I woke up this morning at 7:45, a little wobbly after a night filled with disruptions (of both the asthma / sinus and children variety). I had a nice cup of tea, and went out to hang the washing, while the older kids watched cartoons and the 3 year old slumbered on, making up for lost night sleep.
As I was pegging up the clothes, I was thinking about the day and the week ahead, and I realised that I was shaping my thinking around (self-imposed) writing-productive goals again, such as blog posts, book reviews, poems and an unpaid article I've volunteered to write for an NFP publication. I was feeling energised, rather than intimidated, by this, but something still seemed a little lacking, and I realised it was the fact that none of the writing things I aim to do this week are actually "compulsory", in the sense that, if I don't do them, it's only my unpublished inner agenda that's let down, not anyone else. Intrinsic motivation is great, but I am the sort of writer who benefits from extrinsic motivators as well (such as deadlines and, ahem, money), and enjoys the challenge of meeting other people's objectives for a piece of writing, rather than being entirely self-directed.
That's when it suddenly occurred to me that I am starting to feel almost ready to get back to work. I've been off for 3 weeks now, with no work related tasks barring the issuing of one invoice and a couple of email exchanges setting up project meetings for my 2013 booked projects. It has been wonderful and sorely needed, and I'm still not quite there with letting go of my relaxing endless-summer-vibe with my kids, but I can see clearly that by the time my next work project starts up on 4 February, I'll be eager to get going on it and to have that structure, external focus and challenge back in my life.
I've always known I am lucky to have stumbled into my life as a freelancer, which allows me to work primarily from home and work very flexibly. I am just now realising I'm lucky in another way, in that the work I do (writing business and government documentation) interests me and feeds me in important ways. That's not to say that it's all rainbow kisses and fairy clouds floating past fluffy kittens in a sunshine sky, because, obviously, it isn't. It is, however, something I feel I can do with reasonable aptitude (most of the time) and enjoy doing (most of the time!), so that makes me very lucky indeed.