Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The price of work

I have been considering my work and what I earn and wondering, not wondering, knowing I need to make some changes but not really knowing what changes to make. I am a music therapist and a !massage therapist working primarily with children and adults with special needs. I also do massage work with a hospice (my favorite work) and I am working on becoming a doula and doing music therapy child birth assistant work.  I have built my business around traveling to people's homes to see them. I have been happiest when I had 10-13 hours of work. Of course this is when Maggie was younger and I was taking her places. I"m capable of more work, this has just been my sweet spot.  I have had up to 22 hours which is just too many. I currently hold 18 (and all this is not including hospice) and it has me working 3.5 days per week.  I could spread some of them out more, but since I live far away from the city it makes more sense to just to hit it hard when I'm in town and not drive to town more than I have to.  

I have been figuring what it costs me to earn what I earn. I make good money per hour and I won't deny that for a minute. There are a lot of 'non billable' things that have to be done in the course of a week as well and they are what leaves me feeling like I'm always working.  There is always a note to write or paperwork to do. It's frustrating to never feel like I'm finished working.  I also am lucky in that I can make my own schedule, so I'm not really complaining...at least not much.  I have always looked at my hand's on hours is half of what I do and I double that in my mind to know how many "real" hours I'm working and this seems like a viable formula.  So with 18 hours, I'm in reality working 36 hours, which is almost full time.  Of course, this doesn't take into account the extra people I see or the hospice people which is over and above. That number comes and goes so I don't count it as part of my week. Also, some weeks a lot of people cancel, so I am rarely seeing all 18 hours of clients.

I have been wondering if I should reduce my hours to drive into the city one less day.  As I approach my November wedding and eventual move to Purmela this would seem to make sense.  I am finding that i just don't tolerate the late nights and getting home after 1030 or 11 pm like I used to. I guess I'm getting old and I just don't have the energy I used to.  I now have so many day time clients I don't have to work as late...Conversely I have so many day time clients that I can't start as late to make up for the late nights.  I got home last night at 10. I got to sleep after 11.  I had a hard time waking up this morning to go see the clients I have this morning.  I just hate to give up the income of the extra 2.5 hours of work.  Of course I am praying about it and I feel God pressing on my heart to make this choice. I know that He will ultimate take care of me, I just hate to be foolish about my decision.  I wonder if I have been trying to do too much in any case. I find myself wondering what other therapists who do outcall work do.  

I have the opportunity to become the backup therapist at a massage establishment close to where I will be living. However I'll be an employee, I'll make half of what I make per hour now and I will lose much of the flexibility I have grown to love about my life.  The pros are simple, less money spent earning what I earn and more time at home.  As I become part of a new family unit these choices will have to be made, but I had decided not to make these choices until after we got married.  I have (probably unreasonable) concerns that if I go ahead and move my things and give up my house...what if something happened and we didn't get married. I don't mean like we break up...but what if something happened before we got married. Then I would be out of a house and out of a job and pretty much in a bad spot. So, we decided I should wait to make those changes till after the wedding. I'm at peace with that decision completely. It allows me to make one change without making a bunch of changes at once.  However, it also leaves me wondering how much is too much work? How much free time is reasonable? Is there something else I should be giving up besides money earning potential?  Is this something I need to just push through?

This is what I have been thinking about...

addendum. I found out that a couple agencies are looking for therapist near waco and Killeen ao if I give upy monday clients or shift them in will end up.filling that day with new opportunities. this is honestly thr point of consolidation: to move me closer to a career in the new location. 

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