Every day something happens to make me appreciate how lucky I am. Today it was sitting in the audience watching my son's school performance of The Sound Of Music, or at least a very small part of it.
So why am I so lucky? Well, there are many reasons.
My son has autism and will be leaving his current school this summer. Whilst his disability often gives me sleepless nights, I realised my troubles are nothing compared to those of many parents. The diversity of problems faced by the other children who attend the same wonderful Special Needs School; make my son's autism seem a blessing. That's something I never thought I'd ever say.
Another reason I am so lucky is I discovered a way to work from home, which gives me total freedom. I chose to be my own boss and as such I set my own hours. I never feel guilty about taking time out to visit the doctor or dentist, or attend something as important (to me at least) as a school play. I don't have to ask permission from anyone, which is just as well as this year I went twice.
The play was excellent and every child put so much effort and enthusiasm into his or her performance. It was enough to make me weep, especially when they sang Climb Every Mountain. I guess it really hit me the size of the mountains those children have face, although during the performance they all looked so incredibly happy you'd never guess their lives were anything other than a bed of roses.
Anyway, back to the advantages of working from home.
Working from home saves so much expense and time. Only last week, my eldest son, who travels to work each day by train was extremely late home. He wasn't working extra hours or going anywhere after he'd left his office, but his train had no conductor so was cancelled. It meant he had to wait on a cold, draughty and crowded railway station until the next train appeared.
Commuting is no fun at the best of times, which probably explains why I never see anyone smiling in the mornings. I heard the other day the average worker spends five and a half years of his life travelling backwards and forwards to work. Thankfully, I don't.
Apart from the time element, just think of the expense. Fuel prices are spiralling out of control and everyone is experiencing the knock on effect. Where once I used to be able to fill my car up with petrol for £30, I now have to double that.
For those who commute to work by car it's a major consideration, and in many places you have to pay to drive your car on certain roads, through cities at certain times, and to park. It all adds up, and for some people, the cost of getting to work is almost as much as they earn.
Then, of course, there's the weather. It's so unpredictable. You can set out in the morning with it being sunny and warm and by the return journey it is cold, wet and miserable. You really have to take two sets of clothing with you to work, or wear lots of layers so you can strip off, or add on as necessary. If you work from home it's no problem, and depending on when you choose to work, you can even do it in your nightclothes. That solves the problem of having to own a "suitable" work wardrobe or having to wear an unflattering uniform.
Also, if you work from home, you don't have to worry about colleagues whom you might possibly not get on with, or get involved in office politics. You can take a toilet or coffee break when you wish, and even have an afternoon power nap if necessary. Apparently, 10 or 20 minutes in the afternoon boosts production by about 20%, because we are naturally bi-phasic, meaning we need to sleep twice each day. The experts say we require a long sleep at night and a short one in the afternoon, but if you have a job what you need and what you get are two very different things.
Life should be fun. Work should be fun and it's so sad that's not the case for most people with jobs who spend most of their working hours wishing they were somewhere else.
A job is something where you trade your time or expertise for money, and when I left school the normal working hours for jobs were between 9.00 a.m. and 5.00 p.m. How times have changed.
The hours have certainly got longer and there's no job security. Everyone is replaceable, and there's always someone waiting to wear your shoes. It makes for a very unsettling experience, which is another reason why, if you possibly can, you need to work for yourself.
I blog and of course blogging won't work for everyone and the prospect of being your own boss may seem daunting. It's a huge mountain to climb, but it's nothing compared to the mountains the children at my son's school are climbing. The difference is, like me, you have a choice and as in the song you might just end up finding your dream!