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/
I almost have to laugh at the things I conveniently forget even though I know better.
It’s like… childbirth, for example. Any woman who’s ever done it knows it’s excruciating. Worth it? Absolutely! But even the women who go all-natural and birth at home aren’t going to tell you that it doesn’t hurt, because it does. Still, the world is filled with women—myself among them—who voluntarily choose to go through childbirth again, ever after experiencing how traumatizing it can be. We just sort of forget. Or convince ourselves that the outcome is worth the pain. But I think our memories really do soften and fade and we convince ourselves it’s not that bad.
Kind of like how I’ll happily sit down and write out a conference primer, because, after all, I’ve been blogging professionally for half-a-dozen years, and I’ve attended a lot of conferences, and this stuff is old news to me, now, plus I tend to be extremely pragmatic so I’m good at boiling situations down to pros and cons.
I’m good at picking and choosing events to attend and events to skip. But somehow I managed to completely forget that every single time I travel for business I get sick when I come back.
Now that I’m wrapped up in bed with my laptop, wishing my head would stop pounding, am I surprised that I’m sick? Of course not. I remember, now. This is what happens. Every single time.
But somehow I just… forgot? Hoped things would be different…? I’m not sure.
Heck, I even carefully packed my daily medications along with a twice-daily dose of vitamin C, just in case. I got a reasonable amount of sleep and had exactly one alcoholic drink the entire weekend. I’m responsible to the point of being an utter buzzkill, so why am I sick now?
Hindsight is—if not exactly 20/20—certainly able to provide a few cues. The week before I left on my trip, my entire family came down with a cold. It started with my son, who has terrible allergies, so we figured maybe it was just the pollen. But then my husband got sick, and my daughter quickly followed. So they were all snuffling and hacking and I was lovingly tending to them while snapping, “DON’T KISS ME ON THE MOUTH! I don’t have time to get sick!” That’s why I packed the vitamins, because I was worried I might already be infected.
History also reveals that I get sick almost every single time I fly. Maybe it’s the recycled air in airplanes; maybe it’s that airports are just a lot germier than I want to think about; maybe it’s simply that I spend 90% of my life here in my home office or in a limited set of other locations, and my body just doesn’t enjoy venturing outside of its familiar bubble. I don’t know.
I arrived home late on Saturday night, and spent Sunday trying to catch up on errands and finish preparing for my daughter’s birthday. Monday I had to run the birthday girl into the city for a doctor’s appointment, then tried to make it up to her by taking her to do a few fun things, then later we went out to dinner as a family and then out for ice cream, too, because hey, birthdays are cause to celebrate.
Because I’d missed nearly an entire day of work, Monday night I tried to get some work done, but ultimately went to bed early because I wasn’t feeling so hot. This morning I feel awful, and have been dragging around all day, trying to get work done, trying to catch up, but really mostly just wanting a nap.
What I need is a day or two in bed with some terrible television and a good book and a few dozen cups of tea. What I actually have is a mountain of unanswered email, deadlines, kids who need me, and a suitcase I have yet to unpack. It feels like traveling knocked my entire world sideways, and I was only gone for a few days!
Don’t worry, I’m sure I’ll have forgotten all about this by the time the next conference rolls around….
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