Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Some Observations upon Completion of my Last Private Commission

I rarely use this space for purely personal observations. I have done the occasional rant, but it's mostly about "out there." However, I decided to return to the original use of blogs as public versions of personal journals just to work through a few feelings.

About a half hour ago, I completed work on a web design project for a client. I helped him format and publish his ebook and then set up a webpage for him. I still have to upload his new website to the webhost, but that's just mopping up stuff.

What makes this important to me is that it is my last private client. When I retired a  year ago, I thought I would probably be teaching part time at my former college , writing books and doing a lot of private advertising work. Well, it turned out
that my college had to cut just about all adjunct faculty positions in my department. But I did have several private jobs. Seemed like a plan.

Along the way, I started publishing a lot of my own materials including novels, books on writing and Bible study guides. But I never seemed to have enough time because of the private projects. In February, I took a weekend retreat. I got a hotel away from all distractions and went into prayer. I got a very clear direction from God about what I should be doing. It wasn't advertising, PR or web design for other people. That had been a corner stone of my business. I didn't have any clients at the time, but a few weeks later, my hair stylist was striking out on her own and needed a website and I got an email from an author in Hong Kong who needed help with putting his novel on Kindle.

I took the jobs, but I kept getting behind. My health is not what it used to be. I have a bad back and bad asthma. If I have to go out into the outside air where I live, it can take me a couple of days to recover at certain times of the year. Also, colds and flu bugs get to me. I don't have the stamina I used to have either.

Unfortunately, I kept falling behind on my projects. But I also felt so guilty that I didn't put up new projects or wrote much on my own novels and books. I just couldn't when I had those hanging over my head.

But, I had only myself to blame. I went against what I believe sincerely God showed me. That money looked good. But interestingly enough, during that same time, I made more money from my indie publishing than I did from the big jobs. It was just delivered to me monthly and not in a lump sum at the end of the project.

I know this is the end of doing the private work. I am looking forward to working on my own projects. I want to do more self-paced online courses. I want to get back to my novels and Bible studies. I've fallen behind. I should have about 30 up by now and I only have about 20.

But I also feel guilty. I turned down an inquiry the other day. It was hard to do. But I had to be true. Also, it isn't right to the client because I can't set a reasonable deadline and meet it anymore. Still, that money came in handy and I have some obligations that don't only involve me, but also other people.

I remember something Henry Blackaby said in one of his books. "Doing the will of God is costly to you and those around you." I do believe this is the will of God and I am really willing to pay the price, but it hurts when that price is shared at least temporarily by others.

And there is a bit of sadness. I do enjoy doing that type of work. But more specifically, I'm sad because once again my health has taken something from me. I retired early because of my health. I have to figure that going shopping is going to land me in bed for a couple of days if the air quality is "moderate" or below. I know part of this is a consequence of getting older. I accept that, and in light of the alternative, I'll happily take it. Still, it is a passage that I was forced to take.

I hope this hasn't sounded too rambling. Maybe some of you have been facing your own transitions and have conflicted feelings. Feel free to share them below.

1 comment:

  1. I have to say that your words hit home for me... ever since I ceased publication of my eMagazine, I've felt lost... not sure which way to go but at the same time, I felt this call to return to the workforce, even if for a time. I feel God wanting me to get out there and meet people, to try something different now that the kids are grown and no longer need a sahm. But I've been fighting it and feeling ill-at-ease every time I tried to venture back into the old business. Thanks for reminding me to listen and follow.