Break Free of the Puppet Masters

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Posted by The Savvy Retiree on August 23, 2016 in Online Income

Kathy Neudorf writing on online incomes…

My cabin is set on 80 acres of wilderness, with rocky spots, beaver dams, and not a soul in sight. It’s about 250 miles away, so I only get up there a few times a year. It’s my place to relax and get away from the city.

Eventually, I plan to move there semi-permanently, from spring through fall. Then I’ll be able to plant a garden and hunt for wild berries and mushrooms. The weather is very unpredictable, so the wild plants don’t always bear fruit on schedule. But there is nothing like food cooked on an open fire with natural wood – everything tastes so much better when you’re surrounded by clean, fresh air.

I don’t have electricity or an internet connection. Sitting by the cabin, I feel at peace – completely cut off from the rest of the world – totally off the grid. However, just five minutes away is a small town with a large grocery store, liquor store, gas, hardware, and anything else I might need.

Sometimes, I take my laptop with me and use the free WiFi at the coffee shop…but not too often.

Ever since I became a freelance earner, I’ve been free to work to my own schedule. I just let my clients know I’ll be off on such and such days. I take care of regular tasks ahead of time, so as to not leave the client in the lurch. In case of emergency, I can always be contacted on my cell phone. But, usually there aren’t too many emergencies. If I feel like taking a few days off, I do. Traveling on a long weekend – or any weekend during the summer – you can spend more time stuck in traffic than relaxing by the cabin. So, I go during the week when the traffic is lighter.

Life in general is very relaxed.

I get up in the morning when I want…take a break when I like….and quit for the day when I’ve had enough.

I have always hated going to a job. I’d spend the day waiting for lunch or quitting time, and the only thing I’d have to look forward to was the weekend. When the weekend finally arrived, I’d be too busy catching up with housework, too tired to do anything, or the weather would be too lousy to have any fun.

After more than 20 years of this, I finally broke free.

In my last job, I was an office manager. The company was in trouble and I could see the end was coming, so I started looking online for work. It was scary. The thought of not having a regular pay check worried me…but hitting the bricks, handing out resumes and going to endless interviews – competing with hundreds of other applicants – was not something I wanted to do either.

Plus, I was 43 at the time so my new boss would most likely be recent college grad, half my age.

So, I started freelancing in my spare time, while still holding down a full-time job.

My first gig wasn’t that great. It was a steady writing job that required nearly a week’s worth of research and only paid about $50. But gradually the work built up and I earned enough to replace my income by the time the company shut down.

Now, I am comfortable with just three clients. That gives me the money I need and plenty of free time to do what I like.

I love the freelance lifestyle. I would never go back to a 9-to-5 job. My husband has become my full-time house-husband. My children are grown now, so I have the time and freedom to help them out with baby-sitting or running errands. I feel like Pinocchio after he lost his strings…I have the freedom and the flexibility to do just as I please.

Image: © Ammentorp Lund