Working From Home


Working From Home

The inevitable has happened. My husband and I are both working from home. I have been dreading this day since the pandemic began. The idea that we both would be trapped together has mentally drained me. Today was my most unproductive day. This is the first day. I got absolutely nothing done. It isn't his fault but I cannot find a way to work with him around. And the most frustrating part is I am not doing real work. He does real work. The type of structured, relied upon work that requires concentration and focus. If he messes something up or fails to complete whatever task he has it affects things, people and the lives of others. I am editing people's papers and books while working on this blog. From the outside in this looks more like a hobby but in my opinion it is work. The only difference is if I oversleep or miss a day no one gets to see any repercussions. I have very loose deadlines and also have loose personal goals. My days are not structured. Because I am a housewife and I expect him to come home to normalcy I do have a routine. However, that too is loosely based on his day not mine. When he comes home with his time constraints I have to focus which is not on my level. I am a creative through and through and the idea of "working from home" in a organized manner is my worst nightmare.

All the year long, my friends moved from their office jobs to at home situations. They all seemed to embrace it. Some really preferred it and others felt there was no work life balance. But all of them seem to enjoy nesting into an office like environment and schedule at home. One of my friends re-did his entire living room to accommodate a new anti-fatigue work space. His employer even provided a stipend to get new office furniture. I watched another get excited over shopping for a swivel chair for his home office. If it wasn't working on that it was stay at home moms creating spaces for their children. It was crafters re-organizing all their doo-dads because they had the actual time to do it now. Not much changed for me. He continued to go into work and I kept my loose routine of housecleaning, blogging and taking odd writing jobs. I can do writing anywhere and I do not need a quiet space. It is the quiet that I struggle with. Surely, as a creative I too hate the whole office culture. I would rather not stand around a water cooler with people talking about what they did over the weekend. This is why in the past I had demanding, active jobs and the few office jobs I had required isolation. I do not want to work in a group. I do not want to share my toys. I want to blast music and work when it comes to me. Otherwise, I want to do whatever, whenever. And now this happens preventing my entire work mantra.

Because he requires a space to do real work I have to choose where I will be. I also cannot blast music when he has calls re-routed here and messages chiming on his computer. Today he ordered some cable to connect his monitor so I guess he has claimed our shared office space. Normally, he goes in there for hours to go though bills or do serious stuff. On my side of the room I am gift wrapping or making a collage out of magazine cuttings. I rarely go in there to do focused work. But as of late I was using it because my editing had picked up and I needed to focus. I would do like he probably did at work. I would make my coffee and I hate coffee. I would line all my pens up and get notebooks. I would open or close the window to my liking. I would actually get in the zone. Then the holidays came when he was also home and even then I couldn't do my new normal. I tried to many times but it just didn't feel right. I was so relieved with when my collaborator said she wanted to take a break from things. He even bought me a desk tear calendar for my desk for Christmas. He jinxed me! It is fine I can work in the kitchen or in the bed but he lingers in those places too. Because for him this is a perpetual holiday where he can break from his work and do regular, degular things which distracts and disrupts me from my spur of the moment work. My deadline is tomorrow and my loose goal for the blog was a post everyday until the 15th. I have done nothing. I have been at a total standstill. While he is lazy AND productive. 

He will get his VGA to HDMI or whatever tomorrow. I will try to settle in for a longer work day than usual. Maybe it will be a pizza night as the lines are blurred. He cannot see how there is no delineation between his day and mine. He does not care that I have been "interrupted" and still need to clean, cook and whatever else I am supposed to do. I want my me time and my space, things he cannot associate with the person he sees from 6am-7am sleeping and from dinner to bedtime M-F and weekends. Me time is what he never sees. The ability to do whatever and not announce it or switch rooms or concern myself with an appropriate lunch time. To poop with the door open, walk around eating a loaf of bread in a robe and work until fifteen minutes before he comes home and then speed tidy the house and finally shower at four. Then I focus on real work like making dinner and being a dutiful wife. For now I am grumpy and my anxiety is through the roof as I do not know when this will end. This could be a long, long time of trying to figure out how to do it all, all the time. I am simply not looking forward to it. It was expected. But no one could have told me how difficult it would be. All my friends are loving it because they live alone. For those homeschooling it is something you set up, start and walk away from. Otherwise, two people working from home with different mindsets around work, work ethics and other work stuff just cannot do it. I for one can't. Something is going to suffer whether it be this blog, my non-work work or my sanity. It could also be the house and dinner every night. 

UPDATE: It's the dinner ... pizza night happened