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Have you noticed how when you meet people, one of the first things they want to know is how you spend your time?

"What do you do for a living?" (Translation: "Do you earn more money than me?")

"What's your role"? (Translation: "Is your job more glamorous than mine?")

"What DO you do all day?" (Translation: "Are you a fully paid up, useful member of society, according to my terms?"

What DO you do with your time???

Beloved and I have just returned from a fabulous long weekend in Dublin, re-uniting with family members who I haven't seen in 15 years or more.

But when I woke up this morning, was I thinking "wow! That was a brilliant weekend"?

Did I awake feeling grateful to the Universe for sending me the opportunity to re-connect with my family? Was I filled with the warmth of forgotten childhood memories?

No.

What about how deliciously indulgent it was start our weekend in the champagne bar? Or how wickedly naughty it felt to arrive after midnight, drop our bags and head straight for the nearest pub?

No.

Instead, my waking thoughts were entirely occupied with feeling guilty because I'd failed miserably in my attempt to justify how I live my life.

Not that I should need to justify myself.

But I do it regardless.

What DO you do with your time???

My lifestyle choices aren't for everyone. They're not what you might call 'traditional' and because my path is not the same as those around me, I often find myself on the receiving end of THAT look, or something approaching disapproval.

Money - by www.suzy-homemaker.co.uk

It's not their fault. I'm the one with the insecurities. I'm the one seeking approval. I'm the one with the voice of the past ringing in my ears.

I'm the one who defines myself by my career and how successful I think I SHOULD be.

I'm the one who worries about what people think and feels guilty because I'm not living my life the way others think I SHOULD be.

I'm the one who wonders whether I really SHOULD be earning more money even though financially, whilst not well off, we're doing ok.

SHOULD.

Now there's a word that needs banning from the English language!

What DO you do with your time???

You see, I've chosen to live my life a little differently.

I no longer choose to work for an employer who takes me for granted, or who doesn't appreciate my dedication and the number of hours I put in.

I no longer choose to do the long commute, to get stuck in traffic or rely on overcrowded and underfunded public transport.

I no longer choose to spend every day exhausted and stressed up to the eyeballs, snapping at family and moaning to friends about how unhappy I am in my job.

I no longer choose to define myself by the number of zeros on a wage slip.

But people don't understand it.

What DO you do with your time???

They don't understand that even though I choose to work from home, rather than at an employer's place of work, I am still working.

They don't understand that even though I choose to start work when I'm ready (whether that be 6am or 10am) and finish when I want to finish (whether that be lunchtime or midnight), I am still working.

They don't understand that even though I choose to manage the pennies, rather than work my arse off bringing in the pounds, I am still working.

They don't understand that even though I may not spend every minute working for a client, I am still working.

They don't understand that just because I choose to live my life differently from them, does not mean I'm no longer a valid and valued member of society.

What DO you do with your time???

I've been a PA for 25 years, working for a whole host of companies across a broad range of industries. Not once during that time, did I find it necessary to justify my existence. But since becoming self-employed, I've found myself fielding a slew of questions I never had to answer while I was an employee.

I run my own business.

"Doing what?"

I'm a Virtual Assistant.

"A what?"

I provide business support to other small and medium-sized businesses.

"What does that mean?"

I look after people's admin.

"Ohhhh. So you answer the telephone?"

*sigh*

Meanwhile...

I work for FremantleMedia, the television production company that produces X-Factor and Britain's Got Talent.

"Wow! That's great! Have a drink."

I work for Mazda Motors.

"That sounds interesting! Have a drink."

I work for British Rail

"That's brilliant! Have a drink."

What DO you do with your time???

I choose to divide my working hours between the business and the blog.

I love being a VA (Virtual Assistant), but it can be a lonely existence and not always very profitable. (I probably spend more time caring about my clients' businesses than making money for my own!)

Some days, I'll work in the business, looking after the needs of my various clients. However as a business owner who is responsible for everything - from marketing, to prospecting, to new business, to watering the plants - there are many days when I am solely working on the business and thereby not earning any money.

I also love blogging.

It's given me a voice and gives me the freedom to explore my creative talents, many of which are transferable business skills, such as writing, publishing website content, creating visuals and ensuring brand cohesion.

But blogging doesn't earn me any money.

"You only billed for HOW many hours last month?!"

"You don't earn any money from blogging?!"

What DO you do with your time???

The look.

The disapproval.

Clearly this morning, I was in need of a little advice from The World of Suzy Homemaker...

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Ahhh... that's better.

Wow! That was a brilliant weekend!

A hui hou,

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Comments

  • Guest
    Anne Grey Tuesday, 15 July 2014

    Hi Sue
    How you doing? You of all people do not need to justify yourself to anyone. You have always struck me ( Fremantle days) as an extremely confident lady and it is no surprise to find you running your own business. So keep on it and don't worry about those who can't grasp the concept. Big hugs to you xx

    Reply Cancel
  • Suzy Homemaker
    Suzy Homemaker Wednesday, 16 July 2014

    Thanks Anne :)

  • Guest
    moo Tuesday, 15 July 2014

    SH....maybe you need to find more adpt words in opening conversation to describe how shit hot you are expressing yourself in visuals words, craft and nurture. Half of the unlucky ones have to pay the rest of us are just lucky. x

    Reply Cancel
  • Guest
    moo Tuesday, 15 July 2014

    SH....maybe you need to find more adpt words in opening conversation to describe how shit hot you are expressing yourself in visuals words, craft and nurture. Half of the unlucky ones have to pay the rest of us are just lucky. x

  • Guest
    Hubby Wednesday, 16 July 2014

    Your chosen path enables us to have the life we have as a couple and I wouldn't want to change anything. We have the perfect relationship which many are envious of and that is because of you manage your business and our household. You never cease to amaze me and I am very proud of what you have achieved so far and what I know you will achieve in the future.
    LUx

    Reply Cancel
  • Suzy Homemaker
    Suzy Homemaker Wednesday, 16 July 2014

    Awwww. Thank you, Beloved ❤️

Leave Suzy a comment

Guest Monday, 09 November 2015