That Time I Almost Missed The Bunny Fight
July 06, 2018in
Freelancing is awesome. Working remotely is awesome. I love being home with my cats every day. I love that if my brother calls and asks if I can watch my niece and nephew for a few hours in the day time I can say yes because I am no longer stuck in an office and stuck to rigid time schedules. I love that I can go to the grocery store in the mornings when it's not busy and not have to wait in any checkout lines because most other people are at work. But these flexible hours also come with a price.
Not having a set start time and finish time can lead to one of two problems: either you're not putting in your full work day because you're constantly stopping and interrupting your work time with other things, or you are consistently overworking yourself.
It's hard to stop working when you don't have a set stop time, especially if you're feeling the crunch of the lack of steady paycheque. While I am an advocate of working hard and working more than 40 hours a week if you need to (I've always had at least one side job that I work on through out my entire working-life), I'm also a big advocate for work-life balance. I've seen first hand what a break down looks like when your body and mind finally says, "Enough is enough, stop overworking yourself." But that story is for another day.
Today's story starts with a night when I was writing, trying to get an article done that was taking me forever because it was one of those articles where I was writing about a topic I didn't know very well and needed a lot of research. I had already sunk in too much time for what I was getting paid and just wanted it over with.
Jesse, my fiance, was working in the office on his computer and I was on the laptop. He is one of those people who likes to get up and pace when he's thinking about code (he's a software developer), so he got up and started pacing around the house. I was trying to ignore him as I flipped through my open tabs, trying to collect my thoughts for this next paragraph.
Now, before I continue, you need to know that our house is directly across from protected green space. So we're always seeing wildlife of various kinds across the street, or even on our front lawn.
Jesse peeked out of our front window during his pacing and called up to me to come down quickly and look.
Annoyed, because I couldn't figure out how I wanted to make this last point, I yelled back that I was busy.
"No! Come look! There are two bunnies on the front lawn!"
Normally, I love watching bunnies, but I was frustrated and had been working for hours and it was starting to get late and I just wanted the damn thing finished and couldn't think properly. I ignored him. He called again. And again. Finally, frustrated, I went down to look.
There were two small bunnies on our yard. Cool. He slowly opened the door and grabbed my hand, pulling me onto the front step. It was a beautiful summer night where the air was warm, but the breeze was cool enough. We sat down and I felt the tension in my shoulders start to relax a little as I breathed in the evening and let the beautiful forest across from me wash over me with its beauty and stillness.
I put my head on Jesse's shoulder as the bunnies slowly grazed and hopped their way closer together.
"Do you think they're friends," Jesse asked.
Not a moment after he asked the question, the cute and delicate bunny attacked. It shot towards the other bunny, making it run. They chased each other, lunging, with their ears back. Finally the smaller of the two bunnies darted across the street back into the forest. The victorious bunny immediately put it's ears back up and went straight back to the gentle and slow grazing.
Now, I have to say that I had never in my life watched a bunny fight before. I didn't even know that they had it in them to fight. I just assumed that they were sweet, gentle souls that were not capable of such bullying or of what was clearly a turf war, but there it was, right in front of my eyes. They were vicious creatures under the guise of fluffy cuteness.
I couldn't believe that I had almost missed such an event. When I went back up into the office, I switched tasks and started looking at wedding decor. I did stopped working and the next day, when I was less tired, I finished up that article with fresh eyes.
You can work yourself ragged when you freelance, without realizing it because you're in the comfort of your own home. But your brain needs rest. Your body needs time away from the screen. Your creativity needs you to move around and get in different spaces.
Don't let yourself get so caught up in working that you miss the bunny fights in life: they don't happen very often, and you'll never get them back if you miss them.