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Farewell to Freelance
February 1st, 2010 by Christina

So it’s Monday afternoon and I’m at work, which means my laptop and I are cuddled up in bed together. I’m wearing jeans, a tank top and socks with Christmas trees on them; messy hair, no make-up. It is 2:43pm and I have not yet interacted with soap and water today.

This is the professional lifestyle I’ve been leading since before my 13-year-old was born. Way back when, I did the thing where you set an alarm clock, shower in the morning and head to an office, but then I snagged a breadwinner-type husband, became a mother, and settled into what, for a long time, was an ideal arrangement: I was part-time stay-at-home-mom, part-time freelance journalist–able to interview Gloria Steinem or research rheumatoid arthritis in the morning and spend the afternoon hosting playdates or going to the playground.

And then, as we know, my life changed a little. The relatively warm, fluffy loaf of bread that R provided for a family of four living under one roof became a thin smattering of crumbs when that family started living under two roofs. (Doesn’t it seem like it should be rooves?)  Add the fact that the recession has put many publications out of business or eliminated their freelance budgets, and my semi-luxurious work-from-home existence went poof. (If Gloria Steinem needs to be interviewed now, they’ll make her do it herself.)

So, big news here in the land of the midlife makeover: Two weeks from now, I am going back to work full time in an office, where I will write about health for a series of consumer-friendly booklets and–get this–be given a regular paycheck for doing so. Apparently that means I’ll get paid even if I don’t call the accounting department 7 or 8 times first, which boggles the mind in such a good way. (Fellow freelancers, I know you hear me.)

I. Am. So. Psyched.

True, there are trade-offs. I won’t be able to take my sweaty yoga class at noon or grocery shop anytime I feel like it, and my younger daughter, especially, will not see me as much, which makes me sad. I might have to dust off my Crock-Pot so that a nutritious dinner is ready when I get home. (Got recipes? I want them.) I won’t work lying in bed in a tank top anymore, and when I wear my Christmas-tree socks, no one will know, because, well, Mama needs a new pair of shoes, and now it looks like she might get them.

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11 Responses  
Julie writes:
February 1st, 2010 at 9:46 pm

Your happiness shines through in this post. Congratulations. Change is exciting.

Leah Ingram writes:
February 2nd, 2010 at 6:35 am

Christina:

You’ll do great. I’ve written a couple of times on my Suddenly Frugal blog about how to use your Crock-Pot to have dinner ready by the time you get home from work. Here are some links for you to check out:

http://www.suddenlyfrugal.com/2010/01/cooking-without-a-kitchen-pork-in-the-crock-pot/

http://www.suddenlyfrugal.com/2010/01/cooking-without-a-kitchen-stir-fry-chicken-in-the-crock-pot/

http://www.suddenlyfrugal.com/2008/08/a-year-of-crockpotting-crockpot-french-toast-bake-recipe/

Best of luck to you!

Leah

Charmian writes:
February 2nd, 2010 at 7:06 pm

Congratulations, Christina. I know you’ll shine!

I see Leah has pointed you to some great ideas. Here are a few quick meals I love to make that don’t require a crockpot. (We’ve got you covered!)

http://christiescorner.com/2009/03/03/no-butter-butter-chicken/
http://christiescorner.com/2008/07/10/ten-minute-salmon/
http://christiescorner.com/2006/08/02/fighting-fire-with-fire-green-curry/

Enjoy the new gig and the steady pay check!

Caren Chesler writes:
February 3rd, 2010 at 6:32 am

Good luck to you. Sounds like you’re looking forward to it. And the best part is, if for some reason it sucks — I’m not sure why it would, but maybe the 9-5 adjustment is annoying, who knows — well, you can always go back to freelancing. It’s sort of the beauty of having gone out on a limb, thrown caution to the wind, and become a freelancer. We’re not afraid to be unemployed! It gives us more choices in life, the biggest being the ability to leave a full time job if we don’t like it.

Again, good luck. And give my regards to ‘benefits.’

lisa waterman gray writes:
February 3rd, 2010 at 11:50 am

Best wishes to you. Enjoy the work – and the security!

Jennifer Fink writes:
February 3rd, 2010 at 10:31 pm

Best sentence ever about the economic impact of divorce:
“The relatively warm, fluffy loaf of bread that R provided for a family of four living under one roof became a thin smattering of crumbs…”

Well done!

debbie koenig writes:
February 4th, 2010 at 12:23 pm

How wonderful for you, Christina! And how genuinely exciting. I’ve done a handful of in-house freelancing gigs, and it’s always disorienting at the start, and again at the end when I return to my normal life. Good luck!

Meanwhile, here are some good slow-cooker recipes:

http://wordstoeatby.blogspot.com/search/label/slow%20cooker

April writes:
February 4th, 2010 at 7:45 pm

Here’s a gold mine of crock pot ideas
http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/

Here’s hoping the new job is everything you want. :-)

Elizabeth writes:
February 6th, 2010 at 4:00 pm

Congratulations! Yippee!! What a relief this must be~ so there is hope still for your starving social work cousin!

Living in Splitsville » Blog Archive » Money Matters writes:
February 15th, 2010 at 8:12 pm

[...] Farewell to Freelance [...]

Christine writes:
February 17th, 2010 at 1:05 pm

Good luck, Christina! You sound happy – I’m glad for you. Security is a nice thing….

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