Confession #7:  Everybody gets jealous sometimes

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I often get comments from friends who work a “normal” job, teachers and the like, who say “man, that must be nice…” when I tell them I work from home.  The idea of waking up at 5am to be at work by 7, I admit, sounds like the 5th Circle of Hell.  I don’t understand how people do that, nor do I want to experience it.  I would hate everything about it and would probably end up in an orange jump suit by noon of day 3.  I also generally don’t like “dressing up” for anything.  I’m thoroughly convinced belts were designed by Catholics as a method of self-torture to offer penance for one’s sins.  Society’s belief that, in order to be taken seriously as a professional, you have to wear a certain type of clothes totally baffles me.  In my mind, as long as I’m not naked and I know what I’m doing, what else matters?  I show up in my sweatpants and t-shirt and code in 4 languages, fix problems, and bring clients’ dreams to life on the screen and my clients couldn’t be happier.

But, everybody gets jealous for some reason.  I admit openly that I do.  There are days that I would give anything for a salary-paid job with benefits where I could clock in and clock out and leave work at the office.  I long for the ability to “shut it down” and do the work I want to do without a nightmarish sense of dread of things I forgot to do.

I joke sometimes that my clients don’t expect to wake up to an e-mail time-stamped at 1am.  I even had a professor at UNCW who I scared half out of her mind when I was up late working (I had started my side-gig of web design while I was working on my masters) and responded to an e-mail she sent at 2am 10 minutes after she sent it.  It was a running joke for a long time.

The reality is, I’m jealous of people who get vacation, can shut off the office for a while, or who have time off.  I don’t.  If I go out of town, I have to have wifi and my laptop.  If I go out for dinner, I have to have my phone on me and volume turned up.  If I’m in the car, my phone has to be connected to my stereo.  I’m, in some ways, chained to my work.  I don’t mind it some days as the alternative is being bored (see #1), but it’s definitely something I think about and get jealous of.

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