You know the saying as a freelancer – “After the job is before the job.” Who doesn’t know the feeling of an accelerated heartbeat, sweaty palms whilst typing against the clock – suddenly ticking so much louder, as if to remind you with a patronising undertone that your deadline is nigh! And then- you send off the document, maybe the invoice too (scraping together what energy is left in your adrenaline-filled body), and the job’s done.
Emptiness! You wander around nervously thinking “What now? What do normal people do with their lives when they’re not working crazy hours a week?” You are yet again surprised by the appalling quality of daytime television. Phoning someone wouldn’t be any good as they are mostly stuck in their 9-to-5 office jobs. The same holds true for meeting up with friends during the day. For most of us, anyway.
So, what now?
It really did take me a while to get used to the ‘aftermath’ of a big translation or proofreading job. Having spent that many hours, weeks, or even months on one project, you almost miss it afterwards. And did you not say to yourself “Oh, I’m going to do A, B, C and D once the job’s done!” – you tend to forget what you’d been meaning to spend your time on once it’s actually gone.
I consider myself truly blessed to have this view from my place. Since living at the South coast, it’s been much easier to ‘come down’ after a hectic, stressful work period. I always grab my girl, rain or shine, and go for a long walk. I make myself a list (Yes, I love them!) with the things I wanted to do once the job was finished. I try to go and do A, B, C and D. Mostly, these items on the list involve taking pictures, baking some tasty cupcakes or reading The Gruffalo to Lena, who has now figured out how to turn the pages for me. It’s these little things that finally allow me to forget how stressful big jobs can be. With that much ‘life’ on the go, ‘work’ almost shrinks into insignificance. Till the next job comes along and I oh so smile with excitement.