Fortunate Freedom

At one point this week I found myself in the middle of corporate culture.  In search of a quick stop for a coffee, I walked into an office building.  As I entered the lobby I looked left, then I looked right.  I saw a sea of suits.  Grey suits, black suits, blue suits, pant suits, skirt suits and a whole array of ties.  Ties of all colours, as if they were an attempt to show some sort of individuality in a sea of conformity.

And there I was.  Wearing my ugg boots, a warm vest, skinny yoga pants, a hoodie and even a baseball hat (it probably wasn’t a great combination for anywhere except a ski hill, but I was warm on a cold day and I wasn’t attending any professional meetings so I didn’t care).  Seriously, I looked so out of place that it was probably comical for all the suits in the room.

Yet, what was more interesting is that I even felt out of place as I was also probably the most relaxed person in the entire foyer.  The energy of the room just didn’t match my energy.  I wasn’t running from one meeting to another with an arm full of paper.  I wasn’t frowning.  My forehead wasn’t crinkled as I tried to think through some complex problem.  I was just taking a few minutes to grab a warm chai tea latte without a panic induced anxiety attack over spending 10 minutes doing something for just me without any care for what my boss will think if I’m not at my desk.  I didn’t belong.

I was just me.  Evidently, the new me.  Some might even say I was relaxed (well not totally, that will probably never happen, but I was maybe just a little less high-strung then I used to be).

I used to be one of those rushing, busy people.  I used to be one of those people who secretly loved the days my boss was away because I knew I wouldn’t get in trouble for some perceived short-coming that somehow I didn’t manage to do perfectly while working 60+ hours a week while only being paid for 40.

I used to be one of those people who wouldn’t take 10 minutes to pop into Starbucks to grab a warm drink on a cold day, because I just didn’t have time.

I used to be one of those people who had to sit in traffic worrying about how late traffic would make me for my next meeting.

I used to be the person who was petrified to go to a medical appointment because it meant leaving the office during business hours yet again for something personal.  Heck, I even worked through miscarriages and returned to work the day after a D&C surgery (on more then one occasion), because I felt the pressure to be the perfect employee.

And instead, this week, as I mozied between meetings and personal activities without worry, and I couldn’t help but smile.

This new me, is kind of nice.  In fact, I’m really starting to get used to my new pace of life.

I love my daily commute to work – a simple walk from our bedroom to the office, usually with a stop by the kitchen to grab a tea.  I love my casual attire which consists of yoga pants / pajama pants on home days and I now even enjoy dressing up for the rare meeting that requires more then a nice pair of jeans and sweater.  At one point this week when I was on my way to a meeting and ended up stopped at a car accident (I wasn’t in it, but the road was closed), I sent an email to say I’ll be late. And rather then sitting with a pit of anxiety in my stomach, I proceeded to read blogs on my cell phone while I sat in park for 20 minutes.  And at another point, I straight-up cancelled a meeting because the roads were just too bad and not worth traveling on. I didn’t worry about the consequences.  I even went for lunch with a friend that I haven’t seen in a few months and arrived early enough that I had a moment to run into a nearby store to pick up a Christmas gift.  And at one point when a less then ideal work email popped into my inbox on evening, I said to my husband I can feel my anxiety increasing because of that email, I can notice it.  But, I also know that this isn’t my problem, it needs a solution but it’s not on me to find the solution.  Two years ago, I don’t think I would have been self-aware enough to notice and/or to step back and say this is out of my hands, I cannot control the outcome and move on with my day. 

I know it’s not perfect.  I still work too many long days and sometimes find myself working on weekends.  I have even managed to give myself an ulcer during a particularly stressful project.  I still have the constant consultant worry about where my next project / source of income will come from.  I still struggle to balance working, walking the dog, going for a run and eating healthy meals – I am human after-all.  And I know working for myself from home with absolutely no-mat leave is going to be incredibly hard when baby arrives.  But today rather then worrying about something I cannot control or even influence right now, I am going to focus on the fact that we will find a way because we have the luxury of flexibility.

I realized this week that working from home, working for myself, being my own boss, it’s a great thing for me.  It’s nice seeing improvements in my well-being.  It’s nice to see real signs of how I am learning to put myself first.  It’s nice to do thing I actually enjoy when I want to.

I am fortunate.

It’s amazing being my own boss.  In fact, I think I might be the best boss I’ve ever had!

And so, today I am going to forget about the stressful work stuff and just focus on enjoying my freedom and flexibility.

Happy Friday everyone!

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23 Comments on “Fortunate Freedom

  1. I see so much of myself in the words you wrote. The “before” parts: being afraid to take MORE time off for medical appointments, loving the days my boss is away, etc…Sigh. I want to be free, too! I’m really happy that you are! I will be some day too…I just know it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve got to say I do feel pretty liberated now that I’m free of that type of work situation. I honestly had no intentions of making this happen at this point in my career, but if I can do it, so can you!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh it sounds just wonderful… I dream of being able to work for myself and set the pace like that. I am so envious of how you’ve crafted a successful freelance business!! I think it’s brilliant xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • If i can do it, so can you!! Once I took the plunge, everything just started falling into place. It’s not perfect, but it’s definitely better then what I was doing before. 🙂

      Like

  3. I bet you those in the sea of suits looked at you in envy! I’m so glad where I work now is fairly casual, as we aren’t often seeing clients. I hate wearing suit jackets and just being uncomfortable. It’s alright when it’s occasional, but not every day.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Your situation sounds perfect to me–I miss working but I need time to take care of myself and my family. Also I don’t like competition–I do better when I am not comparing myself to my peers and instead focusing on doing my personal best. I love your ugg boots! We have the same style (casual/comfy/sporty). XOXO

    Liked by 1 person

    • I 100% support taking care of yourself and your family! I never thought I’d be a stay at home mom, then we went through RPL and it became all I wanted. And now that I’m working again and will have zero mat leave and being a stay at home mom is pretty much out of the question, I’m pretty sad about it. But, the saving grace is that I wont work full time and we plan to hire a nanny to come into our house a few days a week for the first year so baby will never be without one of us near by even when I am working.
      Those ugg boots are my favourite! Add yes, casual/compfy/sporty is exactly how I present myself most days. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. What wonderful insight you have gained! I noticed a similar change in myself last year. It was too exhausting doing everything at 120% and I realized life is too short for that! Im still trying to help my husband “come to the light” as he’s usually operating on level 220% all the time. Yay for coffee breaks, yoga pants, and those adorable boots!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I too am married to a 220% all of the time person! Now that I’m learning to step back and slow down, it can be exhausting just watching him!
      Not a lot of good comes from what we’ve both lived through, but honestly these small changes in our approach to life are the silver lining. Perspective is hard to learn, but hopefully it’s a lesson that we will both remember for years to come. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • So many similarities between us! I agree, the perspective is hard to learn but I think it help us tremendously when we raise our children. I guess it’s good our husbands are hard workers but hopefully some of our “zen” will rub off on them sooner rather than later. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Happy Friday and happy freedom. Your going to be the best mom. Even though you don’t have maternity leave you’ll still have that flexibility which almost all working moms do not have. Will your hubby be able to take a little time off when the baby comes. I believe spouses are entitled to a maternity leave as well, not sure about each stated policy on this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Awe, thanks! We are actually both self-employed, so under Canadian law neither one of us is entitled to any government paid leave.
      We will both travel to the US when baby is born and spend a few weeks there while the paperwork is being processed. Then we’ll come home and both be working to balance our work commitments and baby. It’s not going to be easy, especially for the first few months, but we’ll find a way. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m jealous! Although I do feel like I can still express myself at work. I’ve just popped into Starbucks on way home (red cups!) as its freezing and I haven’t had anything all day. And Friday is gothic day for me! 🙂

    Like

  8. You have made such great progress! I agree working from home and being your own boss is awesome. I had an experience yesterday with a client where I made it clear what my availability and boundaries were and explained how I won’t ever be an instant responder as work/life balance is important to me and it felt so freeing to be able to say that and not feel stress about whether or not they will continue to work with me (she was understanding – all good). That is something that just isn’t available when you are working for the man. PS love those ugg boots. They are the fancy kind!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I wish I worked in a field or had some sort of talent where I could branch out and work for myself. I mean I could start my own petsitting business, but I don’t think that sounds like much fun at all. I’m so happy for you that you’ve managed not only to do this for yourself, but that it’s made you a more relaxed person. I’m jealous!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Love this new you! I switched jobs when I felt too much stress 4 years ago. Working from home has its perks but I still aspire to be my own boss – like you!

    Like

  11. This post brought a smile to my face. I love that you’re in a more relaxed and healthy place now (compared to when you were working for others). You deserve to enjoy your work and have it balanced with your life 🙂

    Like

  12. Oh how I wish I could work from home! I mean don’t get me wrong I LOVE being a Librarian (thank god!), but so much of my life is spent here, I feel like I am missing out on other experiences you know what I mean? Ideally I would like to keep working in libraries, but maybe only 3 days a week and find something else I can do from home as well. For instance I have always loved the idea of upcycling things, particularly furniture. It would be cool to be able to have a few days a week to work on things like that that I am interested in too. So that is my dream 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Awesome. I’m a little envious of the casual work attire! Lol. This post put a smile on my face for you. So glad you are finding a balance that is working for you!

    Liked by 1 person

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