You may have noticed I kinda disappeared for awhile, life got a wee bit crazy and a lot of things got put on hold. The craziness of the past few weeks has reminded me once again, the big WHY behind my decision to start a business where I could work from home.
My WHY – To Be Available
My big WHY is to be there for my family when they need me. And during the week of June 12th, my Mom needed both my sister and me. After seeing she couldn’t wait for her cardiologist appointment later in the month I started knocking on the doors of her doctors and we were able to get her in on a cancelled appointment with the cardiologist the next day. 2 days after that she was scheduled for an angiogram.
After long phone calls and discussions, my sister few in from Houston the night before the test, and we are so glad she did. The test went quickly and the doctor came out and told us she was being prepped for transport to a larger hospital in Portland for emergency bypass surgery, probably that afternoon. To say we were stunned was an understatement, we thought surgery was likely but certainly not that urgent.
(Following the ambulance!)
The surgery ended up taking place the next morning on Saturday the 13th. They even brought the surgical team back in to get it done. I’m happy to report the surgery was a success!
The week following her surgery my sister and I took turns at the hospital so that someone was with her almost 24/7. As we suspected early on, as scary as the surgery was, that was the easy part. The recovery is going to be the hard part. It is being slow and difficult and is going to require patience and time.
Clarity & Community Support
When you are in crisis mode, you are reminded how important community is to get you through it. During all of this we had the incredible support of family and friends as prayer warriors, dog walkers and my brother-in-law, nieces and nephews helping out at home to make it possible for my sister to come on such short notice.
(Nighttime view from my Mom’s hospital room)
It is during situations like these, when your life changes in a split second, that several things can happen:
- You have instant clarity on what is important.
- You have instant clarity, or a big reminder about what your priorities are.
- You update Facebook!
I have a love hate relationship with Facebook. It is a time suck, but, the ability to update just about all of your family and friends with one message is awesome! We had people praying and asking if they could help within minutes.
Post surgery we had requests for her contact information so they could send cards and encouragement. It really was amazing and so much fun to read her the comments and well wishes. It would brighten her day.
I know what it is like to have family in need and feel trapped in a “9-5 job”, using up vacation and sick days to be where you need to be. I know the stress of being at work when your heart wants to be with a sick loved one, it is a frustrating place to be.
(My Mom’s dog visiting her at the skilled nursing facility after not seeing her for over a week)
This is the very reason I finally started my own business and transitioned from full-time employee to business owner over 7 years ago. To have the freedom to create my own schedule and be where I need to be.
This is not the first time I have needed that flexibility and it certainly won’t be the last. Sometimes it is only a day that needs to be switched around and sometimes it’s a couple of months where business and life have to struggle with each other in order to find a schedule that works.
The struggle is not fun and is frustrating. Self-employment in general is hard but when you get the news like we did on June 12th, it makes it all worth it.
The people I have met, the friends I have made through my years of being self-employed are amazing. The support they offer during a crisis like this, or on the days I want to throw in the towel, is invaluable.
Working from home can make you a hermit. And on most days, I really don’t mind, the introverted part of me likes it. But we all need community, we can’t and shouldn’t do it alone. My clients, client team members, sub-contractors, network etc. are crucial to my success and I appreciate each and every one of them. The support, patience and understanding they have shown had during the past few weeks have meant so much.
(There is beauty even in the middle of a crisis, you just have to look)
It is always amazing to me to be able to look back and see the path that God has taken me on. There are days I question my direction and wonder what I have gotten myself into. Then I am reminded to look-up and say thanks as I look back and marvel at God’s hand leading and directing me to where I am today.
He knew what was was headed my way, and gave me the opportunity to pursue self-employment where I would have the flexibility of a portable office and be able to take my business with me.
Self-employment is not for the feint of heart, it is not for those looking for a get rich quick idea, and it is not for anyone not ready for adventure. But, if you are ready and willing it can be one of the biggest adventures of your life, it certainly has been for me.
(My Mom’s dog and my dog hanging out with me while I work)
Marta Goertzen is an entrepreneur, writer and nature photographer. She daily explores the trails and beaches of the South Central Oregon Coast with her buddy Bailey. You can follow along on their adventures on Instagram. She is also the author of several books including her newest, “Choosing Gratitude: A Daily Quiet Time Journal”.