday to say "where is that signed contract???"  I think I've been sitting on it for over a month now.

Still, it's all good. Good to show that I'm even more resourceful than I was back when. Good to show that I can get things done. Good to remember I still know what I used to know a year or so ago. Good to be able to understand more fully the risk management parallels between lending and capital markets. Good to have people appreciate my talents and expertise. Good to have coworkers, even if it is only for a few months. And of course, good because it's not fun to burn through my savings despite my frugality.

My "real" saddle is a well padded office chair.  Ahhhhhh ...
Go ahead and think happy thoughts as you press PLAY on the Aerosmith “Back in the Saddle” to get your weekend going.  Gene Autry, it's not that I don't love you and your country twang, but for me, Fridays are all about rock. {from the saddle}

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