As families gather around tables, waistlines expand, and kitchens are completely and totally thrashed in the name of a meal that will be devoured in mere minutes, I’m taking a few moments to get some work done. S works tonight so we had our own celebration a couple of days ago. Still, the lack of ability to celebrate the day on the day; perhaps in the way that it was meant to be celebrated, has me contemplating a few things as I go from project to project.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the life we have and, specifically, how my switch to a freelance life has impacted it. Here we are some nine months into this and I can still remember the initial conversations about it as if they happened just moments ago.

I have a lot to be thankful for – this is certain. And, I wanted to get them down while I was thinking about them.

  • I’m thankful for clients who trust parts of their businesses to me and rest well knowing that I will do the right thing.
  • I’m thankful for clients who pay on time, every time, who never make me wonder if their next payment is going to be there.
  • I’m thankful for local clients who, even though I’m not an employee, invite me to participate in their holiday festivities.
  • I’m thankful for the ability to live my life on my terms and work on projects that matter to me and to reject those that don’t.
  • I’m thankful for mobile technology which allows me to break free of a desk and work from a park or the roof of my building or a coffee shop or my co-working spot or…well…anywhere.
  • I’m thankful for computers and the internet and that the only thing I need to make a living is my brain, my talent, my laptop, and a good wifi signal. Everything else is secondary – except coffee.
  • I’m thankful for coffee.
  • I’m thankful for the ability to know other freelancers and to cheer them along as they blaze their own trails and to be cheered along as I blaze mine.
  • I’m thankful for a completely different mindset and perspective on the world around me.
  • I’m thankful for the joy of contract wins and the terror of failure – these emotions let me know that I’m fully invested in what I’m doing.
  • I’m thankful for thank you notes from clients and the words “we couldn’t have done this without you.”
  • I’m thankful that, on Monday, when the business world returns to normal, my career and livelihood is back in my own hands rather than in the hands of the person I’m making richer.

I’m thankful for all these things, but most of all, I’m thankful for the support and courage of a wife who took a chance; who knew that this would be a rocky road and involve some changes for us but said fuck it and green-lit it anyway. Without that, nothing written here would have been possible. Without that, this amazing journey toward self discovery and finally taking a shot at carving my own path wouldn’t have happened. It wouldn’t have even made it past the first step.