Here it is Thursday, and I'm still in Maine. I'm not supposed to be; I'm supposed to be in Washington, DC, at work in the reading rooms of the Library of Congress or the Folger Shakespeare Library.
But everything this week has taken longer than I expected it to, and yesterday a routine car service appointment turned into the need for some major (preventative) work, which now has to be done tomorrow. So I'm here, and I'll be here until Saturday.
I'm leaving on Saturday, though. Seriously. I mean it.
One of the paradoxes of self-employment is that I often feel less in control of my schedule now than I did when I had a regular job. When I had a regular job, I knew I had to be at the office between this hour and that one, and I was often sent places on business, to sit in meetings I could not get out of.
Within those strictures, though, I had a lot of freedom. If I needed a day off, I took one. I regularly took vacations. I did not have to worry about whether, when, or how much I would be paid. And I did not distract myself by agreeing to do "just this one little thing, it won't take any time," when I had big projects due.
Okay, that last part's a lie. I always let myself get distracted by "this one little thing, which won't take any time."
Maybe that's today's unknown: I do not know how to say no to small favors. Or maybe I just don't know how to say no, period. But that would take more space and time than we have today...