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  • Writer's pictureSusan Carr

The best-laid plans of squirrel and woman

Updated: Feb 1, 2023

Bertrand is a creature of routine and habit. His morning ritual consists of the following:

  1. Climb down from the tree across the street.

  2. Scurry across the road and climb onto the neighbor's wooden fence.

  3. Hop from the fence to the neighbor's house, and make his way along their roof to the tree next to our fence.

  4. Quickly run across the top of the vinyl fence, lest he falls off it until he gets to our backyard oak tree.

  5. Commence breakfast.

I recently interviewed for a part-time position with a company I love and fully support. The position does not pay what I normally make as a freelancer, but the opportunity to work with the team and this organization's vision enticed me. The office is local, meaning I would need to work on-site 2-3 days weekly. After being a remote worker for almost 20 years, this was daunting but not impossible.

A cool thing happened the day after the interview, which helped me see that clarity of mind is wonderful.

A daily routine is everything for the remote worker, especially for a freelancer, because every moment you spend during your day has to go towards being productive to earn income and being organized so that you can keep up with the workflow.

But sometimes, freelancers need to set aside their daily routines because somebody else needs their help. Being flexible enough to extend a helping hand to someone is all part of being your own boss. Allowing yourself flexibility in your schedule each day helps you better recognize when that schedule needs to be tweaked so you can share your time resource with others.

A dear friend of mine works for the same organization I interviewed with. The other day she locked her keys in her car while at the office, and luckily I could get the spare key from her house and deliver it. This unfortunate incident happened in the morning and again that afternoon. As I was driving to and from the company's location, I had such clarity of mind that I did not want this job.

We live in Orlando, Florida, and traffic is a nightmare, and apparently, it is this way no matter what time of day it is. With my high levels of anxiety and high sensitivities, it is very challenging to be in such stressful driving situations in heavy traffic where I'm not completely in control of every possible situation. As soon as I returned home, I knew this on-site job was not a good fit for me.

This job would have also interfered with my present daily routine. While this routine is still being tweaked every day as I'm learning more and more about my work methods and what it takes to succeed as a freelance editor and writer, I still have a basic routine that I follow each day.

Losing 2-3 days per week where I would have to be away from my home office, my ability to work on proposals, bid for jobs, and follow up with clients would create a negative shift in momentum in what I've been building the past few months.

And at the end of the day, after talking with a couple of wise people, I didn't think accepting the job would be the best decision for me if I'm trying to make a real go of freelance editing and writing as my full-time career.

I am curious to know how Bertrand responds if his routine is altered. Because today at lunchtime, we noticed four raccoons were eating underneath the tree where Bertrand appears from. And we wondered if these raccoons were affecting Bertrand's daily routine. If he was in the tree at the time and wanted lunch, he couldn't go down to the ground to eat if he wanted to. I hope he's able to be flexible.

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