At the end of each month, I invoice all my clients and schedule payments for all my bills. This month, my invoices were smaller and my bills were higher than I’d planned when I set my budget at the beginning of the year. This is all because of Jake’s unexpected illness. I changed my schedule so I could be at home in the afternoons to walk him and give him his meds, and I suddenly had necessary, new expenses like a dogwalker to take him out in the morning (Jake’s meds make him pee a lot), and vet bills and medication. I’m watching my carefully-laid plans shift and my little nest egg shrink. It can be hard not to resent my sweet dog’s and my client’s needs when I have needs and dreams of my own.

On a particularly challenging client day last week, I remarked on Twitter that I was tempted to be irresponsible and take a giant leap that I’m not quite ready for. Friends told me to do it – without knowing what “it” is – but, the fact is, I won’t. Yes, I would like to take a break from consulting work, effective immediately, to spend some time building my business. Yes, I would like to get a separate studio so I don’t have to wash my screens in my bathtub. But I have responsibilities – I have a dog to feed and bills to pay, and clients who depend on me, and rent that’s due every month. I also have responsibilities to myself and to my dreams. Taking a huge leap right now would mean not having the resources I’ll need to reach those dreams. And that frustrates the hell out of me.

I know I talk a lot about living bravely. Often, this means doing the big, scary thing, or taking that huge leap of faith. But sometimes, like right now, the bravest things I can do are own the decisions I’ve made, and continue to step up to the responsibilities I’ve taken on. This may all change tomorrow, but today, this is how I will live bravely.

2 thoughts on “Responsibility”

  1. Wow, what an insightful post. It is so true that sometimes “living bravely” is facing your responsibilities, even if that’s really difficult. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  2. love your perspective here Jen, and to say out loud that sometimes living bravely is about making the less “big” choice is what balancing a life and staying responsible to what you’ve already say yes to means… your f’ing brilliant, you know.

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