Tuesday, March 22, 2016


I emerged from a busy weekend, immediately aware of the people in heels and suits hurrying to work. And though I had a long list of tasks in my "notes" app, I was not racing toward an office. It is, I thought, moments like these that make me appreciate a freelance life, and make peace with my "anything but 9 to 5" schedule.

On a morning like this, I have time to do the laundry that never quite fit into our packed weekend. On a morning like this, I have time to restore order to the chaos that was left as everyone raced out the door. On a morning like this, I have the quiet to finish a project that has been hanging for far too long. On a morning like this, I can think clearly enough to update our calendar, so that it can help us when we're NOT thinking so clearly.

As I head off to work for 4pm or 5:30pm or midnight or whatever the time is today, I wonder how it is that my schedule can be so different from what seems like the rest of the world's. And then I think back on the morning. And the racing suited and heeled people I was so glad not to be. And I see that, as with most things in life, there are tradeoffs. Some days, I trade my quiet at-home evenings for a quiet at-home morning. Some days, I trade sleeping in my own bed for being available all day for my kids or the delivery person or the phone calls that can only be handled from 9 to 5.

Am I always happy with my trade? Were we always happy when we traded our PB and J sandwich for an apple? Tradeoffs don't always make us happy. But they do give us opportunities to see things from a different angle, and to face life a little differently. The tradeoffs allow us to see the racing heels and suits and know that we can just go home. They allow us to catch up in moments when we might otherwise fall behind. And they allow us to discover what works, even when we thought we already knew.

Each day, there are tradeoffs. We can long for the PB and J we traded away, or we can discover the joy of the apple we wouldn't otherwise have had. My guess is, we'll take a bite or two, and do a little bit of each.

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