The Home Office Quandary

Perspective, a calming view through a dirty window.

Looking around the room is not a great idea when you work at home, not for me anyway. If I could, I’d go somewhere else to write, it feels more like going to a job, but it would also avoid me doing all the other things. This morning, before I could sit at this keyboard, I got my son off to school (I won’t list all the things that go into that), walked the dog (so she’d stay out of trouble while I work), washed the dishes, made the beds and put on a load of laundry. Sitting here at the table now, I feel the pull of other tasks. The table is littered with paperwork: a bill that needs to be paid, my Writer’s Market book (in order to research where to actually get paid for my work), some crumbs that should be somewhere else and Lego (tied together with string for some reason). If I look up from the table the shaft of sunlight will show a floor scattered with fur/hair, dust from the fireplace and the list goes on.

Working from home has so many advantages but the ability to stay on track is not one of them. My partner expects that I’ll work during these hours while my son is at school but as I’m here at home, he figures I’ll do the other things too. However, if I have a great day of working, the other things fall behind. Supper might be a frozen meal stuck in the oven, the beds might still be a rumpled mess or one of us runs out of underwear. It’s a fine balance. It doesn’t seem to matter which side I tip to — domestic or work — I feel lesser for being unable to do both and do them well.

I know it’s a waste of mental energy contemplating it at all. But there it is.