This month we're talking about Horrible Bosses. I don't think I've ever had a horrible boss - lazy, yes; ineffectual, certainly - but not horrible. To me horrible implies mean, arbitrary, or unethical. I was lucky enough never to have to work for someone like that.
Over the years, I had a couple of wonderful bosses, mentors who taught me more than they will ever know. When my turn came to be in charge, I knew that's the kind of boss I wanted to be. I spent the last eighteen years of my business career as the V.P. of Underwriting and New Business at a large insurance brokerage, where I managed a support staff of 15-20 clerks and specialists. My favorite part of the job was training and mentoring, and I hope I made a difference in several young lives. My greatest professional satisfaction upon retirement was turning over the reins to a woman I had hired right out of college and "raised" in the business for fifteen years, knowing she was fully prepared to meet the challenges she would face.
But now that I'm a full-time writer, I'm my own boss. So what kind of boss am I? Too lenient, I think. I know I could be much more prolific if I made myself stick to a strict writing schedule, if I created business plans and specific goals and worked toward them with the steady tenacity I applied to my first four books. But I haven't done that, and I have to ask myself why.
One reason is burnout. The last year of my business career was difficult and left me exhausted and traumatized. I needed to give myself time to recover. Then we moved across the country and undertook a huge renovation project. More stress. My husband's health suffered and mine along with it. We've been in the house for a month now, and I'm finally beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. For me, that light is a rekindled interest in starting a new writing project. I may not be a tough enough boss to crack the whip and set myself deadlines, but I'm happy to feel the spark of creative energy again. It's been too long.
As spring chases away the winter blues, the Roses are finding inspiration in the words of others. For April:
Happiness is like a butterfly which, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp, but, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne
Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else. ~ Margaret Mead