Monday, November 26, 2007

Monday after Thanksgiving: Cash registers go ‘ding’ at malls; keys go tap tap in the freelance word factory

The first day back after any holiday always hurts. Like when you get one of those little paper slash cuts as you lick an envelope. You get the wince and the ouch. It hurts whether you had a good holiday or a bad holiday.

My Thanksgiving ended up Turkey Perfect. As soon as I closed the laptop last Wednesday, I managed to ditch every single work-related thought. I’d spent several weeks trying to get ahead so I could have 4 days off with family, friends and critters. By the time I started cooking Thanksgiving dinner, I had reached a sort of Nirvana populated by bowls, mixing cups and wire whisks. When I chopped fresh apple for breakfast muffins, the scent alone took me miles away from end of month billings, articles due and the hundreds of emails I never seem to catch up on. I cooked, we built fires (outside), we watched football and movies and took walks. When Sunday evening rolled around, I was already wincing.

Naturally, Monday morning got off to a rollicking start and I am already trying to set schedules so I can have even more time off at Christmas.

The freelance writing business is a stressful, labor intensive and sometimes lonely endeavor. And the best method I’ve found for coping is taking time off. The navel gazing my hound is doing in the photo above makes a great case for downtime. Creativity recharges, energy increases, and bliss comes from losing yourself in work. On the other hand, all that good stuff happens only after the initial paper slash feeling wears off as you stand there on Monday, wondering how you’re going to get it all done. When you dive in, that’s when the good stuff starts and the keys go to tapping. (Photo by Becky Day)

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