I’m sitting in my garden writing this post (and doing a sales chat). The cats are sitting round me, it’s the kind of beautiful sunshiney day that makes you think that summer’s going to last till the end of September, and I periodically look up to watch boats and swans floating past.
This morning I went to the early swim session at the community centre, and had the entire pool to myself for half of it. After, I picked up a few things from the supermarket. I’m feeling like I’ve achieved things already and it’s not even lunchtime yet.
More significantly, it’s a Friday. Two years ago I would never in a million years have had a Friday like this (I’m planning to edit some photos, finish up a Lyrical Host blog post, and play Octopath Traveler with the rest of the day). I would have been in the office and then dashing round trying to get a million things done. By Sunday evening I would, if I was lucky, have a couple of hours of actual weekend time.
Even this time last year, the early days of self-employment, I’d feel guilty about taking time out away from my desk. Now we’re in a more advanced phase of the business, things are looking pretty different. Sales are taking care of themselves, we’ve turned all advertising off, and we’re still busy onboarding people, migrating them in, and supporting them. I’m having a lot of fun creating things, finding new ways to add value and surprise people, and generally just doing stuff I love, all day long.
Building the life I want is still a new concept to me. I’m still figuring things out. I have no idea where the balance is of work/non-work stuff, or even what constitutes work and what doesn’t. Deciding what I want to do and who I want to spend time with, organising business lunches with some great people in tech/business to keep my mind sharp in a fun way, going swimming three times a week, doing 10,000 steps a day, and looking after myself (for a change) are all high priorities. I do less stuff for other people, and I’m less likely to show up at organised events because my schedule is more flexible. I don’t feel guilty about saying no to people any more, or not replying if it’s not a priority, or bending over backwards for people I knew years ago just because. Some might say I’m more selfish, some might say I’m just less of a people-pleaser. Time has a new importance; not less of one like I expected.
A few days we took a couple of the cats to the vet because I was concerned they weren’t themselves (for different reasons). Unfortunately they discovered that Ginge has a heart murmur and will have to go back in for another check at the end of the month (the vet we saw wasn’t a cardiology specialist, but his wife is so she’s going to take a look). He was undecided on whether it was bad or not – apparently it’s quite common in cats – but honestly, considering Ginge managed to dodge the FIV bullet and only has four teeth left from how bad his mouth is, it’s probably not really surprising there’s going to be something else going on. It does make me feel upset because it’s a reminder that the cats aren’t immortal and I don’t even want to think about that right now.
In my (limited!) conscious “everything else is done” time, I’ve been playing a ton of Octopath Traveler. It’s a proper old school style 16 bit Final Fantasy-esque game with a lot of character, and I’m obsessed. It’s been a long time since I’ve fallen so hard for a game, and I’m enjoying the flexibility of the Switch in that I can play it on the TV in the evening and then take it up to bed to finish a boss fight or whatever. I’m a lot happier being on my own in my own company, and this is something that I struggled with for a long time.
I’ve found great unexpected joy in small things, like something nice for dinner or finding a book I forgot I bought, or just being outside in the fresh air. So summer is trotting along pretty nicely; I’m worried about Ginge but there’s literally no point in thinking about it until his next appointment, I’m content, we’re celebrating a year of Lyrical Host (and our best month ever yet again), and I’m looking forward to a long weekend. How’s your August?