Being self employed is a funny one, in theory it sounds great doesn’t it, the freedom to define your own working terms, be your own boss, flexible working hours, you choose where, who, why. Following your own creativity, fitting around the daily flow of family life, just perfect. For me it has happened by accident, or perhaps that’s not giving myself enough credit? What I mean is, if you’d asked me, 4 years ago, what I’d be doing today, this absolutely wouldn’t have even entered my mind.
But the reality is also that I haven’t had a full day off in over a month, longer than that if I really think about it and I definitely don’t get paid according to the hours I put in, if only! Now, let me state right now, this is not a self pity post, woe is me and all that, for the majority if the time I love what I do, I feel lucky and fortunate. But also, being self employed (as with any form of employment/ unemployment) means you can end up feeling over stretched and undervalued.
There are many days where I think what I do is just great, or it may be more accurate to say throughout the course of a day there are many times when I am happy, but then there are other times where it all just exhausts me. Yesterday afternoon I got back from Bristol, today I’m feeling completely shattered. I was sat here thinking why can’t I get it together? There’s so much to do (plus it’s half term) you’ve just had 3 nights away, child free, you’ve got no good reason to feel this way. Then I decided that was a bit harsh, I made myself a cup of tea and took a look at the last 4 days. I’ve worked it out that, aside from when I was asleep, there were only a handful of sporadic moments where I was truly not working, planning, plotting, replying to people/ emails or everything else I seem to do. Photos can tell a thousand lies, my Bristol snaps only really tell half the story.
Again, please don’t think I’m moaning, I’m not as such, I just think it’s important that we talk about these things. We live in a modern world, where you can now forge your own path and create your own job description (though I’m still not totally sure how to describe what I do when someone asks me!) but what this also means is it can be hard to define barriers, boundaries and blurred working hours bleed out into every moment of every day.
Really this is a big pat on the back for anyone out there working their arse off, no matter what they do – all those creatives who never clock off, never switch off, never stop dreaming up bigger and better ways to express themselves and share with others.
It’s also a big thank you to everyone who encourages these people to follow their heart, to those who take the time to comment on a photo, those who email to say how much they relate to something they just read and how it has helped them to view things in another light, to be happier.
For me, these are the interactions that keep me going, when the social media grind can feel a bit crushing, a bit too much to keep juggling, hearing a real world appreciation for what you do, it can be a much needed boost.
I’m aware that I haven’t been creating very much lovely, exciting, interiors based content for the blog recently, the truth is, I have so many plates spinning right now, I’m having to pick and choose what can be put on the back burner for a little while. This blog is very import to me, but at the moment I’m concentrating on growing my job description, planning my Instagram Creative Lunches and trying, unsuccessfully, to free up some time for getting projects finished in the house. I am desperate to share more about our living room makeover, but those important finishing touches aren’t happening just now.
I loved my time away, but equally it feels like I just took all my spinning plates to a new location. Very soon I would really like to find a way to switch off for a few days, somehow.
How do you work the balance and keep yourself motivated and sane? I hope you all had a wonderful bank holiday weekend x