Update: I've done some jugglinga nd instead of a quick visit (arrive on the Sunday afternoon/evening, two solid days of work, free morning Wednesday with a mid-afternoon flight back) I'm now flying out on the 22nd February and going home on 3rd March (Saturday-Monday, working on the Monday and Tuesday). So that will give me plenty of time to at least grab coffee with people (or brunch - I love brunch!) and do hair petting with ocean_song and get down to Monterey on the first Sunday and many other wonderful things!
not only do I get to go back to SF, not only do I get to go back just when I've been yearning to do so, but the business trip itself is on something really interesting, something I want to know more about. It's also a trip that I would never have been asked to go on in the past, before I went freelance and before I was writing for the magazines I'm writing for now.
I've spent the last 18 months working really hard, trying to build my writing into a career; a lot of the time I feel that I'm lazing around, getting up late and not working as hard as I could be; most of the time I really enjoy it and forget about it being work that I get paid for. Some of the time, I wonder if I want to be doing it in ten years time and promise myself I'll try fiction because I would love to be able to write down the stories that run in my head. Some of the time I think I must work harder on this work/life balance thing. But recently, with some of the work I've been offered, I think I'm really getting there! I've got my regular gigs that pay my bills, and I'm getting asked to do neat things too (quarterly newsletters for a big software company and really neat stuff I can't talk about yet for someone I can't name yet).
I've known for the last year that I'm lucky to have work when so many of my colleagues are very under-employed (my trick? take the low paid stuff, lots of it, because it adds up and it's work so it gets my name known again, after the five years at AOL that were effectively a break, and a brake on my career, even though it's now a good name to conjure with! It's a better thing to have done than to be doing.) I've been worrying that I'd be OK for a while then there'd be a recession and I'd be stuffed too. But now I'm getting the feeling that I'm actually doing better than OK (I want to be proud of what I do!) and that I am progressing; if there's a horrible awful recession I will still be able to find work somehow; if I'm still doing this in ten years it won't be that I haven't progressed because I'm already progressing. It's not just this trip on its own, but it's made me think about how far I've come since I fell back on my fallback position (I can always go freelance if work gets too awful) and how very glad I am that I did. And how lucky I am that my sweetie sbisson was so supportive ("freelance? good idea! you do what's right for you and don't worry about the money"); thank you, love!
Oh coolest! I've just realised, I can bring back more of the wonderful green ginseng Tea Republic tea that rowanf discovered for us, just as I'm nearly at the end of the last packet. Nice timing, universe!