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Painting my nails on a Wednesday afternoon always feels a little scandalous. Never mind that the last 48 hours were an intense marathon of working from waking up through Daily Show time. Or the fact that painting my nails takes ten minutes, and I’lll go back to working when I’m done. It seems indulgent. And I feel guilty about it.

You wish you had the luxury of wearing a thumb-hole hoodie to work and painting your nails at your desk too, right? Or so say my inner demons.

You wish you had the luxury of wearing a thumb-hole hoodie to work and painting your nails at your desk too, right? Or so say my inner demons.

Even though freedom is the number one reason freelancers cite for choosing to work for themselves, it’s difficult to get cozy with it. Yesterday, as my one treat to myself in the middle of the torrent of work, I went grocery shopping. (For real. I love grocery shopping.) At 5:30pm. With all the rest of the world. Why did I not go at 3? I actually prefer writing in the evening to the afternoon, but I’m constantly sticking to the culturally mandated 9-to-5 (er…to-11) anyway. Everyone else is working. I already like my job more than most of those chumps anyway. Wouldn’t getting a pedicure at 11:30am on a Tuesday really be rubbing it in?

A freelancers we’re always worried about whether we’re working hard enough. It’s also important to evaluate whether we’re breaking often enough. Taking advantage of our freedom enough. We may not have paid vacation or sick days, but we sure as hell can go grocery shopping in the middle of the day. So we should. I think it’s even okay to feel a little guilty about it though. It’s really just a way of acknowledging that you’re enjoying yourself and feel badly that other people aren’t doing it right now. Suckers.

So don’t even try and rush me through painting my nails, Wednesday. I already sacrificed Monday and Tuesday to the gods of work, and I have plenty to do this afternoon (and tomorrow, and Friday). I might even walk Lois later. Watch out, caution. You are about to be thrown to the freaking wind.

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