Happy Holidays to everyone out there (who celebrates the American Thanksgiving)! I sincerely hope that you’re not working right now. Hopefully you’re stuffed to the gills (as we say in the South) with plenty of delicious food items and maybe a few glasses of wine. I’m sure you’re reading this as a way to end your Thanksgiving day, because you’re surely not reading in anticipation of settling down to work on a holiday – unless you want to, that is.
Working 9 – 5 has Perks
I’ve never worked “9 to 5.” I’ve work 7 to 4 and right now I work 7:30 to 3:30 (nominally) as a teacher, but that’s a different story. Hours aren’t set in my second, writing career and that’s the best part! All you have to do to take a day off is to stop working. Just stop. Right now. There! You just took a few seconds off!
Of course, those two seconds are no longer billable and you’re going to have to make up that time somewhere else. That’s the main crux of working for yourself and not working for someone else. There is no stopping point or vacation paid on someone else’s dime.
The Freelance Vacation
That’s not to say we shouldn’t be taking vacation days or sitting back stuffed and ready to watch University of Texas trounce A&M (for the last time, allegedly) on Thanksgiving Day. We just have to plan for it – and if you’re working from home with kids, you absolutely have to plan for time off since you’re already working odd hours – it’s the nature of the game.
To take time off, you just have to schedule it. Then you have to accommodate it by making enough money that the time off won’t matter to the bottom line. For example, if you’re used to working five days a week and you want to work only three days this week so that you can enjoy Thursday and Friday without even turning on the computer (little late for that, right?), you have to either cram the work from those two days into the days you’re already working or you have to spread it out over the next week to keep up the finances.
The perfect scenario is that you work more than you have to all of the time and that you have a huge stockpile of cash allotted for holidays and such. Perhaps you’re living well below your means and you can just skip the work you’d normally do on those days without suffering a financial consequence. But that’s not very realistic for most of us with the expenses of this season and the fluctuations of the workload. It’s a big deal for me to only work five days per week. I spent five years working seven days per week and condensing even more is really tricky on two hours per night.
Taking Time Off
I won’t be taking off Thanksgiving or the day after this year. My husband will be utilizing some paid vacation for those days, but I’ll be working through. Why? Because it’s more important to be to have cash in the door to pay for a fun Christmas than to watch football after eating turkey. I’ll just catch the score at the end of the night like I do every year and then I’ll take a few days off in a month for Christmas – it’s much more fun to play Santa anyhow.
Happy Holidays, Everyone!