Your Life Working at Home

by Janna Marlies Maron on October 10, 2011

Editor’s note: this is a guest post by ThinkHouse Collective associate member, Rebecca Lu-Way.

If you work from home, have ever worked from home, or are planning on working from home, read this important message…

You have a deadline to meet so you set your alarm, like a good little worker bee. You have intentions of getting up at the crack of dawn to get some solid work done (before “The Distractions” are up).  You smile to yourself as you plan out the next day in your head. You fall into a much-needed slumber thinking that your plan is feasible.

In typical deadline M.O., morning comes way too fast and you feel as though you haven’t slept a wink. This could be because your brain has failed to slow down while you were sleeping. You roll your eyes and think, “This is so cliché!” The snooze button is hit two – okay fine, four times. As you begrudgingly get out of bed, you’ve got only one thing on your mind: coffee, sweet nectar of the gods.

You wrangle out of bed and make your way to the kitchen to get the coffee maker going; turn on your computer and are quite happy with yourself. Piece of cake, you’ve got the end in sight. This time you WILL meet your deadline! Steaming cup of coffee in hand, it’s time to get to work. Yes! You’ve got almost two hours to work before your household wakes up.  There is plenty time.

Yeah, think again! As your butt meets the desk chair, your well-planned day goes up in a puff of smoke. The following events are what I like to call Murphy’s Law of working at home:

  • Cat hisses, you hear strange growling sound cat makes when dog is annoying her
  • Dog yelps and comes running for cover. Ends up under your desk panting like she has just run a marathon
  • Dog yelping wakes up son who trudges down the stairs in his race-horse-like fashion (he’s chipper)
  • Daughter is woken up by son’s jaunt down the stairs (she’s not so chipper)
  • Well-thought-out plan not going to happen (I’m definitely not chipper)

The day has now officially begun!  “The Distractions” are up and are hungry; all four of them: daughter, son, dog, and cat. Breakfast is made, kids are carted off to school, and the dog is walked. By now the chances of meeting your looming deadline have decreased significantly and, quite frankly, most likely isn’t going to happen. The annoyance factor stemming from this type of morning is a constant in your life because this is “Your Life Working at Home.”

If it were a sitcom, it would be filled with humor and you’d be able to laugh at all of the seemingly uncanny things that keep you from working effectively. But the reality is that it is not a sitcom and you don’t get paid to deal with these borderline insane, yet everyday shenanigans, and they are not funny at all (when you’ve got a deadline at least).  AND you don’t get paid if you don’t meet your deadlines!

Emails from your boss asking where the reports are that were due a day ago are not pleasant, nor are they welcome. In fact, your stress levels go through the roof and your once, warm, comfortable, full-of-love home has now become more like a prison. It’s clear that you can either decide to continue to go through many more days, or even months, of this same behavior expecting, more like praying, for a different outcome.

If this was a sitcom, I would be the star. This WAS my life pre-coworking. I had gotten to the point where my goals were becoming increasingly foggy, deadlines passed by without being met, and my sense of fulfillment was on the decline. Then one day this big yellow Craftsman house on 11th Street beckoned to me, with its retro vibe, home away from home feeling, and energy that hits you when you walk in the door.

Now I can go to work – forget about my crazy pets, beds not being made, dirty bathrooms and the like.  I even have a reason to shower and put on my stilettos again! I’ve met warm, interesting, and creative people who all have similar goals. Yes, making a living; but most importantly, they are willing to share ideas through collaboration, co-working, and community.

Disclaimer:  “The Distractions,” kids and pets included, are the loves of my life! They just happen to be very distracting at the most inopportune times.

Rebecca Lu-Way is owner of Art in the Numbers – a boutique style bookkeeping business that caters to the creative community here in Sacramento. She also has a passion for recycling furniture. You can frequently find her working on repurposing pieces that she considers oldie-but-goodies.

Did you like this? Share it:

Previous post:

Next post: