Preparations for a Holiday

This is somewhat strange, I’m not used to taking holidays, and here I am pottering about the house trying to wrap up loose ends before I’m away for a week. The weather forecast seems to be good at least, so I’m mostly going to be travelling light – but on the other hand I am heading to the coast, so the evenings will be cooler – better pack a couple of hoodies for reserve I guess.

This is, I think, my first holiday in about eight or nine months, since I last headed north to see my parents. It is however the first holiday I’ve taken where the library has still been open (I last travelled during the Christmas break), and its felt a bit odd. I’m still not used to this mix I have where I’m working for a regular employer for about half my time, while still self employed as well.

As a result I’m finding myself stressing over making sure that I still cover my committments on the writing front while I’m on holiday. This, despite reassurance from my wife that it will be alright if I’m antisocial and typing away in the evenings on my laptop. After many years of regular gainful employment I’m still used, in the back of my mind, to this concept of stopping all work for a holiday. This then is the thing that no one tells you about being self employed – you are never really off duty. There’s always an ear out for the next bit of work and a worry about a deadline, even when you’ve arranged things to have a quiet day.

I think in part that comes from the stresses of being unemployed and the mark that’s left on me as an insecurity about money and where the next paycheck will come from. Perhaps then that is what I need to focus on during this holiday – recognising that there is a balance I can strike so that I can relax and let my blood pressure drop, without compromising on the commitments I’ve made.

Self Employment

So… that’s the paperwork off, and a long day spent at the HMRC on a couple of seminars… and didn’t I start doing this last year? So what’s different this time?

I’ve just registered as self-employed for the purposes of concentrating on the writing, and in common with a number of people I’ve encountered recently – including the spouses of HMRC employees – I’m partly doing it to get the powers that be to back off and let me get on with my life without having to trudge down to the Job Centre and be patronised at length on a regular basis. With my other half back in work and bringing in enough to cover the household I believe that the small amounts of Class 2 National Insurance and the calculated Class 4 and self-assessed tax is worth the peace of mind to not feel like people are peering over my shoulder and trying to meddle all the time.

And any additional income I do manage to generate is a nice bonus for running the household – but in the meantime I can be useful being a househusband and concentrating on the writing which I’ve been wanting to do, while doing the training for the Surrey Drug and Alcohol Careline which will hopefully then lead to being able to retrain as a counsellor.

As a nice bonus we’ve had some good weather this week so I’ve been able to feel a little smug about not being trapped in an office, and in being able to restock the kitchen without having to trip over too many small children.

And now to field test a revised lemon chicken dish I recently made – shouldn’t take long and if it works I’ll post the recipe