Yesterday had a stressful moment.

I was working hard all day, though most of the work wasn’t billable. I know that I need to set goals for my business, but I’m not sure whether they should include having a higher proportion of billable hours, or just recognizing that the reason my hourly rate is high is that so much of my work isn’t billable. That is, time spent promoting my business, doing paperwork so I’ll get paid, setting up meetings, and answering questions would be a normal part of my salaried work, so I should just do it and watch the bottom line. Or not. I don’t know what the rule is among businesspeople.

I do know that when I went to bed last night I saw captchas before my eyes, so I can say with confidence that I spent enough time on linkbuilding.

Anyway, there was that point in the day — 4:00 pm to be precise — when the menfolks arrive home. The dogs begin barking frantically. The TV goes on. People begin to talk to me. Whining about dinner commences. No, really, it’s pleasant questions about what’s for dinner. We have little volleys of “I’m on the clock” “Well, I just need help with my college application” “Okay let me turn off my Toggl” and stuff like that.

During which I dashed back and forth between the kitchen and the living room doing a hasty rewrite of a homepage,with chaos all around me and an awareness that I would be picked up for rehearsal very soon, and completed this task just as dinner was ready.

There was a moment of consternation as I realized that I had never turned my Toggl back on and therefore had no idea what to charge for the task. However, since some portions of the time involved had actually been spent chopping cucumbers and discovering that the yogurt had gone south, I figured I shouldn’t charge for it anyway.

I mentally wrote it off to good will, sat down for a hasty dinner with my family, and headed off to rehearsal.

Where we spent the evening count singing. Robert Shaw, the great choral conductor, was famous for this. You sing, instead of the words of the song, idiotic things like “one-ee-and-a-two-ee-and-a-tee-ee” over and over on the notes. It is supposed to give great precision and loveliness to choral singing. I bet it does. Shaw had amazing results. Every time the time signature changes, the patten changes, so you find yourself singing”one and two and tee and one ee and a two ee and a tee ee and a one and two and tee and four” and such gibberish.

I’m not complaining, really. I just have to say that, while that’s a useful technique, it’s wearing when you do it for a few hours at a go.

Arriving home, I started doing some linkbuilding for my own site, which was at #1 on Google for my name a couple of weeks ago, but slipped to page three as I suppose Google decided that it was going to be under construction for the rest of its life.

My daughter called me, and I talked with her at great length while I worked. I love my daughter, and I love talking to her, but I hate the telephone. My other daughter came on the computer with instant messaging. The computer decided to call a go-slow right as I was in the midst of one of those lengthy linking maneuvers that are designed to make sure you’re a human. My husband sat down next to me and asked me what #1 daughter was saying on the phone and began arguing with her to me and asking all kinds of details.

And right then — about 10:30, I think it was — I got a very civilized message saying, “Just for clarification, were there no changes on the three inside pages of that rewrite?”

I’m sure you have forgotten by now about the website rewrite. I had thought at the time that there really didn’t seem to be enough information, and had even shot off an IM saying “there doesn’t seem to be anything describing this program.” However, I’d been told that the margin on this project was very small so I shouldn’t bother with SEO or elegance, but just edit for clarity. And some things are a matter of preference. And probably the meat was beginning to burn at that point. So when the response was approximately “huh?” I let it go.

I let it go so thoroughly that I just rewrote the first page, completely failing to notice that there were three more pages to edit. And sent it in.

So at 10:30 at night, after a nonstop day that began at 5:00, I suddenly had a major error to rectify. And of course the barking dogs and the slow computer and my husband trying to talk to me and — I swear — Steve Erkel screeching loudly on the TV.

It was a stressful moment.

I’m feeling better now.