~”And as much work as I did for someone else, I may have well invested in myself.”
My first job was at twelve years old. I started babysitting the boy next door after school. I got paid $50 cash/ week. That led to other babysitting jobs and before I knew it, I was the go to babysitter for practically every kid in the neighborhood and all of my younger sister’s friends. My mom helped me make a price list and encouraged me to stick to my prices.
Around the same time, my mother taught me to braid hair and my grandmother, who was a former beautician, taught me how to use Marcel curlers, a straightening comb, how to properly relax and dye hair, and how to do basic styling. She gifted me with a set of Marcel irons and a stove, and some supplies. The woman who was my hair stylist would often make me her last appointment of the day because her mother lived across the street from me. From there, I learned how to crimp (be quiet, it was the 90s), curl, do pin curls, and fingerwaves and updos. I created a price list, my mom bought me a sit under hair dryer, and I ran a salon out of my mother’s basement.
I had hair magazines spread out on the table, and the bathroom in the basement stayed stocked with hair supplies. Once again, I created a price list, had my own schedule, and made money by working for myself. I loved the thrill of that- using a talent to provide a service.
It’s what I’ve always been best at- working for myself. I’m blessed to work for myself now. I ghostwrite romance novels and short stories. I am a licensed Esthetician and I also work as a makeup artist freelance. Still doing what I love, beauty and writing.
Working for myself affords me much more freedom in my day than being locked into a nine-to-five. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with working a nine-to-five, but what I realized when I did was that there was no security in doing so. And as much work as I did for someone else, I may have well invested in myself.
Sure, I get to work from the comfort of my house and no, I don’t have annoying co-workers stopping by my office to talk about things that I don’t want to hear. But I do work. I still create my own schedule.I get up in the morning and make sure that I do at least an hour of exercise and I also meditate several mornings out of the week just to get my head clear and start my day balanced.
My day is usually packed with trying to keep up with my writing schedule. My goal is to get a certain amount of words written per day. I take phone calls with prospective clients, have scheduled appointments to conduct interviews for my blog Caramel Lattes and Stilettos and for Women and Shoes Magazine . Before I know it, the day has slipped by and it’s time to pick up my youngest from school. Did I mention that I home school my oldest (Read the blog post here)?
My friends and family are used to me working from home, but what happens is that they don’t understand the way that my day is structured. There is structure to it. I do have work to accomplish. I do have deadlines. That is how I get paid.
Contrary to what people believe, I don’t have time to sit around idle and unfocused. I don’t have time to hang out all day. I also have to be aware of preserving the creative thought process. There is an ebb and flow to that kind of mind and sometimes the smallest thing can interfere with my ability to write and create.
Yes, I do watch movies while I work. No, I’m not available during the day to consistently blow off my work load for leisure. Yes, I do have flexibility because I sometimes write for publishers that live in different time zones. Yes, I do sleep in sometimes when I have been up until three in the morning working on a project. Yes, I do sleep- occasionally. Yes, I do work in my pajamas. Yes, on rainy days, it is me, my blankets, my spiral notebooks, and my laptop, and a hot cup of tea.
Yes, I do have a job.
Yes, I do love what I do and I would not trade it for anything in the world. I do realize how much of a privilege it is to work from home.
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Read Tamara’s Huffington Post Column
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Interesting read! I guess there is a bit of a stigma about working from home