with Mir Kamin
I'm a freelance writer and mother of two working from home, which theoretically means I can set my own schedule so as to best accommodate my family. In reality, "flexible hours" often equals "working too much." Yes, I'm my own boss; no, that doesn't mean life is easy. It's hard to leave the office when you live there. But I love what I do and feel very lucky. And not just because I get paid to work in my pajamas.
To learn more about Mir, check out her profile on Work It, Mom! or visit her blog at http://www.wouldashoulda.com/
In my last house, I had a desk in the corner of the family room. This was useful, as it meant I could keep an eye on the kids while I worked. This was horrible, as it meant I could not get away from the noise and the “Mama, Mama, Mama!” of everyday life, even when I really needed to concentrate.
As a result, I did a lot of work on my laptop—either hiding upstairs in my bedroom while a sitter came, or out at Panera Bread while sipping tea and being grateful that none of the ambient noise was a child demanding that I get him a snack.
When we bought this house this summer, one of the things I was most excited about was the fact that I now have an actual office. It’s not only a separate room, it’s at one end of the house! As far from the (older, and more self-sufficient) children as possible! Heaven!
Well, I may have overlooked a few small details.
First, that my office is the only entrance to the house through the garage. Guess where we go in and out of the house, 99% of the time? Yeah.
Second, that I’m sort of a disorganized slob. Who bred two other disorganized slobs. I tend to leave things there to “file later,” and when I come back, there’s often a stack of paper four inches high. “Oh, Mom! I forgot to tell you, but the teacher had me clean out my desk!” And that leaves me with two months worth of schoolwork I must
throw away file when the kids aren’t around.
Oh, I worked diligently at my desk for a long time. Although it’s still my habit to take my laptop to the couch in the evenings (thus giving my longsuffering husband the illusion of me hanging out with him in front of the television, but allowing me to continue working), for months my habit was to get the kids off to school in the morning, then spend the day
chained to working at my desk.
I have an ergonomic chair. And a little stool for my feet. And a full keyboard, complete with wrist-rest. And a nice big monitor. It’s a great set-up, really.
But something happened when we got back from Christmas break.
It had been my intention to clean up my desk before we left, of course, but as so often happens with the best-laid plans… it didn’t exactly work out that way. “No matter!” I told myself. “I’ll take care of it when we get back!”
Well, it’s been about three weeks, and the desk remains a disaster area. I haven’t had time to tackle it.
For the first week, I worked there, anyway, becoming increasingly aggravated over the piles of papers and such. Since then, I’ve gone back to roaming the house with my laptop. Most often I plunk myself down in the oversized armchair in the family room that’s sooooo comfy.
Know what? The chair that’s comfy for an hour or two or even three ceases to be comfortable when you sit in it and type for eight hours. True story!
I need to get back to my desk. And I will. Just as soon as I finish these three assignments and go to that meeting and take that conference call. Really.
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