Monday, July 27, 2009

Whatcha' Been Up To? . . .

Hey, everybody. LONG TIME NO BLOG! I apologize for that. I have a bunch of drafts started but it's been a NUTTY two weeks or so since I last got a few minutes to post.

I know what you're wondering - what's been going on? Well, for those of you on my Facebook network (and all 12 of your readers should almost ALL be on my Facebook network by now (smile)) would know I've been super busy with work.

I got a new title. Insert back-pat and new box of business cards here. I'm now a "Communities Strategist." Yeah, I know, utter industry gibberish but I LOVE it and I'm excited that I have a new title. I spent the first 11 years of my professional life strongly committed to being a "PR guy" and was very, very obsessed with that part of my industry and staying in it and strong but - almost two years at a full service-integrated-agency later, I am now happy to shed the PR part of my title and to embrace the spectrum of what we can do here. My CEO is beaming with pride right now (smile).

Anywho - with new titles comes great responsibility (I think that is what Spider Man's aunt told him at least) and that means I've been getting my feet, cankles, knees, thighs and armpits very, very wet with an RFP that has dominated my life for two full weeks.

An RFP, for the gloriously unacquainted, is a "request for proposals." Organizations (who are increasingly just fishing for great ideas and understanding on budget perspective, according to AdAge) issue RFPs when they are bidding out work, seeking a new agency of record or considering a change in their creative and communications process.

We pitched the client this morning and it went well, I think - but that is not the point of this here post.

I co-coordinated the effort with one of my favorite colleagues (she's very smart and funny and talented and a very hard worker) and we worked a TON. 90 hours between last Saturday and this morning (I left here at 12:45) to be exact. I worked 14 straight days on this thing. The weird thing is, as tired as I am (and I am exhausted - I cried and cried on the drive back from the pitch this morning (I was alone in the car (except for two life-sized cutouts of coworkers, a cooler full of dry ice and 14 additional display boards)) I am not upset about the time or the effort.

I missed Joy and Ava. I saw them very, very little this week (Joy went back to work last Monday - but more about that in another post) and I got very, very little sleep but it felt great to be involved and to be busy and to feel like I was helping my agency sharpen its proverbial pencil and get some great ideas and work and direction on paper for a client.

The hours though . . . oy the hours. It reminds me of "old Sean" that lived in Baltimore and worked in downtown Washington, DC for a man that didn't seem to understand a "work-life balance." I worked 10, 11, 12 hour days regularly. And that was before factoring in the three hours I spent commuting each day. I was tired all the time. It felt like jet lag, only without the thrill of being someplace exotic (or coming back from one) and I just wanted to sleep, eat or both alllll the time. I was cranky. I was moody. I was anti-social and I was unwilling to really snap out of it. All this, mind you, while I was a married man that could not afford to just eat, sleep, crank out and be alone all the time.

It was weird to go through this process as the "new" me. To not have 300 extra pounds to further weigh me down. To not just mindlessly eat as a way to try to cope with the misery. To not just rage out at my co-workers, boss, friends and family when the stress level started to rise. To not do what I had always done. I realized that this was a short stint. A "reminder" of what my life was like. Not a return to the "old days." Not a "regression." Not a problem. Wifey was her normal, loving self. She let me have my time and my crankiness and she took on the extra hours with Ava and with her job in stride. She's nearly perfect. I don't deserve her. I worry that she will realize that one day but - six years in - she's still willing to just subtly hint that she's figured it out every now and again (smile).

I'm happy it is over. I've got lots of enthusiasm for spending some quality time with Joy and Ava this week and - drum roll please - Ryan and Erin land Thursday night and Patrick and Joyell come in on Friday so we are SUPER excited about this coming weekend (which will likely be exhausting in its own rite but in a very different direction).

Wish us luck on the RFP. We're super excited about the client, the work and the potential and we gave them 78 different tactical suggestions that should give us plenty of work on the back end. And if that means extra hours . . . clearly I can still handle that too.

Now - if you'll excuse me - I. Must. Sleep.

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