This business of working from home is so attractive. I love it. It is such a gift to be able to get my girls up in the morning, have breakfast together, sometimes read together if they aren't goofing around TOO much. And then I drive them to school out here in the middle of the cornfields where we watch the sun coming up over the trees with their bare branches, while we talk about life and our anticipation of spring when those bare branches will begin to reveal the new life that will burst forth.
Then when they are safely deposited at the doorstep of our little country school, I head back home for a second cup of coffee and a bit of breakfast. A quick shower, throw in a load of laundry, and I'm off to my little corner office. All of that is how it goes when everything comes together just right. But then there are mornings when the phone rings and I have to listen to a friend (which is a good thing), or I realize that I really have to call the dr., dentist, eye dr., bank, and the car repair shop . . . . all before noon.
Sounds so easy, but then you get put on hold for 20 minutes with the first phone call and when I finally get to talk to a real human being, I discover that in order to take care of THAT particular situation, I have to make three or four other calls first. One step forward and three steps back. So, I move on to the next call on my list and wait on hold for another 15 minutes, only to be told that I will have to call a different department. Of course, they will put me through to that department, so I wait, and wait, and wait . . . . and after another 10 minutes the line is disconnected.
By now it is 10:30 a.m. and I am starting to feel a bit anxious about all of those projects that I promised I would have finished by tomorrow. After about an hour of all of this waiting and not accomplishing very much, I decide to give that a rest and go into my office and get something, anything, done. I just get started, and I'm right in the middle of a great idea that I need to capture in writing before it escapes my brain . . . . and the phone rings. "Did your realize that your daughters only received ONE H1N1 vaccine this past year?" says the lady from the health department. "It is very important that you get them back in for that second shot as soon as possible." OK, so I'll add that to my TO DO list.
Lost my train of thought, so I decide to go out and put the laundry in the dryer, and while I'm out there I might as well sweep the kitchen floor. In the middle of sweeping the floor, the phone rings again and it is a friend from church. "Want to go to exercise class with me tomorrow?" she asks. Now, that really is something that I'm trying to fit into my routine, but if I do that, I probably won't have time to finish the project before the deadline. What should I do?
By this point I really have completely lost all idea of what I was even trying to work on earlier in the morning, and it is now almost lunch time. I'm suddenly feeling the "Clock Monster" breathing down my neck, because I will have to go pick the girls up from school in about two hours and I STILL haven't made much progress on whatever it was I had planned for today.
On my way back to the office (with another cup of coffee), I discover that there are a few bills on the kitchen table that I was supposed to get out in the mail today, and a birthday card for Aunt Sue that should have gone out yesterday. Well, I guess I better get that taken care of so that I can run into the post office while I'm out getting the girls from school. I finally get the bills and the birthday card ready to go, and I notice that I didn't get anything out of the freezer for supper, so I quick grab some chicken and put it in the sink to thaw out.
I start for the office again and remember that I agreed to bake cookies for the school carnival tonight, and I know that if I wait until after I bring the girls home, they will eat all of the cookie dough before I can bake it into cookies. And if I actually manage to get some of them baked, they will probably eat all of them before I can get them to the school carnival. By now it is 1:30 p.m. and I look at the clock. I realize that, if nothing else happens, I still have ONE good hour before I have to leave to get the girls. I sit down at my computer and pull up the project that I started at 8:30 a.m. and don't have a clue what I was doing, where I am going, or how in the world I will EVER get this finished on time.
After I rack my brain for 5 minutes, some of it suddenly comes back to me. I start writing, frantically trying to capture my thoughts before they are dashed out of my brain again . . . . . and the phone rings. "Hi, Honey," my sweet hubby says. "How's your day going?" "Great!" I say, because I am completely exhausted and don't have the energy to try to explain it all. So we chat for a while, and he tells me all about his day and who said what, and how that all sorted out, and what's next on the schedule. My hubby is a "chatter" which is a very good thing - it's just that there are certain moments in time when my brain is just in overload, and he is very gracious and understanding.
When he sees my eyes glaze over and I am staring into outer space, and when my best response is a one-syllable utterance, he knows that things are not going well. "Gotta run, Honey," I say, "It's time to pick up the girls." "OK, I'll call you later." And on my way to the school, the post office, the bank, and then the grocery store, I remind myself how fortunate I am to be able to work from home, in my little corner office with a view of the lake. I love it here. When I actually get to STAY here and accomplish something.
Just a quick reality check for those of us who dream of working from home. Rule Number 1: Somewhere, somehow, in the midst of "LIFE" you actually have to get the work done. And I'm still not sure how to get there from here. Have a great Wednesday, and I hope you get lots accomplished today. Don't forget to have some fun along the way!