Sunday, July 31, 2011

My so-called (freelance) life

So, it's been a little over a week since I jumped of the treadmill to launch Black Coffee Communication ( - shamless plug) and here are the things I have accomplished:

1. Rearranged the furniture in the house so that I now have an "office". Problem is, the office still contains six amplifiers, three bookshelves, an extra (unconnected) computer and about a bajillion bottles of wine (I'm sure some of you will help with that). What the office does NOT contain is a desk.

2. Offered three new freelance gigs - Facebook marketing for a previous client, a regular blog about industrial cleaning machines (seriously!), and a brand new Fleurieu Peninsula website, launching tomorrow.

3. Cooked some real meals, from scratch, with vegetables.

4. Went to see a grown up movie with the winemaker during school hours...there wasn't an animation in sight!

5. Had my hair cut.

And this is what I have learned.

1. No matter how much you plan to put your feet up between jobs, the universe has other plans. First mum's mini-stroke and then a child at home with the cold put paid to most of my  "me" week. C'est la vie.

2. You can write a blog post for a client while cooking dinner.

3. People want writing services for all sorts of subjects (see above re industrial cleaners!).

4. There's a massively supportive work-at-home parent network out there willing to help a newbie, even if it means taking a risk.

5. This move might turn out to be the best thing I have ever done (bar marrying the winemaker and birthing the kids, naturally).

You can find me blogging about professional stuff these days over at Black Coffee Communication - but I will still be dropping in here at A Small Drop of Ink to vent about personal issues. Hope you don't mind :)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Meat in the sandwich

They call us the sandwich generation. Those of us who had children later in life and are thus caring for preschool-aged kids and at least one elderly parent.

My youngest is 2.5, my mum is 79. Hello sandwich!

This was brought into sharp contrast yesterday.

Missy had to get more grommets so I left Gromit in the care of my mum and headed to the hospital. The surgery all went well (I didn't even cry) and we were heading home about 3 hours later.

On the way, I called mum to see how everything was just to be told that her doctor wants her to go to emergency because he thinks she had a mini-stroke. Great.

So the winemaker knocks off work a little early, picks up Gromit. I get home, dump Missy and turn around to take mum to emergency at a different hospital.

Two hospitals in one day. Is that some kind of record?

Naturally, mum and I sat in the waiting room for about three hours (actually, I tell a lie because I nicked off for a bit to go to the Target toy sale and pick up something for us to eat).

One thing about emergency rooms waiting areas - they are great placed for people watches like mum and me. We saw a man being escorted in by the cops, a young girl with a broken arm and a entourage of family and an elderly bloke who, apparently, knew what needed to be done to save the world from the idiots.

Anyway, once we got in, it was pretty quick. The doctor (who looked about 12 but spoke of a wife, so I guess not) got mum's history - and she's a walking dispensary - did some neurological testing, whacked on a heart monitor and proclaimed, yes, looks like a mini-stroke but we won't know for sure until she can get a CT scan next week. He wasn't too concerned about immediate risks because the episode was minor, so that's the good news.

Four-and-a-half hours later, we were heading home - 10 hours after I first trekked into town to my first hospital of the day.

Oh - should I mentioned this all happened on my first day of wage-slave freedom?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Older and wiser

One of the positive things about growing older (and let's face it, there are many negatives) is the ability to roll with the punches when life throws its little curve balls at you.

I'm not talking about those life-changing curve balls like death or divorce, but rather those little disappointments which once made us feel inadequate, unloved or friendless.

For example, nowadays, if I'm at a party and not having a good time, I just go home. Once upon a time I would have stuck it out to the bitter end, in case something good happened and I missed it. It usually didn't (in my experience, if a party starts off kind of sucky, it's probably going to stay that way).

If I miss out on a job, I just shrug and try and improve the next time. If someone at work doesn't like me, tough, we still have to work together. The 20-year old me would have been shattered by these experiences as it would have been some kind of proof that I wasn't worthy of the new job, or the friendship.

I was reminded of this last night when we were out to celebrate a friend's birthday.

The night did not start well, as we arrived to learn the only option was a seafood buffet for $45. Several of our party didn't eat seafood. Others baulked at the cost - they were saving their pennies for the drinking, after all :)

The younger me would definitely be in the latter category. The 43-year old me just hooked into the prawns!

We managed to convince the restaurant manager to reduce the cost for the people who didn't want seafood (there were pasta and salad options), a pretty reasonable outcome, I think.

Anyway, the night settled into a comfortable mood, and I ate my $45 worth of shellfish, salmon and dessert. Unfortunately for one of our friends, the wine and the smell of the seafood turned her an ugly shade of greeny/grey with a bit of blue thrown in for good measure and she need to be taken home - about  45 minutes drive away. Some fantastic ladies (you know who you are) willingly left dinner to accompany her home.

After the bill came and was tallied (a whole other nightmare), some of the younger ones decided to brave the nearby nightclub. Me? I know when I'm beat, so I headed home.

I haven't yet heard the postmortem from those who went out afterwards. I sincerely hope they had a fantastic time to make up for teh earlier parts of the night.

Me? Once I would have felt I had missed out on something by going home early. Today I am just grateful I got a decent night's sleep.