Idlers! Working Other Than Nine To Five

by Randy Murray on October 15, 2013

On board ships in the age of fighting sail all those who did not “stand watches” were called idlers.

As a freelancer and independent writer, I claim the term for myself. Like the carpenters, surgeons, cooks, and others aboard ships who worked long and hard, but did not work within the bounds of a specified work period (we call it “punching the clock” today, another anachronistic term), I work when I need to and when I want to, or when the cat permits.

I can leave my desk at 10 A.M. and walk about my neighborhood. I can have a long and relaxed lunch with a colleague or friend. I can run errands and mill about with the retired and elderly. I have the freedom of idleness.

I highly recommend it.

But like the idlers aboard ship, I have duties and responsibilities. I have deadlines and deliverables. And while it may appear to those standing watch that I’m at my leisure, I do critical work and lots of it.

If you are not bound by the clock or the bell, embrace your idleness. See the fall colors, breathe the cooling air. There are grand things to see as the ship drives through the waves. Don’t spend your life below decks working by a dim lantern.

What’s the use of being a freelancer if you can’t enjoy the “free” part?

The Idlers! Working Other Than Nine To Five by Randy Murray, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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