Cat at Work

I’m self-employed.

After 16 years of being a stay-at-home, work-at-home mom, I like it that way. I don’t have to face a long commute to an office, wear appropriate business attire, uncomfortable ladies’ shoes or makeup (except on those days when I do have to show my face in public) — and have complete autonomy on the time of day I do my work.

At least, that’s the way it appears on paper.

In reality: The client that underwrites the bulk of this great lifestyle of mine expects me to be available at all times during business hours. To be fair, that’s a reasonable expectation, and I’m the one who feels I need to jump every time they call – and I think that’s one of the reasons our business relationship has lasted for nearly two years now.

I’m really happy to have the work. And they’re really nice people, which makes it so much easier. But I sometimes chafe at the demands on my time.

I know: That’s the eternal dilemma of the work-life balance, and I should be grateful that after years of earning peanuts, I’m finally bringing in a decent income. And I am very grateful.

But does that mean I can’t ever whine about what feels more like a job than independence? Or the fact that work now takes up such a big chunk of my time? A perfect job would be earning more money while putting in fewer hours. I think no matter how good life gets, I’ll always find something to complain about. Is that really a bad thing?

However, that’s not the purpose of this post.

I’m writing this post because I’m HAPPY – because today, I had the time to write this short little post.

You see: This week, my client is on vacation. And I don’t anticipate that I’ll be getting a lot of phone calls with a lot of great new projects that I need to work on in addition to the ones we discussed at our meeting on Friday. That means I can actually meet a friend for lunch today, take my car in to be serviced tomorrow, make it to my dentist appointment on Wednesday – and still meet all my deadlines, as planned.

I may even be able to carve out some time to go back to the gym. Or catch a matinee Friday afternoon with my daughter.

Next week, things will be back to normal and after seven days of rest, the demands will likely double to make up for lost time. That’s too bad, because I really would like to be able to schedule all these fun things back into my usual schedule.

And the work-life dilemma continues. I’ll let you know if I ever get that balance right.