As noted in a prior post, Melissa and I have built in a “vacation” each year during the last 2 weeks of December, returning to work just after January 1. This is, in some part, due to the reality that we cannot do our “real work” of mock juries, etc., in that time period. In addition, we want time to reflect on the year and also celebrate our January 1 anniversary. Whether we take an away vacation, or like this year, a staycation, doesn’t matter. For me, there is much admin. work involved in getting through the first 2 weeks of December (including determining what can be put off until January). This year, there were also some last minute client requests that kept things hectic in early December. But today, it is back to work. And, hitting the ground running is often a part of that process. That’s a good thing. The fact that we have work to do is wonderful. Some of it is stressful in that things don’t flow smoothly during the holidays. Retainer payments are delayed, catching people at work is more challenging – getting things done even more so. But, one of the exciting, and stressful, aspects to being an entrepreneur is looking forward to hopes and expectations of a new year. Realizing the need to hit the ground running is part of the deal, especially when you “run your own show.” Not that the entrepreneur ever really does; we’re always dependent on what our clients do, or don’t do. And, we are really almost never completely on vacation. I remember writing a proposal on the last day of an extended Hawaiian vacation; the client had to have it immediately. Balancing responsiveness with personal time is another entrepreneurial challenge. Now, off to the races!
During our recent vacation, David and I had lunch with childhood friends of mine, both of whom are retired. One of these friends has been retired for several years and the other, for several months. They both extolled the virtues of retirement, which, for them, has provided considerable benefits over their careers, which they spent working for large corporations. They were taken aback when I informed them I have no plans to retire. They said, “When you retire, you can do whatever you want,” to which I replied, “I already do whatever I want.” This interchange went back and forth a few times until all of us lost interest in further discussions. I cannot speak for David, but I was ready to return to work after not working for 2 weeks. In fact, I came back to the office a day earlier than planned due to a client call that had to take place on the day that was to be my final vacation day. Not only was I not upset to return to work a day early, I was thrilled! I haven’t worked for a large corporation since 1989 and I haven’t worked for anyone since 1993. It is vastly different, in my opinion, to be at an employer’s “beck and call” than to be a self employed business owner. I work because I want to work; I absolutely love the job I do. No one tells me what to do, when to do it, or how to do it. The only person I answer to is me. Sure, there are frustrations with clients, vendors, and employees; I’m not denying that. But, in the end, I am glad to have work to do and I am more than ready to get to work.