Round and round inside my head
It’s 8:17 p.m. on Sunday evening. I’m holding the baby, who is incredibly squirmy, and sitting in front of the computer working where I’ve been almost all day. There are a ton of things that I’d rather be doing; a ton of other things that I need to be doing, but I’m working. I’m working.
Since about 9 a.m. this morning, I’ve been working off and on reading and editing seven stories for one of the magazines I work for. Which has a deadline tomorrow. Two of the other magazines I work for also have deadlines tomorrow. I need a weekend already and Sunday’s not even over yet.
The things I’d rather be doing: working on my crochet blanket, watching the Cardinals kick the Tigers’ asses in Game 2 of the World Series, giving the baby a bath, downloading pictures that have been on my camera for weeks.
The things I need to be doing: laundry, mainly because I’ll have to take the dog to the vet tomorrow after work and the vet is 45 min. away (I plan to post about this situation soon, but this post sort of just came to me); paying bills; making my lunch for tomorrow; making sure I and the kids have something to wear tomorrow; writing checks to No. 1’s after school care and the sitter for No. 2 and No. 3.
Shortly before dinner, while I was still reading and editing and also while dealing with all the goings-on of a five-member household, I started to feel bitter about the fact that I had to bring so much work home. In fact, I was angry that I had all this work with me.
“I’m just going to skim through these at work tomorrow,” I told The Mr., which we both knew was not my style.
“Go ahead and do what you have to do,” he told me.
But I don’t want to, I whined to myself. And then I remembered that I’m not that kind of editor, I’m not that kind of employee. So here I am, doing what I would have done at work tomorrow. I know I’m saving myself an incredible amount of stress, but again, I’m angry. It has a lot to do with the situation surrounding this work, which I won’t go into.
The thing that’s really making me think though is this: If I feel this way about not being able to do the things I want and need and feeling like my time with my family is being compromised, then how exactly do I plan to manage any freelance work that might come my way? Freelance work that I have been desperately searching for for a long, long time. Freelance work that I have practically been begging for.
But, I have resolved that any freelance work will be in a different context. I won’t be giving up an entire Sunday to do it on an incredibly tight deadline—well, maybe, but if that were the case, I’d be getting a hefty paycheck for it, I’m sure. Which brings up another point. Yes, I’m salaried, and yes this is something that comes with the territory, which is why I’m not getting all that pissy about it. But if it were freelance and I had to work all day on a Sunday, there’d be extra money involved.