I love blogging. But lately, it’s been hard to find the words to blog, since I use up so many of my words on a daily basis to pay the bills. Doing what you love, for yourself, is hard when you’re doing it for other people constantly. So what’s changed since the last time I blogged? Everything, but also nothing. Let me explain.
I have survived freelance life for an entire year now. It was exceptionally scary and stressful at first, getting past the whole mindset of “how do I pay my bills without a monthly salary” thing. At first, I was job-hunting like mad. Went for interview after interview after interview. Found more than a few jobs that sounded like they would be perfect for me. Got my hopes up a few times. And was disappointed each time. There was always something that would crop up during the interview process that would be a deal-breaker for me. Each little disappointment took its toll on my confidence and I soon realised that I was pretty much unemployable. Not because I lacked skills or because I was shit at my job, purely because I asked for too much flexibility.
My demands were unfathomable, apparently. The fact that I was prepared to get in early to the office every day, skip my lunch break and work nights as well did not justify wanting to leave the office mid-afternoon to fetch my kids from school and take my firstborn to his afternoon sports. “Flexi time” is a concept that most employers only pay lip service to in as much as it means “in the office from 9-5 and there when we need you.” The only way to get flexi time is to make it yourself. That realisation lead me to stop job hunting. One year later, and I’m constantly busy. I’ve worked on some exciting projects, some not-so-exciting projects, and I’ve paid my bills. Without a salary. Plus taken the entire month of April off from working, just because I could.
Our boys are getting bigger. By the day. Growing in front of our eyes. Our firstborn seems to have settled into Grade 3. He’ll be turning 9 this year. This Kid is sweet, kind, obnoxious, smart-mouthed and sensitive. He’s been through so much in the last year, and shown me how strong and caring he is. It’s so funnyweird seeing so much of yourself, in a little person. So much of yourself that it damn near breaks your heart, because you know how hard it is and how hard it can be.
Toffee is turning 3 next month. He’s potty training. He’s wearing underpants. Massive achievement, because this time last month he’d have a total meltdown when I even mentioned wearing underpants instead of a nappy. It all started at playgroup, and I’m happy that he’s happy to make a wee in the toilet. The playgroup that my husband found for Toffee seems to be a good place for him. He’s learning so much and is always coming home with handmade crafts and new songs to sing.
I am constantly blown away by how different my children are from each other. Toffee is stubborn to a fault while our firstborn isn’t. He’s persistent, but not stubborn. Toffee has thrown some spectacular full-blown tantrums about getting his own way, while The Kid has never. When Toffee starts having a meltdown, he gets sent to his room. Not quite 3 years old, this one, and he’s already slamming doors. This child was definitely sent to test my patience.
We got a kitten. A little grey ball of terror. We walked into a pet store to buy dog leashes, and walked out with a kitten. (Yes, I know I should have adopted from a cat shelter, but I saved that kitty from the pet store.) As my husband walked in the door, a little grey ball of fluff hooked him through the cage. My husband opened the cage, plucked out a handful of fur and hisses, handed it to me and it was game over. Heart melt instantly.
His name is Astro and he pretty much goes everywhere with me. He comes with for the school run in the mornings, comes out to coffee with the moms and is with me when I have to go in to the office as well. Loves belly rubs and car rides – basically he’s not your typical cat. He sleeps next to my pillow at night. He’s tolerant and playful with the kids. He’s much loved.
I have made time to do the things I enjoy doing. I’ve made more time for me. I’ve spent lots of time in the garden, planting and caring for my succulent collection. I’ve been to the library and actually read the books I’ve checked out. I’ve gone for massages, met friends for coffee and taken naps. I’ve binge-watched Grey’s Anatomy and Shameless, and gone back to watch Charmed from the beginning. I could say that’s why I haven’t had time to blog, but that’s not true. I haven’t blogged because I haven’t had the words. But now the words are back, and hopefully I can keep using them here.
I have learned to say “fuck it, I’m done” more often. Which includes learning how to say “no”. This has been a big thing for me, and it was as hard to learn this lesson, as it was to accept that I’m secretly a people-pleaser. Which is not always a good thing. So I’ve learned to say fuck it. To shit that doesn’t matter. To things that don’t interest me. To people that wouldn’t have my back the way I’d have theirs. To doing things just because it’s expected of me. It’s been liberating. I’ve also learned to say “fuck it, let’s do this thing”. Why? Because it’s not good to get stuck in a comfort zone. New things aren’t going to learn themselves. Challenge is good. Change is good. Scary, but good.