Behind The Scenes

The Freelancers Dilemma

I’ve been a freelancer for quite a long time, with a couple of full-time jobs mixed in (Anthropologie in LA and a London interior design firm). One of the great things about freelance work is that you don’t have a set schedule and you sometimes have downtime during the week.

In all honesty, I’ve never been able to really appreciate this aspect of my career. Rather than enjoy the downtime, I tend to fret about the next project, or worry that the phone won’t ring and that I’ll never work again! I’m a do-er, a maker, a tidier, an organizer. I’m no good at sitting around. I like to feel busy.

This past week I decided to try something different. I had just finished a big-ish shoot and I have a few smaller shoots lined up over the coming month, but nothing for a little while. My husband was unexpectedly home from work all week (he’s an editor and director and works a lot) and we found ourselves with a lot of time on our hands while the kids were at school. A rare thing for us as a couple, after almost 14 years of marriage. Rather than do my usual worrying and fretting and general trying, I made a conscious decision to just enjoy it. Sitting at my computer all day does not, in fact, make people hire me.

One of the joys of working for yourself is that if you want to buy a coffee and croissant and take a really, really slow walk around the park with the dog, you can. If you want to take your kindle to a cafe at noon and linger over a solo lunch with a glass of wine, you can. (I would always see people doing this at cafes near my house and think “what kind of job do they have that allows them to do that? Then I realized I had a job like that!) And if you want to go to the pub in the daytime and people-watch with your partner over a pint, you can. (Notice how my scenarios all involve food and drink…)

After a few days of this utterly decadent behaviour I feel pretty good! I really, really like working and of course making money, but it’s so important to remember to actually live your life in between. If you believe – as I do – that you attract into your life whatever you think about and more importantly, whatever you feel, then this is a great lesson. You have to feel happy, joyful, and grateful for exactly where you are in your life to attract more things that will make you feel happy, joyful, and grateful. That’s how it works. Not the other way around.

Ok, those are my deep thoughts for the week. Back to interiors next week!

For some weekend reading, check out my house in the Summer issue of Heart Home magazineand on the Decor8 blog.More details next week.

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6 Comments

  • Reply Heather (love your space) June 21, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    This is the perfect post for me today! I am sitting here at my computer trying to "kill" an hour before picking my girlies up from camp, so I keep hitting refresh to see what new posts come up in my blogroll. Silly, indeed. Maybe I'll go for a bike ride….

    Enjoy your time!

    • Reply Emily Henson June 22, 2013 at 10:45 am

      @heather – I hope you went for that bike ride! Regarding blogs (and pinterest too), I have a friend who is a photographer and he says "I'd rather be making images than pinning images". It struck a chord with me. I think we have to remember to live our own lives and not spend so much time watching other people live theirs. I tell my daughter that all the time when she's constantly checking facebook and instagram! And I'm guilty of it too.

      That said, I'm glad you read my blog!
      x

  • Reply Anonymous June 22, 2013 at 1:03 am

    Thank you for this post. I don't have a problem with finding time for things, but time for taking care of me does't always come so easily. Maybe I'll actually get to doodling on those tiles…

    • Reply Emily Henson June 22, 2013 at 10:48 am

      @anonymous – I hope you carve out a bit more time for yourself in the future. It's too easy to let time slip past isn't it? I'd love to hear how you get along with the tiles if you end up giving it a go.

      Thanks for reading.
      x

  • Reply Katrina June 22, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    I love this post. Its relevant for anyone self employed. I'm so proud of you that you're having a book published, you've come along way. Your house in Highland Park is still my favorite tiny house inspiration.

    • Reply Emily Henson June 23, 2013 at 10:16 am

      @Katrina – thank you so much! It means a lot to me that you read my posts and actually enjoy them!
      And yes, I love my house in Highland Park and wistfully think about my veggie garden and grapevine soaking up the sun, when I'm freezing my ass off in London!

      Thank you. x

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