Mostly, I work from home. Enviable, sure, but my motto is, why dwell on the positive?
Telecommuting, from the old Latin meaning ‘three days, same clothes,’ has a whole slew of pitfalls. Just off the top of my head, I count five:
1. Listening to the dog bite her nails all day. Sounds like she’s part woodpecker.
2. Proximity to peanut butter. I’ve reformed, but not too long ago I couldn’t keep a jar in the house without eating the whole thing and having to call in sick to work the next day. Office job work, not telecommuting which is Greek for only makes contact via facebook. I limit myself to a few spoonfuls now, but I never forget that spreadable temptress is waiting.
3. Distraction via housework. Even a year ago I might have pooh-poohed this very serious issue. But when my biological clock ticks, it sounds like laundry being folded. (You have to listen carefully to hear it). I still don’t want kids, but man do I love to iron.
4. The compulsion to break for yoga. What’s ninety minutes, I think. Besides, the dog gets so caught up watching me she forgets to bite her nails.
5. Reality television. I don’t have cable, so it took me longer than most to rope this bucking bronco, but a few months back I hit some sort of tipping point. I’d been hearing the name Rachel Zoe for years, and suddenly I had to know more. Although it meant watching the show in eight-minute increments on Youtube, I made it through four seasons. Turns out, Rachel Zoe was my gateway drug. Next came the Kardashians, available on Netflix instant. (Khloe is my favorite. I’m happy to discuss.) Then, just because I could…"The Real Housewives of New York City." Before I continue, a clarification: I don’t watch TV rather than work. I do both at once. Don’t judge. I still spend a fair amount of time waltzing with my muse, but some of my writing jobs involve entering data, editing press releases, all activities that have been scientifically proven to benefit from having skinny women with New York accents shouting in the background. Cheaper to hang out with the housewives than move to New York.
It was in this way I came to learn about a Ms. Bethenny Frankel.
Did you know she started as a production intern on "Saved by the Bell?" Further proof that all roads lead back to Zack Morris. But enough of my religious philosophy. Ms. Frankel, a reality television darling of sorts, first came to national attention as a runner up on “The Apprentice: Martha Stewart.” She then parlayed that fame into a spot on “The Real Housewives of New York City,” which has led to her own show, “Bethenny Getting Married?” All the while, Frankel has continued to pursue her interest in all things culinary. A graduate of the Natural Gourmet Culinary Institute in New York, she first formed BethennyBakes, a custom-made meal delivery service. More recently in 2009 Frankel launched her Skinnygirl brand, marketing everything from margaritas to perhaps ill-advised baby clothes.
Now Frankel is on the lecture circuit and I’m offering a lucky reader the chance to win a pair of tickets to one of her upcoming shows. You’ll join Frankel in discussing body image, food obsession, weight and exercise. Gossip, cooking, motherhood and marriage are also on the agenda when Frankel speaks at the Genesee Theatre in Waukegan on Friday, Jan. 28, and at the Rialto Square Theatre in Joliet on Saturday, Jan. 29. To participate, just like the Our Town Blog facebook page by January 27th and you’ll be entered to win a pair of tickets. If you don't win, visit the Genesee Theatre site to learn how to get $5 off your ticket price.
Now if you’ll excuse me, the peanut butter is calling my name. Perhaps this should worry me. Then again, when you telecommute, an old Native American word meaning solitary confinement, you get used to such happenings.
A freelance writer with an MFA in Creative Writing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Sarah Terez Rosenblum, when not writing, supports herself as a figure model, Spinning instructor and teacher at Chicago's Story Studio. Inevitably one day she will find herself lecturing naked on a spinning bike. She’s kind of looking forward to it actually. Follow Sarah on Twitter: @SarahTerez