Valentine’s Day was celebrated this past weekend in various countries of the world for various reasons. For some, it is a religious holiday while for others it is a holiday of romance. Personally, Valentine’s Day makes me reflect on those I love and care for, my friends and family, my kinfolk.

kinfolk [kin-fohk]
noun – 1. relatives or kindred.

The word kinfolk brings to my mind more than just friends and relatives. It adds the heart and emotions of of warmth, familiarity, and trust. I imagine friends and family sitting around a table sharing a meal while loudly conversing. Kinfolk brings to bear the concepts of an extended clan or tribe. So why this reflection today?

Emily, Rachel, T.R. and Angie at Gen Con 2014

We need to appreciate those who are impacted by our freelancing, especially if it is our second (or third or fourth) job. Freelancing takes a lot of time and effort, which is time we are not spending with our kinfolk. We need to acknowledge that we cannot succeed without the support and flexibility of our spouses, roommates, significant others, children, friends and family. Who supports your freelancing?  How do they support you?

I would not be the freelancer I am today without my wife, Angie, and twin daughters, Emily and Rachel. They enjoy the gaming hobby with me and understood my interest in making it more than just a hobby. It has been through their strong encouragement that I have stepped into this new role as a freelancer in the gaming hobby I love so much. We discussed this together as a family before I accepted my first volunteer position in the game industry with Chronicle City and even more when I took on the paid role of a freelancer.  We agreed I would need to balance my freelancing time with my commitments to family, but at the same time they would be flexible when I was under deadlines as well. As freelance projects become available, I check our family schedule to confirm I have available time for the project. If there are time conflicts, then we discuss it as a family before I agree to accept the project.

T.R. and Angie, Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island

Even more impacting on my freelance work are my duties as caregiver to my wife. My wife has Multiple Sclerosis, so in addition to my work and family responsibilities, I also balance freelancing with my caregiver duties.  July this year, my wife (Angie) and I celebrated our twentieth wedding anniversary. Seventeen and a half of those years, she has had Multiple Sclerosis. We continue to learn and adjust to her MS as it progresses.  March is National MS Education and Awareness Month, so I will write then in more detail about my wife’s experiences with MS, my role as her caregiver, and how that impacts my gaming hobby and freelancing. For now, know that my decision to become a freelancer had to be a joint decision with my wife. She is my greatest supporter for my freelancing. She knows my passion for the hobby and enjoys supporting my hobby and my freelancing. In fact, she is the editor and proofreader for this blog for we all know how hard it is to edit and proofread our own writing. She is my life partner and my freelancing partner.

So, as I reflect on Valentine’s Day, I am very thankful to my wife and daughters who support my freelancing. Love and thanks to Angie, Emily and Rachel.

Kinfolk – Appreciating Their Support

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