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/
Tomorrow is Independence Day here in the USA, and most everyone around me—if you believe the television and radio—is getting ready to kick back at a barbecue with some frosty drinks. Independence in this country is heavily about charred meats and the right to imbibe alcohol. Oh, and there’s also the Blowing Stuff Up aspect, I guess.
Me, I’ve had a rough few months. My family is having a difficult year. For a while there, I didn’t know if I was even going to be able to continue working, as flexible as my freelancer’s schedule supposedly is. The idea of simply taking tomorrow off to hang out with my family feels crazy in the wake of recent life. It definitely feels like I should take the day to buckle down and catch up on work. After all, most folks will be taking the day off, so maybe I’ll finally catch up!
I’m not going to do that, though. Part of what I’ve lost over the last few months is any semblance of balance in my life. Work has suffered, yes, but so has everything else. I’ve become someone who merely reacts, rather than acts. My life feels like a series of crises, and I’m just here with a fire hose turning towards the nearest fire, then the next nearest, etc.
In honor of the holiday (not to mention because I just can’t take it anymore), that all ends this week.
I am slowly—oh so slowly—figuring out how to keep working around everything else that needs my attention these days. I’m still working less, I’m still not convinced I’m working my best, but it’s a start.
Now it’s time to figure out how to be a person, too. Not just Crisis Mom. Not just Stressed-Out Freelancer. But a person who’s not quite so likely to drop dead of a heart attack or turn into a bitter, angry shell of the person I used to be. That’s what I’ve been working on this week.
So far I’ve scheduled an overdue doctor’s appointment, paid a stack of bills that’s been languishing on my desk, and accepted a very gracious gift from a friend and scheduled a massage for early next week.
I am committing myself to returning one important phone call per day. I’m far behind, so even that will take a while, but it’s a start.
Instead of feeling guilty about “sneaking” time on Facebook, I’ve given myself permission to get on there several times a day and am making the effort to actually interact with my friends on there a bit. (This is me taking baby steps back to rejoining society instead of just being a hermit.)
We had some friends over one night. It was fun!
I’m spending quality time with my husband and son, even if that means just a half hour here or there, in-between everything else.
I’m cooking and baking again. I’m eating ice cream without remorse. I’m sometimes pushing back from the computer in the middle of the day when I know I’m not being productive and going for a walk, or reading a book. Without guilt.
I’m rediscovering how to be a me that fits. It’s a process, and I’ve got a ways to go. But it feels good.
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