It’s a trap

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I need a vacation. My last one was in May, last year. I only know this because I stumbled upon pictures on my phone with me in them on a Balearic beach, dated May 2015. But other than that, I have no recollection of it at all, much like I don’t remember the last time Coldplay wrote a decent song. It’s just way too long ago to possibly remember. Instead of taking time off, I’ve spent the whole year working. Now if you’re reading this and have a permanent job with 25 vacation days per year, this is probably the part where you want to slap me in the face and tell me to stop whining. But for every full-timer clicking me away right now, I’m pretty sure there are just as many freelancers understandingly nodding their busy overflowing heads.

Let me go on record here and say this isn’t a complaint. Not only am I grateful for work coming my way, I’m also wilfully bringing this all onto myself. What it is then, is the trap every freelancer steps into with eyes wide open. When I started out, I remember thinking I could make a very decent living working two to three days a week and have the rest of the week to myself. But then as business begins to pick up, a tiny Gordon Gekko appears on your shoulder and plants a diabolical seed of greed in your brain: what if you would work four days a week? Or five? Or seven plus nights? How decent a living could you make then?

As a freelancer, the first six months of the year is sort of where it’s at. If you’ve consistently hit your targets come July and don’t buy a new car every time it runs out of fuel, you should be able to ride out the remainder of the year relatively stress free. But then you buy a house, your car breaks in half or Apple releases a new laptop that you simply cannot do without. And so you take on more work and in the end you find yourself doing the exact opposite of why you started freelancing in the first place: you work all the time. And ironically enough you genuinely believe you’re buying yourself peace of mind by working like a madman, but by doing so you have everything but.

But back to my original point: I need a vacation. Anybody have any good tips for Santorini in May?

*Written for Amsterdam Adblog.

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