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/
I don’t know if you’ve noticed this or not, but I’ve been a little whiny, lately.
(Just a little. Okay, a lot. But, um, you forgive me, because you’re nice that way.)
I mean, nothing’s wrong, and even the small annoyances are just that—small—but I haven’t exactly been an endless well of contentment and gratitude all the time. And it can become very, very easy, when you have a home office, to retreat further and further into your own head. Sure, I’m out and about with the kids after school, but my career and days are mostly solitary. Which can often result in an overblown sense of my own importance. Heh.
Oh, it’s not that I think I’m so important. But every little thing starts to feel more important than it really is. I get all cerebral over anything and everything. My perception becomes skewed and I don’t realize it.
So yesterday I decided to have lunch out of the house. At about 11:45 I headed out… to a local soup kitchen. And spent an hour serving food to homeless people. (Actually, I ate there, too—the workers get to eat after everyone else is fed. The food was pretty good.)
I’m sure that some people volunteer because they’re selfless and altruistic. I volunteer because I happen to believe in giving back, sure, but mostly it’s a smack of reality that I need. It’s very hard to obsess over… well… much of anything when you have a place to live and food to eat and get an eyeful of the alternative.
We tend to talk a lot, amongst home-office types, about making sure you get out of the house. Go work in a coffee shop, we say. Join a local group, we say. Today I’m just putting it out there that in addition to those things it’s a really good idea to go do some charity work. It’s good karma, and it’s a good reminder.
Yesterday afternoon, I came back home and got a ton of work done. Last night as my family sat down to dinner, instead of my usual mental inventory of work yet to be done and petty annoyances, I was just thankful.
That’s my kind of lunch.
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