"What is your blog about?" People are constantly asking me this question and despite answering it so many times, I don’t know if my answer is ever the same.
My blog was a series of emails that I wrote to myself during my last year as a corporate cog in a Fortune 500 company. I was trying to figure out what I was going to do as I was winding down not just my job, but my 30-year career as a television executive, and a busy city life that included juggling family, friends, and my own sanity. Those emails became the framework for what I thought was going to be a book. A book about surviving the crazy life of being a working mother in a high-pressure job while on the precipice of reinventing a new life. The book didn’t seem to have a natural “ending,” so I kept writing… and that’s how this became a blog.
So here I am, two years later, still writing. I am now a television producer. Or a former television executive, who has produced and is still trying to find success in that arena, while writing a weekly blog. But this blog has become a lot less about a former-harried-executive who used to balance 14-hour days, back-to-back meetings… all while overseeing multiple television series at one time. Now I am a stay-at-home mom/TV producer, who spends a lot of time writing about my eye-rolling teenage daughter and a spoiled white fluffy dog.
Let’s take Friday morning for example. My youngest (teenage) daughter was on Winter Break, and since I had no conference calls, I thought I would sleep in. My only concern was if my teenage daughter had let the dog out. I went into her room to find her propped up in bed staring at her computer (watching TV), and the dog peacefully sitting next to her. Uh-oh. I knew from this familiar tableau that she didn’t let the dog out. I could hear the “Psycho” music start playing in my head. I checked her bathroom and sure enough, there was a fresh “poop” on one bath mat and a little yellow pee stain on the other. Needless to say, I started yelling. “You have ONE responsibility in the morning. Let the dog OUT as soon as you wake up. Why are you on the computer? Why are you still in bed?”
Her response: "He must have done that in the middle of the night, so he didn’t need to go out this morning.”
I thought my head was going to explode.
I made her shut off the computer and get out of bed. We opened the door and shoved the dog outside. I marched her to the laundry room and showed her how to disinfect and wash the bath mats in the washing machine. We then went back outside to retrieve the dog. Unfortunately, he had taken off to the neighbor’s yard (again). It took us about 10 minutes to find him and get him back with bribery (a doggie treat). Although he came back for the treat, he (oddly) didn’t eat it.
Instead, he scurried off to the other part of the house while I went back to the laundry room to sort the rest of the dirty laundry. (This has also become a recurring theme in my blog. I seem to always be doing laundry). My daughter went back to her room… presumably to continue watching whatever show she was “bingeing” on Netflix.
About a half hour later, I walked past my bedroom and I thought I smelled something weird… but chalked it up to my overactive imagination. I found my dog in my bathroom lying quietly, but he wouldn’t look up at me. He must have still felt bad about going #1 and #2 on the other bath mats earlier.
I went back to the kitchen to make breakfast. Another half hour passed. I went back into my daughter’s room and now the dog was lying on her bed. He still wouldn’t look at me. This seemed odd. My daughter said that I must have scared him from yelling so loudly. I guess that’s possible (and a little terrifying). I actually didn’t yell at the dog at all. I only yelled at my daughter. (I know, not good either.) Hmmmm… and I still smelled something funny on the other end of the hall.
My dog followed me as I went back to my bedroom to investigate. There it was. On the very corner of the rug under my bed, my dog has had diarrhea. It’s green. It’s slimy and it’s truly gross. Oh, and it’s on a SHAG rug. The only rug in my entire house. The bathmats are inconvenient, and I don’t want him to make a habit of going in the house, but they are very easy to wash. The “shag rug”... not so much. Oh, and my husband is absolutely freaked out by dog poop. I am pretty sure that if he discovered this disaster, it would be the end of the dog, me and our marriage. Even if my husband did recover from this “accident,” the dog would be quarantined to a confined area for the rest of his life and we would all be miserable.
So I ran back to my daughter’s room and said, “We have a problem. Go get a roll of paper towels, “Nature’s Miracle” (a pet stain remover), a plastic bag and meet me in my bedroom.” My daughter brought all of the sanitation materials and sat down on my bed for moral support. I started cleaning as best I could and asked her to scour the internet for all of the various ways to clean a shag rug. Meanwhile, my husband was safely tucked away in his home office without any knowledge of the nuclear waste explosion that had occurred in our bedroom. Just as I was getting rid of all of the evidence, I heard a retching sound coming from behind me. My dog was on the reading chair in our bedroom about to throw-up. I dropped everything and raced to scoop him up off the chair. Mid-scoop, he barfed all over the floor. This time it was a lovely mixture of yellow bile and grass. I found myself oddly grateful. It only landed on the hardwood floors. I could deal with that.
I finished cleaning up the floors. I opened the windows. I blotted up the "Nature’s Miracle” solution. I threw away all of the paper towels (evidence) in their own plastic bag and took it outside. I checked on my husband. He was still on his computer with no idea that the last 90 minutes have been nothing but chaos. I put another load of laundry in the machine.
I then sat down to meditate. My dog sat next to me. About 10 minutes into my meditation, he began to bark at the birds outside. He proceeded to run around the house barking his head off. I guess he was feeling better.
So what is my blog about?
I am no longer the blogger who writes about going to the Emmy awards.
Or corner offices.
Or even being a producer in remote locations.
I am now the blogger who writes about spending my entire morning cleaning up dog pee, poop, diarrhea, and vomit. I am the blogger who yells at her daughter for not taking the dog out first thing in the morning. I am the blogger who now keeps secrets from her husband because he will never know about the accident on the shag rug. (Unless of course he reads my blog… which is highly unlikely.)
So while I may not have not been planning my outfit for the Golden Globes this past weekend, at least I now consider myself a writer.
And the best part about being a writer is that after a terrible morning like today, I had the inspiration to sit down and write… and that is my silver lining.