Before I had a baby, I was always the one to attend my friends’ plays, hear their bands perform, watch screenings of their experimental films, attend their art openings, and generally travel in rain, sleet, or snow to support their fine arts or other contributions to society.
It pains me, now, to have to say no more often than yes, since usually I’m looking after our 11-month-old. In order to go out, I have to make arrangements in advance and add the cost of babysitting to the cost of my activity.
The economy is turbulent; more and more of us are pursuing entrepreneurship with private clients, and that means pounding the pavement, starting with your inner circle. It pains me not to contribute money to the elementary school in Brooklyn that’s growing from seed, not to use my friend as a nutritionist when she’s genuinely gifted, and to opt out of an exercise program I could really get into because it’s $99—which is a lot right now.
I have had to let friends and acquaintances know I must charge for editing—I always have at least one client on board, and have to prioritize my paying clients. Before, I loved to edit everybody’s stuff. I would get passages to edit and offer a quick turnaround. For me, the thrill of the hunt [for errors] is satisfying. But now, with food and gas prices high and rising, I’ve simply got to charge for my time. And I understand that all of you do, too.
I see the value of collaborating with other creatives, so that we can combine social streams to net new deals.
But I’m feeling kind of isolated. I felt more connected before, knowing a few of my neighbors in Manhattan, than I do now, with 900+ followers but no neighbors to order in with, hop out to a movie with, or share a nightcap with—we all need babysitters to leave the house (because our husbands work late; later than a babysitter would stay on a weeknight)— and then there’s the driving.
It’s a year after moving from the city to the suburbs. I worried the first year would be a period of adjustment, but we moved when I was 8½ months pregnant, then we had Adela. Between the move to our first house (my husband’s FIRST house—he’s always lived in an apartment or townhouse) and the addition to our family, there was no time to wonder what I was missing out on. Life is still frenetic, but not… seismic.
Maybe now that the earthquake of change has subsided, I can catch my breath, catch up with friends, catch an art show or a ladies’ night out, and reconnect.
(Of course, not before COMPLETELY UNPLUGGING from the grid for a week. AND THEN we’ll get that brunch, collaborate on that web site, edit that proposal of yours, or have a child or adults-only play date.)