Why Am I A Freelancer, Again?
By Johnny Spence
You know, as much I love freelancing, it can suck you in like a real job without even realizing it. What I mean is that you get programmed to work and work and work and take everything too seriously when you always have the option to take a little time off with no reprocussions. I might be a little philosophical here but the whole point of working independantly is for peace of mind.
Peace of mind means taking a bit of time here or there to smell the roses (I'd use a better analogy but it's late). It's a shame, too. I just realized it the other today for the umpteenth time.
By luck, I had a "down" day yesterday. By down I mean that I could not really do my work since the internet went out in my office (aka home). Now, if your a hard working freelancer, this would be very discouraging news especially if you had correct a few pages on a website or upload the newly revised code to the server (yes, I work over the internet). After all, a day of not working is a day without pay, right?
Well, I obviously did what I could and called tech support, bla bla bla, the internet would not be fixed until the next day. That left me with a weekday with no real work to do. I don't know why I wasn't excited like I was when I had free day from work or school or whenever. I had to do something, nonetheless. Off I went to end the mystery.
It was a sunny day so I went out in the city, walked around and had a beer with a friend I bumped into by chance and at eleven in the morning. After a few pints, I went to get some ice cream. Then candy. Then went to play in an arcade where I haven't been in, oh, five years. OK, this isn't going into some drunk tale or weird occurrence but just illustrates that, hey, I should do this kind of stuff on a weekday all the time.
For some reason, the majority of us are programmed to work our tail off, or as much as we can do in a week to be successful in whatever career we are in. Unfortunately this leaves us in a very routine lifestyle dominated by this desire to be the super success. This desire also is not enough to keep working day to day and week to week completely motivated to do so. You may say that's what weekends are for but what do you really do anyway? Rest?
Sure, rest feels good, but I can't remember a single memorable weekend where I had an incredible rest doing and nothing but sleeping and watching TV. Aren't the vacations when the vacationing and real rest happen... and how often are those?
Let's just say that the day I had doing things I did when I was a kid (not the drinking beer,... [ahem]) suddenly reenergized me much the way a weeklong vacation would. Specifically, the internet outage allowed me to stop, break my "super success" routine and actually enjoy this time off.
That's why I'm lucky to be a freelancer.
About the Author
Johnny Spence is a freelancer of four years and author of The Rookie Freelance Job Guide
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