Have you seen About a Boy? Do you remember that scene where the rich waster (as I like to think of anyone who doesn’t have to work a lot to maintain life security, being essentially a Merseyside inverted snob) is trying to chat up a girl and she asks him what he does?
‘Oh, I’m taking some time off right now.’
‘Time off from what?’
‘From – nothing much I guess.’
(or words to that effect – I saw it once about 8 years ago and can’t remember exactly)
It feels a bit like that with freelance working. I mean, thanks to all the prep / promo / schmoozing stuff I’ve been doing, I probably really could do with a break in September. But September is when I’m likely to have done a lot of marketing and be starting to run down on ideas, I’ll only be in my desk job two days a week, and I’ll be very lucky if any significant number of bookings has started to arrive. So taking time off to rest and recover at that point seems a bit like ‘Time off from what? Checking your emails? Practising? Neither of those sound wise things to drop.’ But I know from much past experience that if you don’t rest, you break. The concept of a Sabbath – of days off and other breaks over longer periods of time – is one of the most perceptive things the Abrahamic tradition has to offer the world, and in the increasingly secular-materialist West, possibly the most counter-cultural. It’s just less straightforward when ‘work’ isn’t going to a specific place to do specific things there, and any viable definition of ‘work’ really has to include looking for and soliciting the actual paid activity.