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/
This past weekend we took a huge step as a family. You could say we’re trying to restore our work/life balance. You could say we’ve decided to embrace nature. Or you could say we’ve completely lost our minds.
We bought a travel trailer. Camping, here we come!
And the big joke, of course, is that I’m perfectly willing to go camping as long as I have a real bed to sleep on and air conditioning at night. Which, of course, the trailer provides. And then I said that as long as I have internet access, too… I definitely need internet access so that I can work a little while we’re gone, right? Well, it turns out that many campgrounds now offer wireless, so that was okay, too. One could argue that I may just be missing the point of a vacation, but as we know, freelancers don’t actually get to take vacations in the conventional sense for more than a day or two.
But then I find myself on that slope again.
You know the one. I mean, once upon a time I worked from home, and that was it. At home, I worked. If I went away, I hoped there was a computer I could use at my destination. Then that didn’t seem like enough.
Then it was time for me to get a new cell phone, and I went ahead and got one where I could check my email from my phone. It was an extra $5/month to have that access, I believe. And it was sloooooowwww and I couldn’t actually respond to emails, but at least I’d know if a client needed to reach me. Then that didn’t seem like enough.
So I got a laptop, and then I could take that with me if I went away, and then all I had to find was an internet connection so that I could keep working. That was perfect! For a while, anyway. Then that didn’t seem like enough.
When it was time to get a new cell phone, again, I went ahead and got an iPhone. Now I can check and respond to email anywhere I can get a cell signal! And I even have that nifty Wordpress app so that I can blog from my phone. (Though I have to tell you, my two-fingered typing is very slow.) Then that didn’t seem like enough.
So when we got the camper, I kept asking my husband about wireless. Do campgrounds really have wireless? Was he sure? Would he check ahead of time before committing us to go somewhere? Well, it turns out that some campgrounds have wireless that you can get right on-site in your camper, but others? They claim to have wireless, but it only works in their main “clubhouse” area. Which means that if I want to work evenings, I have to leave my family and go sit in a public place that doesn’t even serve fancy coffee.
So now I’m shopping around for wireless cards for my laptop. You know, just to be on the safe side. But the frugal side of me is dying just a little bit, because now I’m looking at locking in a year or two-year contract to the tune of $60/month or so for a service I’m really only going to need for a couple months of the year. That seems ridiculous. And yet….
Okay. You can say it. I have an illness. I’m aware.
Do you suppose there comes a point where I *thump* down to the bottom of this slope? And can, you know, stop?
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