So, I am working, sort of. Or as the hipsters like to refer to it: freelance work.
I have taken on a translation project of a book that I have to finish this month. Which is great, because, you know… income! It is not so great, because with freelance work there is always the potential for work, right alongside the potential for being unemployed again at any given moment. It’s the paid benefits of a job, without any of the stability.
You know that myth about Damocles? How he thought it must be so cool to be king, until he realized that being king is like having dinner with a huge sword hanging over your head, the only thing keeping it from lopping your head off being a single strand of horse hair. Freelance work is basically eating a tuna casserole, all while trying to not look up at the sword dangling over your head.
Nevertheless, I firmly believe that one must always make an effort to look on the bright side. Adan is excited about the prospect of my being able to work from home, partly because he worries about my safety and knows I’ll be more comfortable this way. But mostly, because this gives him an excuse to set up a home office. He’s been dragging me to wood shops and Home Depot, because he wants to design and make a desk, rather than take the slacker approach (or, Choong Sil’s way) and just buy one. Spending time at Home Depot is only slightly more entertaining to me than watching a colony of ants on the sidewalk.
Also, though, for those days when I need a change of scenery… I pack up and head to my other office. Elhy Cafe over by Chapalita, where they have amazing lattes and friendly, but not intrusive staff.
I have found it conducive when I want to really focus for a large chunk of time. Mainly because when I’m home, even when my intention is to block out all other distractions, I usually wind up throwing a load of laundry in the machine when I get up to stretch or, at the very least, battling feelings that I should be doing a load of laundry. Which means that I subsequently get up at half hour intervals to hang clothes & do another load, or just end up feeling guilty that I’m not fully taking advantage of my time. But, when I’m away from home, I forget that I haven’t thought about what we’re having for dinner or that there’s no clean towels.
Another wonderful thing about freelance? It enables Adan and I to keep up our Monday Matinee tradition. Adan works weekends every other week, and then has Monday and Tuesday off. Quite often, on his Monday off we go to a matinee. Let me tell ya, you haven’t lived until you’ve been to the movies at 1:30 p.m. on a Monday. Usually it’s just us, and maybe three other people in the whole theater.
In short, when one is a freelancer, one is able to determine one’s own business hours, which really works for me, because I’ve never been one of those people that says: “I work best under pressure.” I work best when I’m well ahead of schedule. Well, not true, I work best with a latte and potato skins by my elbow. Sometimes, the flexibility of hours is nice for reasons less joyous than going to the movies. I came down with a stomach virus and it has been nice to be able to work when I feel up to it, with breaks.
(Sidenote, I am never sure what to do with my extra time on those rare occasions when I come down with a hostile takeover in my stomach. I spend roughly seven hours a day eating or thinking about food. In short, every free awake moment of my day. When I say, “I think about food”, I don’t just mean shallow food cravings. I mean the real, compex food issues of our times. E.g. Nacho cheese, what exactly IS it and why does it taste so good?)
Of course the biggest perk and the most obvious reason people take up any sort of freelance, work from home situation, is the ability to work in sweat pants.
In summary, I am working, sort of, or temporarily, at least. And that is reason enough to celebrate.