Last Thursday, I unexpectedly found myself getting emergency surgery. I’m still on the mend but, thanks to a great medical team, should be back to normal in a week or two.
When I got home from the hospital several days later and walked into our little house where we can look out at tall trees, deer and bunnies, I was flooded with gratitude. I was still here, my husband and four children had been wonderful, and my father was ready to help keep them busy so I could get some rest (albeit, at my laptop). The other family members and friends who knew what happened were ready with offers to assist. Every colleague and client I contacted had been amazingly flexible, giving me a chance to get some rest when I needed it. Elizabeth had offered to step in for me if I needed help. The freelance writers working on projects for me went out of their way to be accommodating. I was flooded with a sense of how lucky I am to have so many terrific people in every area of my life.
As I lay in the hospital bed, I thought about how glad I was that I had made the choice to be a freelancer almost five years ago. We can’t control unexpected events, like a sudden, life threatening medical problem–and that’s scary. But by choosing the freelance route rather than a corporate one, I haven’t been forced to prioritize making a living over things that are ultimately more important to me. I’ve been able to have a life where people come first — yet I can still do creative and rewarding work (including what I do on the $200K Freelancer!) and, with my husband, pay the bills. It was nice to realize that–when given a powerful reminder of how life can change in an instant–I have no regrets about how I’ve been spending my time on this planet of ours. Freelancing has brought me a life I don’t want or need to “reboot.”