Have an cat picture from the archive before I rant. You're welcome!
So some stuff hit today. Virtually all is TMI, so I'll leave out the details, except to say I'm probably overreacting. But maybe I'm not. I dunno. We'll see. (No, it's not a health issue.) I've also spent most of the day wrestling with hats (my next band name) and ruined about half a dozen. That's some income down the drain, and ties in with another part of yesterday's rant. Why yes, I'll charge you the price of materials I used to make THIS hat, shall I? Who cares about the time designing, the fighting with new fabric, the discovery that the new embroidery machine doesn't sew out one of my most popular designs as well as the old machine? That doesn't cost money. Oh, no. Not at all. You just cover my materials. That's fine. I don't have bills to pay.
Except I have.
And this is one of those times I wish I could chuck it all and go back and get a "real" job - one where the pittance I make gets paid on time. There are some problems with that, though. One is professional commitments. Another is some mild health issues that sometimes keep me tied to the house. Maybe what you think, maybe not. I'm not oversharing on that one. You're so welcome. The overriding problem these days is my schedule.
I've been freelancing for over 25 years, and the flexible schedule is both convenient and necessary. And sometimes it's damned inconvenient. But we'll talk about the necessary first. Because I have a flexible schedule, I'm the one who can take off to take care of personal business with no "penalty." (Of course, there's a penalty. I don't get paid. Or I make up the time later if I'm knee deep in a project. Sleep? Who needs it? I do.) When it comes to taking care of family, I'm happy to do it, in spite of the cost to business. Hey, some of these family members took care of me at one time. So yeah, it's my turn.
But I let something else happen along the way. I resent the hell out of it, but there's no one to blame but me. I've let people dump their part of projects on me. Sometimes it's a partner on a paying job, but it's also sometimes that I'll take up the slack for someone when they're in trouble. It's one thing when a friend is ill or in trouble, but some people have taken advantage of my good nature, and I hate picking up the pieces they drop at my feet while they're out enjoying themselves somewhere. And I've let it get worse.
This is something that will stop. Now.
If you're sick or in trouble, I'm there for you. Otherwise, I'm learning to say no. This is another thing that's been a long time in coming. And it's going to hurt me a lot more than it hurts you, believe me. Your pats on the back make me feel good in the short term, but they don't pay the bills. They don't give me the BIC time to write, nor to work on other creative endeavors.
Does this mean I'm quitting some of my activities? No, generally speaking, I'm having a good time and it's good for me both personally and professionally. If nothing else, I have to get out of the house once in a while. ;-) But damn it, being a volunteer doesn't mean I'm volunteered to do your work. I have enough of my own, thank you.
I have to quit doing your work and doing my own so I can feel better about taking care of my family and doing the things that need to be done.
Whew. Have another archived cat.