Jul 9, 2008

Finding Faith In A Funk


I'm quite sure now I've fallen into a post-partum funk. The book is done, I'm only waiting on the copy editor to send me her share of jots and tiddles for changes. Amazing how much adrenaline and hope that the book stirred up in me. Now I'm left to think, 'This book is dookie. No one is going to want to read it! Those who do will think it's a pile of self indulgent crap! I bet I open the pages and shudder, 'did I really write that?' (I'm told these doubts are standard for even the veteran author. Yet I'm still mortified).

In the meantime, the acting business has grinded to a halt. There may be plenty of roles for kids on High School Musical or CSI: Pacioma. But not for me. And so I've gone back to ... Ta Da: TEMPING. There is nothing better to squish your ego like a roach than to go back to a temp agency.

This week I was placed in the development department of a studio that produces animation for children. What do you know, they're getting into reality TV! Because, well, it's the only thing that's profitable these days. I can only imagine the shows that will be on schedule this fall: Who wants to marry my 8 year old brat? Extreme Makeover, Grade School Edition. Survivor: Glendale Galleria.

The people I'm working for are pretty cool and creative. That being said, Most of my job is to schedule meetings with every reality show writer-producer, and you wouldn't believe the reality shows that have actually gotten made. From "Pimp My Ride" to "Thug My Boyfriend." "I Get that A Lot, Your face Or Mine, Are You Hot? The most troubling genre of reality show to emerge is the celebrity webcam, it started with The Osbournes and now has sunk to a nadir with Living Lohan: a reality show about Lindsay's mom. I also noticed a TV special: Ashlee Simpson A Retrospective. Is Ashlee old or accomplished enough to merit a retrospective?

Even if I were working for THE coolest people on the planet, and my department is pretty cool, it brings up every inkling of regret. So many of my peers went on to achieve success as TV and film writers, producers and stars. I can pinpoint the missteps and mistakes that kept me out of that league. So when I walk in every morning and sign on as "development temp assistant," it only brings it home.

For the past year and a half my husband has been toiling away at a soul-numbing job, writing boring fund raising copy, so that I could write my book. Now it's time for me to return the favor. Many nights Larry came home, angry and depressed. I told him, "it's not for forever." So the shoe is on the other foot. Or rather, we are both wearing the same soul-numbing shoe. And he's telling me the same thing: it's not forever. Still it's hard not to feel resentful at myself, for all those bone-headed moves I made, or the right moves I failed to take, that landed me as Development Temp Assistant.

I know a little bit more about the daily activity of taking up your cross and following. So many people are out there do crappy jobs to survive. And they don't have the hope of escape. So I get to be like everyone else, with nothing spectacular to offer except an eight-hour work day.

"Whatever is good, whatever is right, whatever is lovely: think on these things." "I know how to be content in seasons of abundance or scarcity: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Wow, when was the last time I really lived that??? Maybe that's the point. I have been running on my own steam, rather than God's. I've been operating on will power and hope that my book will amount to something. I've got to get back to the basics of finding joy in the smallest things. Man, they are very small these days. So all I can do now is wait. And go to work. Tom Petty was right. The waiting is the hardest part.

8 comments:

Wendy Melchior said...

Susan - great post. I often ask myself, "what I am waiting for?" because I suspect it is already there to be found.

Anonymous said...

Hey - it's Doug, for some reason this site keeps dumping my passwords when I reset them so I'm incognito again - hey, the first thing that came to mind for me when I wrote this is "wow, she got a temp job almost immediately in her field - that's the hand of God" - I understand the "half empty glass" feeling well and can see how it would look like that to you, but seriously that's what it looked like to me. I'm in a similar boat but feeling better in that I am focused now after a lot of prayer on what I need to do.

I think what's going on for you is all of the sudden being without a long range GOAL since you are as you said "in waiting mode" - but that doesn't mean you're at all washed up, the GOOD PART is about to happen, it just hasn't quite started yet....but yeah, I know God has all the time in the world and what looks short to him is a big chunk of life to us. SO - look for who God has for you to meet there, I don't think that anyone who meets you is going to see you as just some other run of the mill temp, i think this will lead to something that is part of the "big plan" God has up His sleeve for you guys...and of course, this brings up weather or not God has sleeves, but that's for another day...

jennifer said...

I am so very much looking forward to reading your book. And I want to gently encourage you to make a gratitude list in the morning or evening... When I do it, I find it changes the volume of my glass quite effectively!

Susan Isaacs said...

AMEN Jennifer. You are so right. The gratitude list! I'm a bonehead for forgetting that. I'm on it. Thanks!!
Susan

Ted and Lori said...

Joy in the small things: so true, so true, so true. That gratitude list is a great idea, so important to keep ourselves in check with how much we are truly blessed, so beyond what we can imagine. Great post.
(and I'd so watch that Survivor set in the Galleria).

Michael Meulstee said...

I had this put to me before and it is a constant simple reminder... Saying your not happy where you're at is saying you're not happy where God put ya. He's got ya there for a reason. Might not be some epic reason, but its there.

Lisa Milton said...

No joke. Waiting is painful - just ask my kids while the house is on the market now and we wait...

with very little to go on.

Still, I have to believe this is how we grow and move to the next place. It doesn't make it any easier but it makes it worthwhile.

You're in my prayers.

(And I can't wait for the book.)

Anonymous said...

Hey Girl,
I love your blogspot. Doug emailed us your site.

Yes, The Gratitude List is what I need to do...
---Jesus' amazing grace, His stubborn love (giving me nth chances everytime I foul up)
==Inspiring friends like you
---my new IMac, coolest computer
---I walk 30 minutes everyday v.s previous zero excercise
---my job
---I still dream and hope
---My sweet neighbor De Lois who is 65 yrs old
... and sooo many more.,,
Thank you Susan!

Because He Lives,
CYNTHIA

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