This will be short so that I can hunker down in bed and pursue my new favorite hobby, which is sleeping. (Sleeping is also my old favorite hobby, and inbetween the old and the new is a hobby I don’t get to pursue often enough and also can’t talk about here without causing several people close to me experience spontaneous immolation.)
The good news is that the toothearache has gone away. The bad news is that it was, apparently, a harbinger of something awry in the sinuses. Now I just have a yucky cold. Summer is officially over!
So I was all curled up on the couch, tonight, with the kids. They’d gotten ready for bed in a timely manner and I’d granted them half an hour of TV time. We were snuggled under a blanket like a pile of puppies and I was thinking that maybe I’d go to bed early, after I got them down.
And then the doorbell rang.
“Who could that be?” asked Chickadee. I assured her that I didn’t know. I went to the door to find… the babysitter.
My rusty brain attempted some speedy information retrieval. Sitter… here… what’s today?… Thursday… It’s about 7:15… Thursday… oh CRAP, I have choir rehearsal.
I guess it’s good that the sitter remembered, because I sure didn’t. (We get the summer off for good behavior. Or—in my case—not so bad behavior.)
Well, once the sitter was here, I kind of had to go even though I was feeling crummy. So I went. And I was glad I did, because choir feeds a small corner of my heart that still responds to music and pretty things, unlike the bulk of my heart which is cold and ossified.
The director had us whipping through the music in our folders at a pretty good clip, and when she announced, “Okay, take out ‘Go Without Knowing'” I couldn’t resist saying, “Oh! My theme song!” This elicited a few small chuckles, but I was not satisfied, so I had to add, “Oh, wait. My mistake. This is ‘Go Without Knowing.’ MY theme song is actually ‘Go Without THINKING.'” The director offered that the not knowing is often a direct result of the not thinking, which was a valid point. I shall continue to claim it as my personal anthem!
Anyway, it was with this exchange fresh in my mind that I arrived home to some email wanting to know if I could expound a bit how working from home enables me to spend time with my kids and how I “wouldn’t have it any other way.” I’ll have to come up with a real response (tomorrow), but my early inclinations were interesting, to say the least. I’m often asked how I decided to freelance and/or if it’s the greatest job I’ve ever had because I have the best of both worlds, etc.
On getting to spend time with my kids:
It’s especially magical how, regardless of how much work I have (which is NOT salaried, and in no way confined to normal hours), I’m expected to provide everything they need for school, volunteer in their classes, attend all practices and meetings, take care of them if they’re home sick, serve on the freaking PTA (still bitter about being sucked into that), cook and serve and clean up after their meals, maintain the household, help with homework, and manage “quality” time. I really AM profoundly grateful that I’ve found a way to juggle this, but on nights when I’ve just finished my work for the day at around midnight and the alarm is set for 6? Not so grateful.
On not having it any other way:
Yes, absolutely. I love having to rely on my ex for health insurance. I love having no retirement account. I love never getting a sick day, and still having to do my work (or not get paid, at best… or lose a client, at worst) and tend the children even if I’m ill. I love it when people assume I don’t work for a living. I ESPECIALLY love it when people acknowledge I work but still assume I have endless amounts of free time.
On deciding to freelance:
Well, I decided to freelance because it turns out that I don’t play well with others, and we’re all safer if I stay here in my house and only interact with the world through the shiny box on my desk. Just kidding. Mostly I decided to do it because of that little going without thinking habit I have. Hooray!
I might have to make that the new official motto around here. Or… I’m way overdue for new t-shirt designs. Woulda Coulda Shoulda: Go Without Thinking. It might catch on. Not that I’m going to think about it much.
Hey, look over there! Something shiny!