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Monday, September 26th, 2011

I can’t tell you how often I feel grateful that I’m self-employed and work from home. For those of you who don’t know, I work as a freelance editor and translator  for academics who want to publish in English language academic journals and for whom English is not their first language. I got into it all by accident, someone asked a favour, someone else heard about it, and before I knew what had happened I was running a small business. Amazingly, lots of the things that I learned during all my years as a chartered accountant have stood me in good stead, I’ve taken a few courses, and without trying or advertising it has all grown into a nice little niche by word of mouth alone.

I like what I do, I like my clients, who have all stuck with me for the last 7 years, but most of all I like the fact that I am my own boss. (At this point I should also say, that I’m lucky enough that my income is not the make or break in our family finances and my husband has always backed me to the hilt on this).

What I like best of all though, is that I am able to have a life that is, for the most part, in balance. That struck me very strongly this morning when getting up at the crack of dawn to get the children up, after a lousy night’s sleep (which I guess is an age thing!), and a really hectic few days of being a lone parent, I suddenly felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude that I didn’t have to make myself look presentable, run for the train and go and do something sensible in the city. Today was a day when I just needed to take things slowly and go with the very, very slow flow.

I really bathed in the luxury of doing things – little pottering type things – at a very slow pace, giving myself time to get into the day at, frankly, the only speed possible. I put off things that required brainpower to the afternoon and concentrated on simple things like unloading the dishwasher, sorting laundry, watering plants. In a quiet and almost meditative way I gave myself the time I needed. And slowly I stopped feeling like something the cat had dragged in and started to feel like me again.

Now here I am, a few hours later and full into the flow of things, still a little tired, but moving through the day with a sense of calm.

Calm is good. Calm is balance and calm is contentment.



7 Responses to “Balance”

  1. Stephanie Says:

    Oh dear, are you a bad sleeper too? It’s so frustrating – but it’s just one of those things. I frequently potter around in the early hours, drinking herbal tea and scribbling out to do lists or plot summaries – which I usually can’t read in the morning! I might start to do knitting rather than waste the time. But I’d rather be asleep!

  2. ailsa Says:

    There are some days I wish I could do what you’ve done today, having to go into work and having to use a brain that feels like mush is not much fun.

  3. blandina Says:

    Time is a luxury, I start appreciating the feeling of savouring the time I need to make things. I am like you, this gives me calm and in the end, balance.

  4. Wendy Says:

    It really is wonderful to work at home, I don’t even mind putting in a few extra hours when necessary. I love being at home and I love what I do and I especially love being available for my family when I’m needed!
    I hope you have a better sleep tonight Helen, on that front I can relate these days.

  5. MelD Says:

    Hear, hear!!
    See you later LOL 🙂

  6. Crystal Says:

    I agree completely! On days when I don’t have to substitute teach, I love having a quiet day at home. I hope you get to enjoy many more of them in the months ahead 🙂

  7. Vanessa Says:

    I also work from home as a writer and the feeling of freedom is great – except when you’re on deadline!