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/
It’s like any other morning here in my office—the kids are still asleep, I’m sitting here in my pajamas, coffee by my side, tapping away on my computer.
But actually, this is unlike any other morning in my office, because today I’m sitting in a camper in the Adirondack mountains, 1100 miles from home, and the sleeping children are about ten feet away on their bunks (and thankfully they slept through me banging around our tiny kitchen, figuring out how to use my new French press). We’re at a very nice KOA campground that has free wireless, which is a Very Good Thing because it turns out that there’s no cellular signal up here to speak of. And that means my MiFi is useless.
Today we’ll go hiking and maybe fishing, and the grown-ups will sit around chatting while the children run off to play, and I will marvel over the fact that I can sit in the midst of it and both relax and get some work done as needed.
Here’s the nitty gritty on how my mobile set-up is working for me:
We’ve been on the road for about five days, so far, and I continue to be amazed at how smoothly things have been going. I wrote before about breaking down and getting myself a Verizon MiFi (portable internet device), and I also went ahead and snagged a deal on a Asus Netbook. I really waffled about the need for the netbook; after all, I already own a laptop, so was I being drawn in by the cute factor when I really already had what I needed? I can now say the netbook was a great investment: It’s perfect for working in the car.
I mean, yes, I probably could use my regular laptop in the car, but I would be cramped, and my husband would be annoyed because it would interfere with his sight lines, and I’m not entirely comfortable with the projectile possibilities if we were to be in an accident. The netbook, however, is tiny and fits right on my lap, doesn’t obstruct the driver’s sight, and if (God forbid) something happens to it, I still have my main computer in one all-important piece.
I was able to stick my MiFi in the glove box and get a ton of work done while we were on the road. (For those of you who are about to tell me that you could never read/type while in a car, let me tell you about my other essential piece of mobile office technology: Sea-Bands.) We were traveling on major roads most of the time, but I was still very impressed with the MiFi’s range—I didn’t end up losing the signal until we were up here in the mountains, miles off the main road.
As for the netbook, well, it definitely takes some getting used to. The keyboard is tiny, and there was a lot of swearing in the beginning. (What? Nothing ever made me feel like I have fat fingers, before!) I’ve mostly got the hang of it now, and can once again type at my normal speed. I certainly wouldn’t want this as my main machine, but for all of the benefits it provides on the road, I’m happy to deal with the small inconveniences it presents.
On the whole, I think I’ve finally found the combination of technology and planning that allows me to work almost anywhere.
More importantly, I am having the time of my life. Yeah, I’m doing some work, but I definitely do feel like I’m on vacation (finally). And as the commercial says, that’s priceless!
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