One of the truths about being unemployed, or to put it more accurately and positively, “freelancing,” is that your schedule is eternally flexible.
A bad thing, that.
Chase came home for lunch today and after five full minutes of trying to reply to his simple request to take the car back to school, he kindly offered, “how about if I take the car since you’re not ready to make a decision yet today.” I imagined him thinking not a chance she’s leaving the apt. in the next two hours that would require a whole series of decisions!
I told him that was fine since I was not yet in my deciding place.
It’s not particularly attractive, but it’s true. If you’ve not had to ‘freelance’ for more than a couple of months, these things take you by surprise. It sounds romantic and free to be the master of one’s daily schedule. But it’s much more like freefalling than feeling free.
Schedules sometimes seem like prisons. We refer to them as ‘the same old grind.’ We slam the alarm clock or snooze it back to the dream we were having when it tries to impose its schedule upon us. We begin counting the days until Friday before we’ve even had lunch on Monday.
Unless we are freelancing. In which case our Mondays look pretty much like our Fridays. Our pattern becomes one of perpetually moving from focused productivity to seventeen games of Solitaire. Our laundry is always caught up because it is one thing we sort of have to keep doing if we hope to ever see the outside world again. But without the complexity of a schedule that is imposed upon us, we opt for simplicity; if not for cereal, we might starve.
We make lists, yes. We make phone calls. We revise our resumes. We apply for jobs and ponder possibilities. And we write. And write. And write.
I did say, after all, I was going to use this time to write a book. Little did I know I’d have so much time I’d have three finished and four more in the works before I returned to a civilized life of alarm clocks and staff meetings.
Last night I found myself obsessed with practicing how to use my new cheater glasses. I pondered, Do I see better with them perched very low on my nose, or just sort of low? How do I keep track of them since once I put them down I am half blind, and as additions to contacts I don’t need them for everything? Oh look…I can read the back of the cereal box again!
I am interviewing now for part-time calls at two churches. I am interviewing for a hospital chaplaincy residency which I dread and may desperately need. I am waiting to hear from publishers, and working on two more books.
It’s not a bad way to spend one’s days, freelancing.
But there is much to be said for structure. For routine and a pattern to one’s days. I miss it. I need a job, with hours and outcomes and a paycheck. That much I’ve decided.