Re-posted from my original post on VAGABONDORIGINAL.COM
Back in March, I took a bad step and injured myself pretty badly.
Stepping off the front porch, I rolled my left ankle and fell all-sorts-of-stupid onto my right leg. Prettymuch everything attaching my quadriceps to my knee came apart. Painful, yes. Surgery was worse. Luckily, as I write this, I’m way past the worst of it and well on my way to having a functional leg again. Still on crutches with a straight brace, but I’m putting up to 75% of my weight on it now, and hope to be off crutches within a couple weeks and to get on with physical therapy ASAP.
Of course the whole thing has been an unexpected bummer (to say the least) but I wanted to have some fun with it. So I turned it into a concert poster.
My wife, Allison, and I have had a lot of laughs about the first handful of things I said once I was coming out of anesthesia. And this is where I got the “Truth Serum” bit. According to my wife, I was fun and kind, keeping my voice soft while swearing like a sailor, and mostly succeeding in my doped up efforts to be charming and polite. I tried to make reference to our favorite movies, YouTube videos, and inside jokes. Most of all, I just wanted to hear one of my favorite songs, Weapon of Choice, from my favorite band: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (or “BRMC” to fans like me).
At one point, I asked Allison if I could get some water. She told me we could ask the nurse in a minute when she gets back.
“Tell her to get over here right now, I’m paying for this.”
Even in that stupor, I was aware of our predicament. Being self-employed means getting creative, sometimes, with insurance (of which we had none) and medical bills (of which we now had plenty).
As an aside, I might take this opportunity to point out that – with all the worry and warnings I receive from friends and acquaintances concerned about my motorcycling, defensive training, and travels to foreign lands – the two worst injuries I’ve ever received occurred:
- Working overtime behind a desk.
- Walking in the front yard.
Both required surgery, and months of painful recovery. I’m not saying motorcycles, guns, judo-chops, and foreign travel don’t have their associated risks. Just saying there’s plenty of risk out there for all of us, regardless of your hobbies. Makes me re-evaluate how safe “being safe” is. That’s all.
TIMES OF PLENTY & TIMES OF FAMINE
As for being a small business owner (especially in a freelancing/consulting business), I’ve heard it said:
“In this business, you wake up every morning unemployed.”
For the last year, business has been increasingly good. We get better and better clients, and several side-projects are blooming into exciting, separate business partnerships with trusted colleagues. Still, the small-business part of this is new. And that means we have to really earn every client and project we get. Those projects seem to come in waves; the ebb and flow of which can be tricky to balance in.
Happily (with the above quote in mind), we’ve adopted a pattern of paying ahead our rent by several months at a time and being strategic about our grocery list, being sure to stock up on food that stores well in the medium-to-long term.
It’s always tempting to go out and buy new gear every time we land a new project or client . . . maybe upgrade the computer, buy a new camera an expensive lens. Don’t get me wrong – at times, we’ve done exactly that. But we’ve tried to be deliberate about when to invest in our business with new gear, and when to prepare for the days of famine that are sure to come before the next big wave of projects lands at our sandy feet.
We’re so grateful to those who have helped and supported us right now. We’ve got a wonderful safety-net of family and friends who have offered/provided transportation and other means of support. We’ve got great clients who have been flexible about my downtime for a couple weeks there post-surgery.
We’re feeling a lot of love right now, and we want to say thank you.