Monday, July 21, 2008

day of sloth

The recession, which once lived in a different city than me, has now become an impolite neighbor tossing its garbage over the fence into my yard. Two of my freelance clients have hit the economic skids and informed me this month that they won’t be sending me any more projects “for a while,” which I take to mean “ever.” That takes an uncomfortably large chunk out of my monthly income.

This came as no surprise, especially since one of those clients was an Internet start-up I never expected to stick around for long. The other client had me doing a regular project I found to be a pain in the butt, so I’m actually sort of grateful it’s off my plate.

And I remind myself that this fluctuation is all part of the freelance game, one of the tolls I pay for riding the freedom trail. Heck, a recession might even work in my favor if companies start outsourcing more tasks.

Still, the mortgage must be paid. So I went ahead and landed a new client last week—amazing how these things show up just when I need them; amen—and we’ll start trading labor for pay soon. If things go well, this client could nearly fill the financial gap left by the other two.

Plus I’ll begin teaching more T’ai Chi classes in September, so there’s a few bucks. And the client is already talking about booking classes for 2009.

I also have a bid in at the U to increase my hours by taking on a part-time tech support position in my department that will open up in mid-August. The guy who’s currently doing this job does it from off-site, which means I could, too. So let’s keep some fingers crossed for that.

Ideally, adding those responsibilities would increase my hours enough that I’d qualify for health benefits, too. Ideally, I say. My department manager is amenable to the idea, but she has to run it through the vast and lumbering bureaucratic channels all U employees know and love. My niece could well be enrolled at the school by the time an answer trickles down, so there will be no counting of unhatached chickens. But I’m hopeful.

In the meantime, I’m in a lull. One might almost say a doldrum. There’s nothing I have to do today. So I am declaring a Day of Sloth. Today I will not:

  • go to the gym
  • mow the lawn
  • clean the house
  • do laundry
  • go to T’ai Chi

Instead, I plan to spend the day reading In Odd We Trust (a graphic novel in Dean Koontz’s Odd Thomas series lent to me by Sister-san) and going to matinees. Yes, I plan to actually see movies in a theater! Can’t recall the last time I did that. Right now Dark Knight and Kung Fu Panda are on my agenda, so I’m sure to get plenty of fight-scene action despite skipping my own martial arts class.

When I tire of those exertions, I will catch up on watching Burn Notice on Hulu.com, and if my brain hasn’t fallen out yet, I might even try an episode of The Fall Guy.

But I will not perform work, and I will do my best not to think about work. And I’m tossing that recession trash right back over the fence.



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