Birthdays are somewhat a difficult experience: for some it is an excuse to celebrate the whole day (or night!), for others is just another year older but not wiser!
When the day came last year, I recall working throughout it on translating the website of one of the most glamorous and prestigious hotels in the capital of my homeland. Buried in dictionaries and under an endless amount of brochures and flyers, having countless open windows in my browser, Trados running and of course my very best friend, Word, I nearly forgot my special day! In fact, now that I think of it, I would not have swapped working on this rather exciting and challenging project that tested my abilities with anything less than a very successful party! Is this sad?! Well, nothing else was planned for that evening, the financial crisis was ready to knock my door, so why not forget that I was growing older (yet again!) and work on my Sistine Chapel? And what a milestone it turned out to be!
This year, a small gathering has been organized well in advance. A few friends are meant to becoming over, nothing fancy just a night sitting near the fire place. The life of a freelance translator is not the easiest to plan. What will happen if I get offered a last-minute project, well paid, coming from my most favorite of the clients (best case scenario). I can predict what will happen! I will accept it and start my day earlier than usual in order to play both roles: the dedicated freelance translator who hates letting anyone done and first of all herself, and the birthday girl/ hostess of a gathering!
And now question time: Should a freelance translator even be allowed to take personal days off? Should we, the lone translators, find time in our ever so heavy schedule and squeeze in a few hours for ourselves or our friends that we love and cherish? As most of us work from home and do not really have the social life like normal people, do we dare to switch off our PCs and laptops and have a non-MSN and non-Skype conversation with actual people? Well, I am blowing the candles this year, even if this means me waking up at the crack of dawn to work!