18 05 2009

Let’s just call today an unproductive day. Called a few sources, arranged another interview, played phone tag with someone I’ve been trying to reach for weeks now. Here’s one solid thing: I was home for the air conditioning guys, who were making their second visit in a week’s time (Take two on the repair they didn’t quite make last time. )

And I went to the gym.

Like I said, unproductive.

But I wonder how this day measures up to a typical day in an office. There were days like this in the newsroom, when sources weren’t calling back, I wasn’t making headway on any stories, and the clock just seemed to tick-tick-tick away.

Of course, when you’re freelancing, you don’t have the same distractions to numb you from your day of non-work, namely a group of ready colleagues who shared your poor work habits. There’s the watercooler, the coffee machine, the vending machine, the fax machine–and at every turn there are…people. On my way back from one of these mini-excursions, I’d glimpse someone’s monitor, this one shopping for shoes, that one checking the Yankees team roster.

There are still distractions galore as a freelancer (no, not Oprah). There’s the dog that needs to be fed or walked or trained to sit on command. There are those red lentils on the counter I’ve sworn for weeks I’d make into a soup, but haven’t because red lentils are just intimidating, OK? And there are videos online–good God almighty are there videos– the little deer who slides in through the doggie door and the continuing saga of Jon and Kate Plus 8 and Jon’s sweet revenge on Kate and her little snide remarks and utter contempt, and his eye rolls. You’re not fooling anyone, you two.

See what I mean? The Web is toxic. But I did take the dog out for a long walk. I did make time for myself to go to the gym. And it was the first day of crisp, bright sunshine after what seemed like weeks of heavy downpours and thunderstorms. That’s right, I enjoyed it. Isn’t that the beauty of a freelance life? I’d say this is one of the great payoffs.




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