with Mir Kamin
I'm a freelance writer and mother of two working from home, which theoretically means I can set my own schedule so as to best accommodate my family. In reality, "flexible hours" often equals "working too much." Yes, I'm my own boss; no, that doesn't mean life is easy. It's hard to leave the office when you live there. But I love what I do and feel very lucky. And not just because I get paid to work in my pajamas.
To learn more about Mir, check out her profile on Work It, Mom! or visit her blog at http://www.wouldashoulda.com/
Freelancing deja vu: The feeling that you have mismanaged your multiple contracts in exactly this way, before.
Um, hi! Do you remember how once I wrote this pretty great post (if I do say so myself) about how at a certain point, one really has to sit down and be realistic about how much work you can reasonably handle? Remember that? And remember how I was becoming overwhelmed and was piously vowing to do better and choose wisely and not put myself into a situation where I was burning myself out simply because I lacked the foresight to make a sensible decision, already?
Yeah. That was a really good idea.
In my defense, I wrote that post a year ago. There were plenty of good choices made since then, and lots of times when the balance in my life was certainly adequate, if not perfect. I had too much work, and I made some decisions, and then I had the right amount of work, and life was good.
And then I got some more work. Some work I really wanted; some work I angled for a long time to land, in fact. Some work I love.
But now I have too much work, again. And I can do too much work for a little while, but then—as the saying goes—things fall apart.
In my case, I’ve gotten pretty good about averting complete disaster. I guess it’s not so much a falling apart as an unraveling, really, but still. Not a good idea.
I should take my own advice of a year ago and starting ruthlessly evaluating my workload, and jettisoning the gigs that don’t make sense anymore. The problem is, right now everything I’m doing appeals to me for various reasons—not the same reasons, all of them, but multiple reasons for each job, anyway—and I’m loathe to let any of them go. (It would be overly melodramatic to compare my workload to Sophie’s Choice, right? Right. I’m sure it would. Still.)
It just gets more complicated, as time goes on, instead of less. That makes sense. But I find myself surprised, anyway. One job over here, I love my boss. Another job over there, I like my boss just fine but I love the assignment. And this one over there, my boss and assignment are fine, but mostly I have a specific goal in mind that this gig will help me attain. But that job, well, that’s the one that pays great. And so on. So many things go into figuring it out, but at the end of the day there’s only so many hours and I have to keep my workload manageable.
It sounds so reasonable, when I say it like that. So why am I having so much trouble doing it?
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