Over the past year, I have been pregnant and now have a beautiful baby girl by my side as I type. In addition, my son has been struggling with depression and been in and out of the hospital. He was recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder. The best thing about being a freelancer is that it enabled me to take time off throughout the whole year. As you can see from my infrequent blog posts, I took a lot of time off.
We have friends who are going through a battle with cancer. He was supposed to stay in the hospital for several months after receiving a bone marrow transplant, but he left early. The reason was because his wife was going to be fired for spending so much time with him. I thought businesses were supposed to offer leaves of absence in situations like that- but I guess not.
With freelancing, I do have to deal with the guilt of not getting out my next book or blog post, but I don't have to worry that I am going to be fired if I take a year off. I did work some this past year, but mainly for people who had been my employers for a long time. I only did about a fifth of what my annual income should be, but I still got some work done. Everyone who hired me did so with the understanding that my son and I had health issues and that I may have to step out.
I am finally starting to get back into freelancing regularly again, This blog post should be the start of my return to blogging as well (the true sign of my ability to work and balance the other areas of my life). I am thankful that my job is more forgiving about leaves of absence than my friends. I only wish other employers would have a better attitude when it comes to illness and the need for time off.