I tried to compensate. More push ups in the evening. More planking between post production spurts and lots of swims, by myself, at odd times of the day. But man, it sure felt good to get back into the water with the pack. The daily competition and discipline was like a breath of fresh air.
I think there is a compulsion among all self-employed people to stay constantly busy. Part of it is the fear that nothing will be coming down the road, work-wise, if we aren't constantly priming the pump and part of it is habit; we tend to work when there is work. The work compulsion is a mixed blessing at best. Yes, we have cash flow, but at what cost?
One of the features of freelance work that nearly everyone mentions is the ability to have flexible time, but so few people take advantage of it. We live in a society where the mantra seems to be, "always push forward." There is an old adage from the Tao Ching that says, "Keep filling your glass and it will spill." Another is: "Keep sharpening your blade and it will become dull." When we are busy we tend to settle into comfortable grooves and do the same thing over and over again. When we get into that rut we tend not to try new things, not to take risks (how could we schedule around the failures?) and not to have fun.
I hit the pool at 7 this morning and loved it. Even when I got clobbered on the side of the head by Anne's errant butterfly stroke recovery I loved it. Then I ate steel cut oatmeal with fresh raspberries and walnuts and I loved that. But I loved it all even more because I didn't need to rush off right after and "get stuff done." I'm slowly unpacking the gear from yesterday while making lunch appointments with friends for open days this week and next. After I have BBQ with a friend today I'm pretty sure I'll be heading right back home to take one of those delicious naps with Studio Dog.
I'll start thinking about work again around mid-day on Weds. But even that is just a planning meeting. I could do all sorts of marketing this week or get cracking on some judicious financial planning. But I think I'll put it off and see how a week of leisure suits me. It seems novel now....
Freelancing is a funny thing. You can't really plan your schedule the way you would with a real, steady job. You take the good stuff that comes through the door and, hopefully, over time you start to recognize the jobs that make you crazy and take up all your time and energy. If you get over the fear of not working then those are the jobs you decline. It's the stuff you turn down that really makes your business work. It's tough, sometimes, to stay centered but it sure makes what we do more effective. Both for us and for our clients.