Achieving work-life balance is always a tricky proposition, especially for those of us who are our own bosses. Without a clock to punch or an office to leave, the temptation is always present to either not work at all — or to never stop working.
As I have expanded my consulting business this year, I’ve found myself constantly adjusting to the ebb and flow nature of contract work. So far it has been either feast or famine, with weeks on end of nothing to do except background reading and learning, and then suddenly I’m pushing new clients into the following month because I find myself overbooked.
Of course I’ve had to simultaneously make a similar adjustment to single parenting. After being a full-time mom for many years, now I’m also in feast or famine mode when it comes to my kids: I either have them for 3 or 4 days at a time and don’t get any work done, or I don’t have them for the same amount of time and feel like I should do nothing but work. Of course, finding time for self-care and recreation — oh, and sleep — is also paramount to that equation, or I’m useless to everyone.
So life is a constant juggling act, now more than ever. But I’m learning when to turn off and when to stop working, just as I’m learning when to push through and read just one more article, or fit in one more email before I stop. I’m also learning not to take it personally when I either lose or gain a client — as one friend and mentor put it, it’s just like an actor auditioning for a role, and I shouldn’t get hurt when I don’t get it.
Move on, move up, and keep going — above all things, life as a freelancer is highly pelagic.