Tuesday, 13 April 2010

why freelancers don't take holiday

It has been one of those 'two worlds colliding' weeks, when work has gone crazy (the election) coinciding with my childminder going on holiday (Easter).
My parents are currently here helping out but as we speak, the house is also full of builders drilling things: yesterday, it had all the above plus a BBC film crew setting up in the dining room. We're still househunting, and just to complete the picture, we got burgled at the weekend: hence the builders, busy installing an alarm. The mobile never stops ringing, and my head is exploding.
What I need, I realise, is a holiday. When I was working fulltime, I eked out my time off so that I never went more than three months without some kind of break: often we didn't go away, but it was just a chance to stop and breathe.
Yet now that I'm freelance, and don't have to ask my boss to book holidays any more, I've forgotten to ask myself. It dimly occurs to me that I stopped work one Saturday in November and started a freelance commission two days later. There hasn't been a week since where I didn't do something, workwise.
Which means I've fallen with a thud into the part-timer trap: firstly being too scared to stop (what if the phone never rings again?) and also subconsciously thinking of my non-working days as 'holiday'. Yet despite its charms, even the boldest travel agent would hesitate to sell looking after a two-year-old as a relaxing vacation.
Obviously, the middle of the most important election in 30 years is a bad time for an ex-political hack to down tools. But once it's over, I'm turning the phone off for a week. No really, I am.


  1. It may well be the most important election for 30 years. What a pity nobody gives a flying fig about the result then.

    There was such a mood of optimism when Labour first got in. Now there seems to be no discernible difference whatsoever between the two main parties, nobody trusts politicians anymore, and we are all swimming in a sea of apathy. I can't even be bothered to vote.

    Surely the fact that a huge proportion of the population feel like this should in itself be taken as a massive vote of no confidence for all the careerists and fraudsters sitting in parliament?

    On a lighter note, I got a new laptop today! Wahoo! And of course, I hope you enjoy your holiday when it arrives.

  2. Gappy, I got this Jefferson quote in my email today...

    Is it the less dishonest to do what is wrong, because not
    expressly prohibited by written law? Let us hope our moral
    principles are not yet in that stage of degeneracy.
    -Thomas Jefferson, 1743 - 1826

    Seems very apt to the expenses scandal.

  3. I find the problem with freelancing and holidays is that I will always get offered a huge well-paid commission the day before I go....having not had any proper work for weeks.

    You do need to take it though - although as one friend put it to me, a holiday with toddlers is not really a holiday, just a change of scene. Speaking as someone who has just done a roadtrip from New York to Florida and back with a three and four year old, that is very accurate....

  4. Just don't go on holiday with family and friends and take your blackberry and keep answering it and saying "sorry I've got to take this" grrr

    But do take a holiday. nappy valley girl you're so right about holidays with toddlers being just a change of scene, made me smile.

    Sorry you were burgled, horrible.

  5. You're right - looking after a 2 year old is no holiday

    I hope you manage to find a change of scene or a proper break after the political madness is over

  6. I hear you ! I went freelance quite young and even when you do take a holiday you kind of don't; I'm always thinking about the stuff I should be doing / should have done. As for the election - my six year old son had me thinking - ' I think the nice man should win..... ' xx