The other day I posted something on Instagram that seemed to resonate with quite a few freelancers out there. Like many people, I have gone from being employed and being metaphorically chained to my desk to a life of a freelancer with all the freedom (and worries) that comes with it. That means that I can sleep until lunchtime, then head out for a leisurely brunch before spending some time on Pinterest planning my dream kitchen, right? Well, actually, wrong. Clearly, there is work to be done, bookings to be scheduled and deadlines to be fulfilled. I get up at roughly the same time every day, shower, put on a little makeup and make sure I'm ready for the day. No working in pyjamas for me. However, there are also times when it is of course absolutely possible for me to take time out, have that brunch or do whatever I want. After all, deciding to work at night and enjoy the sunshine during the day is one of the great freedoms that being a freelancer affords me.
Strangely enough then, it's exactly that freedom that I don't quite seem to be able to make the most of. Despite the fact that I clearly don't have anybody looking over my shoulder and can pretty much schedule my work as I want, I still feel guilty when leaving my work during the day. I struggle to shake off that old habit of sitting at my desk (and I'm deliberately not counting in days when I'm booked on a job outside my home), because that's what I surely should be doing. It seems, as it is so often the case, that I have built myself a box - one I never even liked - and am now finding it hard to break out of it. For somebody who has always felt weighted down and trapped by the rigid 9-5 rules and claustrophobic being enclosed for those hours, I am now doing a sterling job of imposing these things on myself. Granted, I sit at home not in some horrendous office cubicle which makes it infinitely more pleasurable, but shouldn't I be able to just shake those old ideas off?
Well, like all changes, I guess I'll just take a little while to adjust and tell myself that it's perfectly ok to go for a walk in the middle of the day because the sun is out. To go out not because I need to buy food or source certain items, but simply because I want to for the sheer pleasure of it. To go out with no other aim than to take a little time out and wander through a frosty park and simply enjoy its beauty, take in the textures and breath in the fresh air. Quietly walking, camera in hand to capture some of the cold morning light and affording my mind the space to not think about anything in particular, but to enjoy that moment. And you know what, after that walk I came home and worked more productively than I had in some time. Now I just need to make this into a habit.