Hiding from the present.
Sometimes it just feels too much to be out in the world of other people.
The nice thing about having a job is that you can hide for a bit, book yourself a meeting room, or put your earbuds in and do some pretend working, even going off to see a client and taking a little bit more time to come back, perhaps a walk in the park. No matter, today’s a bit of a write off, yeah, maybe yesterday was too, but the salary will still drop into the bank account on the last Thursday of the month.
But if you’re the boss (especially if you’re also the entire workforce) it’s not so simple.
Yes I can take a leisurely bus ride into the studio. I can chat to a friend, sitting in the sunshine while the street market gets set up around me. I can walk along and whistle a happy tune. And then I can sit at my screen and wait for e-mails or maybe a phone call to prompt me into doing something. I can make a long list of things to do. And then not do them. And then it’s lunchtime, y’know and the sun is shining and there’s that game I’ve been playing. A walk, a good walk that’ll get me going, stimulated, ready to get down to warming up relationships with old clients, keep up to date with existing clients, looking out for new people to work with… but I’m tired and it’s warm and do you know what? I’m actually just really scared. Really scared of people and what they think of me and what they’ll say when I get in touch.
There’s rationalisation for all of this: The old clients thought the last thing I did was shit and they never want to speak to me again. The current people have heard enough from me recently, or else they’re fed up with me “building a relationship” with them and just want me to do what I agreed to do. People I haven’t worked with yet, just don’t get what I do and it’s too too hard to convince them that they need what I’ve got to give.
Which all boils down to “If I am visible, if I try to talk to anyone, they will be angry and not want to work with me.”
So it’s best to put the phone away, make this a long walk and then maybe have a cup of tea and a snooze and try again tomorrow.
Yes. That’s one way. But there’s always another way.
And it’s accessed in the moment. Here, right now. What’s in front of me? What needs doing? Who needs helping? How can I be useful right here, right now? Where else could I be where I’d be more useful? Who can I talk to?
How can I, just for today, just for this afternoon abstain from being invisible? What does that look like here and now, is there someone I can just walk over and talk to?
Yes, maybe the next right thing is a list of things to do this afternoon, but really that’s a two-minute job isn’t it? Now what? Drink some water, go to the loo, walk around.
OK so back to coming out of hiding again, how are you going to do it? Now?