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Cornered Office

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

Home office, interrupted

Categories: Like talking but with more typing, My boss is an idiot, Now I'm free(lancing)

1 comment

“The most wonderful thing about being a freelance writer is that I can work anywhere.” I wish I had a nickel for every time I’ve said that to someone. Especially now, when I’m realizing it’s such a dirty lie.

Oh, sure, technically it’s true—I have my laptop, I have a wireless internet connection, and I can sit down and so some where almost anywhere, provided that I have those with me. Yes. And I do… sometimes. But the bulk of my work is done here at my desk, in my office, which is how I like it.

And right now my office is trying to kill me. And by “trying to kill me” I of course mean “surrounded by noisy contractor wielding saws and pneumatic nail guns and heavy boots.”

Yay for home improvement! Boo for trying to work from home while it’s happening!

It turns out that the lovely view from my office out over the backyard is now the view of pieces of my house being removed and tossed into the newest landscape feature of our property—a dumpster—and a lot of stomping back and forth. Suddenly my office is the noisiest spot in the house. I find the noise distracting, obviously, but it wasn’t until work got underway in earnest that I realized exactly how problematic the next few weeks are going to be.

I can’t make any business calls. Let’s just hope everyone who needs me until our construction is finished will be happy to either keep it to email or chat with me on my cell while I’m sitting in my car picking up my kid from school, I guess.

My dog is losing her mind. While I’m surprisingly able to tune out hammering and sawing, I’m unable to ignore the dog barking at the door as if it’s about to run in and kill us all. So we go through this cycle where I implore her to settle down, she doesn’t, I put her in her crate, and after a while I let her out when it seems like she’s relaxed a little. And then… the contractor comes and knocks on the door and we start all over again. My poor pooch is going to need some Xanax before this is all over.

I want to go work someplace else, but I probably shouldn’t. I prefer to be home while people are ripping up my property and adding new things, just so that I can keep an eye on developments and so that they can get an immediate answer from me if there’s a question. This is a good idea, construction-wise. Work-wise, it’s kind of a drag. It would be a lot quieter if I could just go hang out at my local coffeeshop for a while, instead.

I am surprised by how much this disruption to my schedule is throwing me. Something as insignificant as needing to shower first thing every morning because the guys will be right outside my window working seems to change my whole day. I usually work until lunchtime in my jammies. It’s not like this is magical or required in any way, but now feeling like I can’t do that is just plain disrupting my mojo. I feel like it’s lunchtime at 9:00 in the morning. Wait, maybe my pajamas are magical!

I’m distracted and resentful. There’s no two ways about it; my productivity is way down. I’m envious of my kids and husband, leaving the noise and chaos every day, while I’m here trying to get things done, supervise the work outside, and keep the dog from having a coronary. This is the part where I just have to remind myself to suck it up, I know.

In conclusion: I am looking forward to our new deck. But it’s going to be a long week or two until it’s done.

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One comment so far...

  • So timely! Am putting off much needed reno due to contractual work! It’s not the buzz saws that bug me, it’s the constant chit-chatting, come take a look at this, “since you’re home anyways.” Panera, baby. Go to Panera and spot check your contractors!

    kathykate  |  October 20th, 2011 at 4:02 pm