Saturday, June 13, 2015

Why I'm hoping for a slow start to business

It's just 12 days now until my final day with my employer, and the 10 days following that somewhat momentous day are jam-packed. The very day after, I've a medical specialist appointment, then early school collection for the kids for the end of term. A weekend at ComiCon, a few days in Marysville, home for a day, then a dinner party. Breath is expected to be drawn sometime around 6 July, although, even then, it is still school holidays, so the kids will be with me. (Not that this is either a bad thing or a drain - it's actually going to be great - but it will change the discretion available in my time, for sure).

Officially, I'm back in business (as a freelancer) from 10 July. So far, although I have had some interest, I haven't got much work actually booked in - and it turns out, I'm really happy about that.

I thought I'd be a lot more stressed than I am about the prospect of slim pickings in my first months back in self-employment. Thanks to a combination of rebudgeting and rearranging expenses, though, the immediate financial pressure to be remunerated is much less intense than I had feared. (This doesn't mean this situation can drag on indefinitely, mind you - but one thing at a time).

More importantly than this easing of direct monetary constraint, though - much more importantly, in fact - is that I am starting to feel that I need a slow start to business in order to collect myself and come back to myself. I am beginning to value, highly, the notion of a July and August, and even a September and October, with relatively little paid work arriving in my Inbox. So much am I feeling that this would be optimal that I am choosing not to promote my services any further than I have already done at this stage. (I will, in the fullness of time - there are a couple of good avenues I haven't explored yet).

Some of this is just pragmatism: the pile-up of life jobs, of administrivia, of clutter-mess, is sufficiently profound that getting it in order is going to be a part-time job all by itself for a while. Some of it is related to my health, which is giving me grief again, although in a charmingly new way than last year (hurray!) and will necessitate further investigations, one of them surgical. Some of it has to do with personal goals, things I'd really love to have some time to spend on - reconnecting with my children; writing my novel, my poetry, and the verse novella I am planning; designing the family photobooks I am making; the volunteering I want to do at the local community centre.

I know - oh how I know - what kind of privilege I have that allows me to say, Hey, if I don't make much for 4 or 5 months, that's OK. I know many other people just as sick as I, just as bone-tired as I, with just as many responsibilities and dreams, don't have this privilege, and that really does suck.

I'm going to try not to squander this opportunity. That's really the best way I can do honour to the circumstances and people who've made it possible - to make the best use of a slow start that I can, in building my health and my creativity and my family.

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