October 27, 2007

Working for Myself

I have to work today. It's Saturday.

As short a time ago as 5 weeks I lived in a world where this was expected and normal. But, as the passage of a short time will do, that life seems far away and now I think it's normal not to have to work on the weekends.

This morning, I woke around 8 AM without an alarm. I was out of my bed and dressed to work-out by 8:30. Now, I'm at my desk, leisurely sifting through mail and getting settled.

I'll be working on the contract I have to turn by 9 AM.

So, basically, I'm starting my Saturday at work roughly around when I start my work-week days at work.

Only I feel so much more relaxed. It *feels* like Saturday. It *feels* like I can do whatever I want, whenever I want, and that I'm *choosing* to work. Granted, I am waiting for my treadmill to be delivered and when it arrives, I may opt to use it in the middle of working on my contract. But technically, I always have the choice to restructure my day.

Oddly, this means that I will enjoy working today more than I enjoy working during the week. I remember feeling this Saturday feeling about all the work I had to do for school. I remember feeling this way about running my own business. I even remember feeling this way about various engineering and tech writing jobs I held, at times.

But, there have been other times in my career when I felt pinned down, working for someone else and not myself, and uncomfortable with the lack of control and freedom I had in my performance of the work. Often, I grew out of that feeling as I became more comfortable with how people perceived me and my work, so I felt that it was appropriate to take more liberties with working from home and doing my job for myself, not them.

I'm much more comfortable at the law firm after a full year there. (CAN YOU BELIEVE I'VE BEEN A LAWYER FOR OVER A YEAR?) But I still don't have the feeling of control that I've had at all of my favorite jobs. I wonder if I'll ever have it, or, if the structure of the law firm and billable hours means that it is impossible.

I am more than willing to put up with some short-term discomfort in exchange for the great training and experience I'm getting.

But, this morning's excitement to work solidified it for me: I want my ultimate career, that undefined thing I'm working towards, which I will find myself doing at the very end, to feel like Saturday work every day I'm working.


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