Sunday, 29 January 2017

The Joy of Working From Home

In my previous life I often wished I could work from home.  Travelling to the office everyday, the press of rush hour, sitting in a room with people who barely spoke to you, cups of tea that never quite tasted right - surely I would get more work done in the comfort of my own home?

I used to listen, green with envy, to those lucky work colleagues who had somehow managed to wangle the elusive work-from-home option.  The closest I ever came was flexi-time, starting at 7 so I could finish at 3 but it wasn't quite as magical.

Now I work from home 24/7.  And it's so hard I long for that journey to work, that little piece of desk that belongs to me and maybe if I brought my own kettle it wouldn't too bad.  When reading On Writing by Stephen King I was struck by his urging to find a nook to write in.  A place to call your own where you could go and deliver your daily word count.  Where no-one would bother you and you could achieve all your writing goals.  Then I realised King is a man and can quite easily craft such a space.  It's not so easy for a woman.  Especially when writer comes after care-giver and housewife.

Perhaps it is my fault.  Perhaps I don't delegate effectively.  But you have to agree there are certain things that you find yourself doing before you can sit down to write, right?  On waking you must work out - it's the only time in the day you will have to look after your fitness.  Next you need to get your child up, dressed, fed and taken to school - walking the long way home so you can achieve your elusive 10,000 steps per day.  Upon return there are the usual morning jobs like making the bed and doing the breakfast dishes - please try to remember to eat at this point, your blood sugar will thank you later. This is also the time to make those important phone calls, check your email, update your social media, diary, calendar then send frenzied messages to people you forgot to speak to yesterday.

Now you have an hour before you have to pick your angel-face child up from nursery so you'd better sit down and write like your very life depended on it.  By the time you've found and unpacked your notes, done that blasted software update, made a cup of tea and sat down to work it's time to put it all away again.  You can't leave it out because there's only one table and you need it for eating, colouring, painting, glitter, learning, cars, trains and play-doh.

Next is lunch.  Then stories and tidying up and 'Mummy will you play with me.'  Afternoon jobs like going to the post office, prepping dinner, doing ironing - they all start to creep up on you ignoring your protests that you really really really need to get some work done.  Before you know it, it's welcome home husband time and let's talk about our day, eat dinner, bath the child, tidy-up, washing and plaintive requests for 'Come sit with me Mummy.'  How can you possibly say no?

The day is gone.  The evening awaits.  The hubster requires tending and there's that TV show you've been trying to watch for the past four years.  You can write tomorrow - right?  After all, you do work from home.

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