- My freelance work with the shop has been going well! Amazingly, since deciding my attitude needed to change, I have dealt with all pleasant personalities who were grateful for the work I’ve done, even when I found it less than perfect. So two bad clients out of more than 30 at this point are stats I can deal with. The shop owner is perhaps a little less helpful than I would expect given the cut she’s making off of each of these clients, but I’m not mad that she’s milking me for what she can. Just aware, and taking steps to protect myself and not be taken advantage of. Next month (June), as it will be my fourth month doing this work, I plan on keeping strict track of my hours and calculating the exact breakdown of how much I’m earning. Then in July I will decide if I want to keep going forward with the work or taper it off.
- My work in my former field is heating up. There have been the typical crazy issues that, again, used to bug me, but now I’m just laughing them off. It is what it is, and I’m seriously getting paid to do what is playing to me, making crazy things and sharing them. So, as long as I’m not getting screwed over, I’m letting the crazy just wash over me and entertain me. It is an amazing shift from where I was five years ago. The only downside at the moment is that this job has me dealing with things I am absolutely allergic to, and I had a psoriasis outbreak so I’m now dealing with a lovely scaly rash on the inside of my arms. I haven’t gotten too into my issues with psoriasis here, but perhaps I should in another post. After being diagnosed in 2010, I did a lot of research, and I manage without the use of steroid cream or drugs. But if I can’t do this job without breaking out every time, that is a health issue that I can’t really ignore. Something I need to think about.
- Writing – I finally am scheduling time to finish up The Cephalopod Maid this weekend. It WILL be uploaded on Monday evening, so expect links sometime next week. I haven’t had time to work on the graphic novel at all in recent weeks, but I will start carving out a little time every day for that as well on Tuesday. I’m still doing morning pages a few times a week, but my evening journaling has flown out the window.
- Art – I decided to put a freaking train in the background of my Sarah Aaronsohn painting, so I’ve been spending some free time sketching trains. I’ve put a couple of more layers down on my abstract painting. And one or two of the four projects I’m doing in my former field will have me painting as I want them for portfolio pieces. I think I need to schedule one day a week to do flash pieces, though, because I’m getting discouraged about not having time to spend on the long term projects. So if I say – I have one hour, and I need to have finished something in that hour, go! – and at the end of it, I’ll have created something, whether it’s a sketch or fast painting or playing with pastels again or maybe even sculpting. It will make me feel more accomplished and give me something to post here, because I’ve basically run out of old projects that I want to post.
- Music – I was very bad (letting myself get swamped in work and taking on too many clients at the shop) and went four weeks without playing my piano and 2 1/2 weeks without playing my flute, but I’ve gotten back into it last week. I’m really pleased with how my tone on my flute has progressed since the first of the year, and it’s not just because I finally cleaned it. I don’t have time to push myself on the music front more at the moment, but it is on my mind a lot. And I don’t want to find other musicians to play with until we decide where we’re settling.
So where does all of this leave me on deciding what to do for the future? Well, I’m moving forward in looking for more work in my former field, but I’m going to be much choosier about the projects I take than I was as a fresh-out-of-grad-school young professional. I can’t afford to take just any project, especially when it’s a sacrifice of time with my family. As far as where we’re going to settle, my husband has started applying everywhere he can for creative marketing-type positions in the northeast of the United States, looking for a job that can baseline support us while whatever I bring in freelancing will pay for our son’s education/extracurricular activities, build our savings, and be our “extra” money for travel, business ventures, and (gasp!) actual real vacations. We’re kind of leaving the exact “where” part up to fate. Maybe we’ll stay in upstate NY, maybe we’ll fulfill the dream of living in New England, maybe we’ll be moving down close to or in NYC. Or maybe he won’t find a job at all, and we’ll have to re-evaluate our plans after a couple of months of futile searching. In the meantime, we’re doing the best we can, which is all anyone can do.