I really like that title, Notes from the Home Office. Sounds very British and stern. It’s not. It’s from me so how stern could it be? This week I am talking about working from home.
I suck at working from home. I wash dishes, clothes, countertops and dirty tennis shoes. I tidy and vacuum. I organize the kitchen cupboards and clean out the fridge. What I don’t do is research and then write down my blog posts. I heard you rolling your eyes at the word research. There is some research behind all this. Felicia does a good amount of it and when we figure out how to borrow someone’s login, we’ll have access to JSTOR and then watch out.
I like to fuss with my house. I enjoy cleaning out cupboards and rearranging furniture and staring at stacks of framed art with absolutely no idea where to hang them on the walls. It looks like I am a minimalist but the fact is I don’t know how to hang stuff on the walls. And all the crap on the floor pretty much kills the minimalist vibe. A few weeks ago on TV I saw one guy’s living room that had a standing lamp, a chair and a crate of records in it. He had wood floors and big windows and there were no rugs or curtains. He’d lived there for 3 years. My first thought? Serial Killer. No fabrics to soak up the gore. The crate of records was weird since he didn’t appear to have a record player. Maybe he wrapped it in plastic.
Anyway, I suck at working from home. Also, it can be difficult to work from home. As I am writing this Six is jumping around at my side talking nonstop about Halloween costumes. His friend is making his own costume. That is probably a huge amount of work for his parents.
Aside from fussing with my house and listening to Six, there is my beautiful TV full of Netflix. So distracting.
For about 10 months we had an office in Ventura but I could only get there on the weekends. It worked pretty good for me but eventually we realized it was too far for both of us. So we went without an office for the summer and it didn’t work for me.
My productivity tanked. I feel guilty about that, about the fact I can’t work from home. Other people work from home.
Well, I am not other people. I am me. And me can’t work from home.
So I went and found an office and it’s great! There’s a tiny fridge full of grapes and fizzy water and wine (I stocked the fridge). There’s a desk and a computer and a comfy chair for Six to sit in when he comes with me after school. I’m in a mixed use little building with mostly medical offices. It’s amazingly quiet and clean and calm. Totally not like my house at all!
And I am not responsible for keeping any of it clean or tidy. I just show up, make tea, doodle around on the internet, work, eat lunch, work then go get Six from school.
It’s amazing. I only have to focus on one thing.
And then I do that thing. And then I leave and I don’t have to take the trash out with me when I leave. Or vacuum. Or water the plants. Or clean out the cupboards or clean the toilet or buy toilet paper or any of the hundreds of other projects someone else does to keep that office clean and calm.
Susan keeps track of all that and she’s amazing. I am so grateful to her for all her good work. When she trimmed the rosemary bushes out front, she brought some branches in and put them in a vase on the reception desk. Pretty and fragrant!
I wonder if I hadn’t spent the past 23 years running a household if I would notice how much she does and how well she does it. I know many women who work full time and keep absolutely beautiful homes. There is no way I have that in me. I have zero multitasking ability. Probably why my kids are 16 years apart. Having two little ones at the same time would probably have been an all around disaster.
So, we have an office again and it’s been great. Here’s what’s funny. Six got a cold so I’m writing this from home. As I write this Six is throwing a ball up the stairs as hard as he can, calling out nonsense as he goes. Apparently, there are 18 men on base. Oops, someone hit a homerun.
And broke a plate.