Archive for the ‘Father’ Category

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The Work at Home Freelance Blues

January 8, 2009

Those of you who work at home will sympathize with my dilema.  Working at home with no family can be a very lonely and isolated venture.

I’m a divorced father living alone in a 2 bedroom apartment.  My lovely daughters stay with me every other weekend and I very much look forward to their arrival.  We play games, share stories, watch movies and even go out for meals and bookstore shopping.  I look forward to these times I get to share with my girls.

But when I’m alone I get to work.  I must motivate myself to wake up each morning at a decent hour in order to make some coffee, eat a little breaky, check email, then get to writing.  It’s not always easy.

I’ve always been a procrastinator.  In high school and college I wrote term papers and final dissertations usually the day or night before they were due.  Not a good practice in the professional writing world.  Each writing project I acquire gets assigned a due date on my calendar so I know what must be done by what day.

The problem with that system is that if I have a day or two between project due dates I get complacent and believe it is a day off where I can watch a DVD or read a book.  Why?  Because typing all day all by myself is boring.  Sure, I love the research I do for writing projects.  But staying home while all my friends are at their day jobs puts me in a place where I must entertain myself.  And frankly, I can be a pretty boring person.

So freelance writing isn’t all fun and games.  It requires a heap of self motivation and the ability to keep oneself solitarily occupied.  I’m still learning.  I’ve worked in a business office for over 13 years so the last six months at home have been an interesting challenge.  But is it worth it to be home sometimes 24 hours a day?  You bet!  I wouldn’t change a thing.  It can only get better with experience.

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Crayons vs Legos

June 16, 2008

Daddy FridgeMy parents were clever. Much more clever than I am as a parent. Growing up I never had the encouragement to indulge in creative visual artistic endeavors. Rather than sit me down with a box of crayons or colored pencils in which my final output would be a bunch of indiscernible scribbles, circles, and zigzags surely to end up on the front of the fridge at my request, I was given the array of typical little boy toys. I built cabins out of Lincoln Logs, spaceships from Legos, and raced cool cars on mini race tracks. All of which could be disassembled and stashed after I became bored with the monotonous activity. Clean. No mess. No clutter. Very clever.

But despite all the underhanded training and playtime activity to become an architect, rocket scientist, or redneck race car driver, I became a creative artist. And as a parent with a deep appreciation for all types of creative arts I am obliged to plop my daughters down at the table armed with a gigantic boxful of crayons, colored pencils, markers, and a ream of paper, and say, “get to work, draw me something.”

I have also discovered that this route to keeping children entertained is a whole heck of a lot cheaper than spending hard-earned dollars on overpriced toys that get opened and played with once or twice then stuffed in the closet for eternity – or at least until the next yard sale. But, whereas simple toys can be put away, thrown away, or just accidentally swallowed, there’s a ton of creative output from the drawing table. And every little page of scribble is a masterpiece in the eyes of my girls.

“Put this on the fridge, Daddy!”

“Hang this one in the hallway!”

“Do we have enough for an art gallery showing on First Thursday yet?”

As dutifully as my daughters spent their creative energies drawing their masterpieces, I dutifully display their art upon as many surfaces as are available. That usually means the front of my fridge looks like a telephone pole in a bohemian part of town; stacked with layer upon layer of fliers and posters and silly art.

But I wouldn’t change it for the Mona Lisa.

Happy Fathers Day