Balancing The Freedom of Freelancing
I've been thinking a lot lately about the balance of work and home life. About when it's appropriate to delegate more time to which, and, if there should ever be guilt if one is getting more time than the other. I often find my mind wandering in different directions when I'm in one place. There have been times when I found myself living out of a suitcase for days at a time and have felt trapped in a world of travel-size trinkets and early mornings over cold eggs and orange juice.
When you don’t find yourself boxed inside a cubicle everyday or preparing lectures, medical procedures or blueprints for a building, how do you balance your time so that your creative endeavors are rewarding and not a burden? Making ends meet sometimes means that we take jobs to pay the bills and put our personal ambitions on hold. A creative life sometimes means making sacrifices to ensure the right to be able to do what you love, no matter what. Time can be a cold-hearted enemy, but if we learn to pace ourselves, to celebrate even the tiniest of victories and to push our own limits, it can also be a blessing.
You have to find what’s worth making time for. What makes your soul sing, what catches your eye and keeps your attention. You have to let failures fuel you, stress motivate you and successes keep you grounded to obtain more. The upside to a living a creative lifestyle is that you can seek it out in any job, whether you’re a musician, brewing coffee or washing dishes at a restaurant. People have to learn to stop putting the term “creative” inside of a box. And if they don’t, well, then we have to construct a way out of that box.
Dividing your time and pouring all of yourself into something means you’ve chosen that life for a reason. That you’ve abandoned the norm and departed on a quest of self-discovery. There is no specified chart on how one should spend the hours of their day. Two hours responding to emails, three hours editing or revising your latest masterpiece, a one hour coffee run and multiple hours cursing technology and distracting yourself with your kids, spouses or furry friends. These breakdowns of how we spend our days are ever changing. We find ourselves wishing for more than just 24 short hours on rushed days, and significantly less on days that seem to stretch on and when we are at a loss for focus.
I have found my niche in the hustle and bustle of busy days, and joy in days spent in bed with just my comforter as a loyal companion. I applaud myself when I meet a deadline, but work hard to try and not beat myself up if I’m running behind. Finding others who are on this creative ride with you is the key. People who will understand if you need a day to be with your family or skip a morning of work because the weather beckons for your attention. Everyone’s groove is different. We’re all lucky enough just to share passing moments with our work and with each other.
Some days or weeks I feel like my balance is off kilter, that I'm not unplugging enough from behind the computer screen or that I'm spending too much time to myself and not enough interacting with others. But I feel that as long as you take the time to work on a proper balance each day, to toil away at finding what fills space and time in a manner that keeps you humbled, then you're doing okay. I find that work and home life are like two potted plants I am continually watering and nourishing. If one grows too dry, the other grows in abundance from the excess. But- if I take my time, keep a steady hand and watch both with an equal eye, they will flourish in sync with one another