Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Life Happens

by Judith Evans Thomas

I received a call two weeks ago from my editor at Pittsburgh Magazine. After the formalities it went something like this: "Judith, would you be available for a meeting with Betsy (Major Mucky muck), Julie (Second in Command mucky muck)and Me (my friendly mucky muck editor)? What do I say. "No, I'm having a lobotomy?" I dig a little for the topic. No luck. Lori is being closed mouth. Enter paranoia. What could my editors possibly want to discuss? The list of topics had no cut off point:

* We hate your column...you're fired.
* We hate your column...bye
* We hate your column...blah blah blah.

Although I don't need this column and it certainly brings in minimal money, I suddenly realized that I loved writing it. Who else would put up with my ego centric musings and travel writing? What would I do if I lost it?

Obviously what I should be doing is writing my mystery, revising my thriller, and being a serious writer. I even had a new project in the pipeline. But this was so muchy fun!!!!

Fast forward the two weeks of waiting. I've gained five pounds, become friendly with every antacid on the market and learned to love sleeping ten hours a night. Do I have anxiety???? ME??????
Last night I planned my wardrobe. I should look serious but elegant. Not too trendy but trendy enough. I'd wear platform shoes so I didn't look so short. I felt like I was going to the gallows.

I woke up early this morning and took two Pepsid AC tablets. What was my problem?It's just a column!!! I sat at my computer but couldn't write, so I paid bills. In my usual fashion I considered arriving late. Nope. That would be bad karma. When I arrived at 1:45 the receptionist recognized me. "Judith. Lori is waiting."

My heart started racing. Should I just turn around and run? I used my mindful techniques learned at Miraval Spa and took a deep breath. When the elevator door opened I started the "Green Mile" past George Miles's office... maybe I should stop and say Hi, past Mr. Rogers Neighborhood office, Mr. McFeely and I were buddies. He'd love to chat. No. Lori, Julie and Betsy were waiting.

Inside Betsy's office we engage in a few minutes of chit chat but I could tell they were anxious to get on with the meeting and the reason I had been called on the carpet. I took another mindful breath and said.... "So what's up?"

The next half hour passed in a second. I wasn't fired. They needed me to take a new role....Travel Editor. WOW.


Gina said...

WOW is right! Congratulations. Do you need a travelling companion?

Joyce said...

This is the perfect job for you! Congratulations!

Nancy said...

FABULOUS! You're the ideal travel writer, Judith. You take such pleasure in all your excursions! You truly make each trip a spiritual journey. Big question is: Does the magazine pay to send you now?? Many congrats!

Tory said...

Congratulations, Judith!

I know what you were feeling about the paranoia. Last Friday I got a message from the Better Business Bureau that I didn't pick up till after 5 p.m. Over the weekend I started worrying that they wanted to talk to me about a complaint. I didn't know of any clients I'd upset, but in my business, you never know . . .

Monday I called. BBB, "Because of your exemplary record with no complaints, we want you to become part of the BBB. (Standard sales pitch.)"

In one Peanuts cartoon, Charlie Brown said, "I wasted a good worry!" I know how he feels.

Pat said...

Brace yourself, Judith! As travel editor, you'll undoubtedly receive thousands of articles from aspiring travel writers. Remember the onslaught of letters from Hogworths trying to reach Harry Potter? it will pale in comparison. In fact, I'm thinking of sprucing up my "Geauga Lake: WHEEE!" piece and firing it over to you... Now, where is the flighty owl now that I need him?
PS Congrats!

Kristine said...

Congratulations, Judith! This is the sort of job you were always meant to do.

Judith said...

Nancy: Money is still being discussed but yes on the trips as expenses. Certainly not my wild ones (Paris, China etc.) But local areas, sure.

For the moment I'm the only one writing the pieces but who knows how this might morph?

Would love ideas.

Pat: I'm sure you are right. I think I'll use the magazine address for queries. Yikes.

lisa curry said...

Judith, woo hoo and congratulations! I'm so happy for you!

Annette said...

Congratulations, Judith! Nice to know the folks at Pittsburgh Magazine know a good thing when they see it!