Sunday, February 06, 2022

of work and time

On Friday, people at work, as goodbye-for-nows were exchanged and tiny celebrations hatched, kept asking me how nice it must be going to be to have my time be my own.  I laughed, of course and said I'd probably be busier than ever, which is no doubt true, but it will feel different.  Especially since, for one, I have the freedom to set my own schedules and routines in a way I have not for, well, really since ever. College was something dictated by class schedules and play rehearsals. Grad school at DePaul had a little more free time when I wasn't in classes, but was largely a time of full-time study and some writing. Since, I've been working full-time in addition to fitting all my more creative pursuits around it (and there was that crazy 4 year span where I was also getting my MFA.) My outside pursuits happened largely in the in-betweens and in odd hours either early or late in the day. My course was entirely dictated by work schedules, which is what will change. 

Over the weeks since I decided to leave, I've been thinking about how I want to structure my day, now that I am free to choose when and where to focus efforts.  There will be the freelance stuff...maybe 3 hours a day. The press/shop which will now get 4 hours daily which will be so much more generous than the previous 1-2 and weekends. (which means more on-schedule dgp releases, more time to clear the inbox, better marketing,  faster order turnaround, and new shop offerings.)  Daily writing, time my own writing and art projects, maybe 1-2 hours rather than hits and misses all week or manic sprints to finish on deadlines.  I'll have the discretion of nights, when I can either do more work if I want or chill as needed.  Same with weekends (this is one thing I am looking forward to..a little more work/life balance...because I have never had it.)  I'll also be working maybe 8-9 hours daily and not 11-12 so that will be great.  Also, no commuting, but much more ample time for walks. 

Even "work" is probably not true, because despite deadlines and e-mails, it is a very different kind of work.  My own projects, editing, layout, design, assembling books and art stuff--very different from library e-mails, clerical stuff, and hefting ILL materials around.  Work that feels like play, much less work, and I am ready for it. Even the lesson writing work, which is helping me bridge the gap until I can get the shop back up to the levels it was a decade ago,  is full of research and writing and really enjoyable. I also have flexibility to work as much or as little as i need. 

There may be adjustments--I'm not sure if am better at writing or high concentration tasks earlier in the day or later. Whether I am a more brilliant designer in the morning or the afternoons, but the freedom to make those adjustments is heavenly.

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