When I was still working the day job, I had this beautiful dream of what it would be like to work for myself, working at home. In my ideal world, I would wake up around 8 and get my exercise done for the day. I’d read and respond to emails while I had breakfast. I’d do the bulk of my editing while working at my standing desk. I’d have a dedicated time to work on certain things, and at 5 or 6pm I’d call it a night, have dinner with my husband, and spend the rest of the evening doing things like reading a book or watching my favorite TV program.

      I think it’s obvious to say that none of those things have happened. It’s been about 6 weeks since I have quit my day job, and the transition has not been 100% smooth. One of the biggest things that happened between then and now is, of course, the fact that we moved apartments. I had two weddings bookending our move date (it was pack-shoot-move-shoot-unpack) and things are finally starting to settle down, though my little office is still very messy.

      I’m a creature of habit. I observe my cats, who each had their favorite place to take their daytime naps, try to make sense in our new place with different furniture configurations, window light arrangements, and varying softness of space. Pow has reclaimed his spot on top of a red fabric suitcase we store in the closet, in the dark under all my hanging clothes; Scout has found a new little nest underneath the coffee table, now that he’s learned that carpet is softer than hardwood. I’m like them — in this new environment, I’m still trying to figure out where I’m most comfortable and what works the best for me.

      I’ve been waking up at 9:30 most days. I answer emails when I have the time. I edit a bit at my (regular-height) desk while sitting in a desk chair, then give my eyes a break, maybe work out in the afternoon, watch an episode of 30 Rock while having coconut-milk yogurt, work on something else like an album design, greet my husband when he comes home but he doesn’t want to eat when I want to eat so I heat up my food when I want to, and then get a second wind to edit more photos in the evening. It’s all up in the air, really. That is to say, things are getting done, and getting done well, but they follow no set pattern as I try to find my footing. I realize now, though, that it’s probably best to come up with a healthy routine before I get too set in the weird, fluid ways I’m dealing with the business now.

      Walt sometimes jokes with me — “Do you miss your old job? I bet you could stroll in and ask for it back…” And I make a face back at him (and sometimes playfully smack him on the arm) because… NO WAY. The agency actually overpaid me by 400% on my last paycheck and they made me drive over and write them a check for the difference. Walking into that building, after telling myself I would never have to do it again, actually made me feel a little jittery. My mood that day was less than pleasant.

      I have been so grateful the past two months for everything that has been going on. Walt … and his job, which makes him happy (and of course I’m happy). Finding a new place to live in the neighborhood we wanted. Having friends and family help us move. A great support system of other photographers and business owners. And, of course, amazing clients who trust me to do what I do, and loving the results.

      And since every post needs a photo, here’s one of Angelica and Christopher’s wedding from two weekends ago. I posted it on Facebook with, “If this photo is wrong, I don’t want to be right.” A lot of you agreed.

      Couple kissing upside-down in wedding photo

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      COMMENTS

      It sounds like you’re finding your rhythm :-) I am so excited to see what is to come for you!!

      Since I got turned on to your blog, I’ve followed and enjoyed your story, and I’m glad we got to be a part of it. As fellow designers, Angelica and I have full confidence in your future success :)

      It is interesting getting your footing – and it may not happen for a LONG time. But it definitely does help you get a grasp on things better during busy season if you ‘try’ to restrict yourself to a certain number of hours a day and days off when possible. That’s been the only real struggle I have found from working full time from home – is separating work from family/home life. Not easy! I’m loving hearing your journey. Keep writing about it! :) Can’t wait to hear how it grows/changes.

      I’m glad to hear things are working out, Elissa, although I totally understand the need for structure and a routine of some sort. Right now I’m doing a hodgepodge of things…weddings, freelance writing, job hunting, and going back to school.

      It’s uncanny; we’ve been living parallel lives a bit lately. This past summer, I finished work at my old job, we went on vacation, then moved, bought a house, shot some weddings, and now Brenda’s begun work at her new job.

      We had a month or so when we were both full timers, but I’m glad one of us has a “normal” job again. Oh, and our cats have been settling into our new home quite nicely. I think they enjoy having more space.

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