Brutal and utter honesty here, because sometimes you just need to know this: most small business owners, and freelance writers, and website owners, and basically anyone who works for herself/himself, do NOT get sick days. It just doesn’t happen. It’s something everyone should know when peering behind the scenes of a professional writer who works for herself. It’s not always pretty when you look behind the curtain, trust me. Sometimes you’ll find snot dripping, tissues piled around me, and every electronic device at my finger tips. It’s far from pretty, but it’s how November Sunflower rolls.
Behind the Scenes: Sick Days, Yeah Right
Anyone out there working for herself knows you just don’t get sick days. Do we get sick, hell yes. However, do we get to call in and say we can’t come to work? Ummm, that’d be a big, huge no! When people ask how I handle sicks days, the usual answer is “sick days, yeah right, I don’t handle them. I just don’t get them.”
Paychecks depend on completing work. It’s not because any of us out here WANT to live like this, or run our business this way. It’s just what we have to do. At least, it’s what I have to do. No one works for me, I’m a one-woman show. When I go down, the income goes away. What’s that mean for me? No sick days.
Instead of enjoying time in bed, with cold and flu fighting medicines, I have:
- pillows propped up around me
- my tablet in my hand
- I’m writing
In between sentences, I grab a tissue, wipe the snot from my nose, hit my hands with some sanitizer, grab the tablet and bang out another sentence. It’s not pretty, but it’s necessary. Boxes of tissues, hot beverages, cold beverages, and nasal spray surround me. Whatever helps me keep my head as clear as possible, without making me sleepy.
Not a pretty picture
Every pillow in the house is behind me, on the sides of me, and propping my feet up, if necessary. Two pairs of socks warm my feet, I’m wearing the most comfy pajamas I can find, and I’m yelling at the kids to ask their father to help them.
You don’t want to get sick, get out of here. Ask Daddy to help you!!!
It’s not just sick days, it’s also on the days I’m in pain
I rarely get sick, however, when I’m sick, everything hits me at once. Sinus infection, cough, head cold, and just everything. It happens once every five years. What I suffer from the most: pain. Those of you out there may not be aware of this, but I suffer from Endometriosis. It’s not something I hide from others, but I also don’t go around introducing myself…
Hey, I’m Staci. I’ve got Endometriosis, it sucks, and it’s painful as hell. How you doin’?
I suffer in silence. Once a month, I’m bedridden. Or, at least, I should be. However, through the pain, I’m again, propped up with pillows, with a heating pad and my tablet. My feet are sometimes up, but most of the time, that causes too much pain.
Yes, once a month the pain is so bad, I can’t stand up without passing out from the pain. It’s down to just one day of suffering so bad I wish I could rip my insides out, and then two days of pain I can live through without having to be in bed the entire day.
As an added bonus, I have Ovarian Cysts. When those burst, those are a lot of fun. When they burst during an Endo flare-up, oh the joy of it all.
However, as someone who works for herself, brands don’t care about my pain. They want what they paid for, and I don’t blame them. It gets done, because that’s how November Sunflower does business. No excuses, just results. Is it always easy, hell no. Looking behind the scenes of November Sunflower isn’t a pretty picture when it comes to dealing with the pain, but I know others out there have similar situations. You are NOT ALONE, my friends.
Would I change it?
With all of it said, and done, would I change it? Nope. Leaving corporate America, and finding something I love to do, has been a huge blessing for not just me, but my kids. It puts a lot of pressure on me, because it’s not easy to make so little money for so much work. Once the kids are a little older, and I can put work first, I’ll be able to earn more. Fingers crossed that’s the case, anyway.
Right now, even through the painful days, I love what I do, and what it provides for my family. There aren’t many kids who get to experience Disney World the way my kids have experienced it. We’ve been able to take on Universal Studios, in a way not many kids get to, too. These little monkeys get to enjoy, and often times, donate, amazing toys, and clothing, they’d otherwise never have access to.