Last week, in the middle of some intense work and just before leaving for my annual end-of-summer music weekend in the mountains, I read a terrific article by career coach Michelle Ward: "9 feelings every new freelancer experiences."
Then, bright and early Sunday morning, I found myself standing on a motel porch in New Hampshire watching a friend pack up to catch an early flight home. Beside me, my father asked, "So, how does it feel to know you're just going back to work for yourself tomorrow?"
I honestly didn't know how to answer him. These are the early days of my grand plan, after all. I've been flat out handling robust work projects, graduate assignments, an unfortunately timed illness, employee-to-freelance logistics and that quick trip.
That's why I paraphrased one of Ward's points for my dad: I still think someone's going to tell me to go back to the office every morning. He laughed, but understood. I've been on my own for the same length of time I've previously spent on purpose-filled vacations competing overseas, making a pilgrimage and getting to know my MFA classmates. It feels very much like this first bit of time doesn't count, in the scheme of things, because it was the period of time that was filled up and scheduled almost before I started.
Plenty of decisions await, some more urgent than others. There is more work inbound and more opportunities to make my mark every day. I have a book's worth of research and writing to finish (ahem ... start). But everything doesn't need to be finished in the same millisecond. Yesterday, for example, I had a mid-afternoon appointment with my insurance guy for the first time in years. The world, strangely, didn't end. And my car insurance cost will decrease measurably.
Who knows what today may bring? My priorities are simple. Get the urgent stuff done. Make progress on the important things. Load boat on car without sustaining bodily injury and meet friends for a little pre-dinner kayak.