The Ballad of the Self-Employed
I so rarely let myself cruise. My inner slave driver always thinks I should be doing MORE MORE MORE so I find that when I have spare time, I rarely use it to relax and recharge.
It is interesting to allow myself to settle into a rhythm that really has no rhythm at all. It’s the Ballad of the Self-Employed and it has so many different tempos. I can be totally slammed for a week, two weeks, three weeks and then…nothing. Quiet so loud it echoes. I am learning to enjoy this quiet. I know it will always be followed by more fast times.
We are programmed for routine, order and regular schedules. We learn that by going to school for the first 18 years plus of our lives. It takes a special knack- well, practice and discipline to be exact- to able to deal with all the stops and starts, the ups and downs, the feasts and famines of the freelancing lifestyle. Sooner or later, you learn to surrender to it. It is what it is. Jobs come and go and there’s always more around the corner.
I’ve started to relax into the quiet times and allow them to become the good times. Or, other good times. I’m starting to realize it’s all good times. This is the path I chose. This is the job. Hurry up and wait and you don’t know if you’re working the next day or not and you lose a job because of something out of your control and then you book another one for just the same reason. You dwell in the unknown, you’re flexible and up for anything because anything could happen. Part of the reason you chose this path is because you didn’t want to be bored, have a daily routine, be a slave or a time clock puncher. So FREAKIN ENJOY it, will ya? (I’m not shouting at you, I’m talking to myself!)
When things are quiet, I can certainly always find things to do. Organizing is great, clutter removal, billing, personal finances, the list goes on. But these days, in the weeks of high summer, I’m more inclined to take page from my dog’s playbook (I am looking at him as I write this, laying zenly on the floor) and simply lean into the quiet.
Fellow freelancers, I dare you to hop on and enjoy the ride, too. Go ahead, I double dog dare you. Enjoy the quiet. Go to the beach. Read a book on the patio. Waste time on the computer. There, I said it. Go for it. Be on Facebook for 3 hours. I guarantee once you get it out of your system it will not be an every day occurrence. Because we who sing the Ballad of the Self-Employed have an inner conductor that will not let us do nothing for too long. This has to be true, or we wouldn’t be where we are. We’re going to get shit done-it’s in our DNA. So why not grab a little R&R when and where we can? The madness will start again soon, I promise.
Ironically, in the time that I’ve written this, an old client and a new client just contacted me about work. I also got a rush audition and my agent called with a job that needs to be recorded today! Can’t predict these things, ya know? Break time is over.