“You Must Have Time To…”

I’m a full time writer, and have been now for over two years.  This is my full time job.  Before that, I was, simultaneously, a self-employed management consultant and online university professor for close to twenty years.  In all of these “lives”, I’ve worked from home.  In fact, I’m not sure I would even KNOW how to work from an office any more!

But for years, I’ve heard some version of the following:

“Oh, you’re a — and you work from home, so you must have plenty of time to help us with—.”

Ah, no.

In my opinion, those of us who work from home often work longer hours with more dedicated effort than many outsiders expect.  You think that balancing your writing life with laundry, or gardening, or family issues is easy?  Let me tell you…

We home-workers lack the mental break of a trip to the water cooler and a gab with colleagues.  We might grab a big glass of water from the dispenser in the fridge – while we pull out whatever needs to thaw for dinner or on the way to move the sheets from the washer to the drier.  Our distractions giving us a mental pause in the playlist are only fun if WE consciously make the effort to design them that way.

Family emergencies of all kinds fall to us, because we are our own boss.  While we argue with ourselves about whether or not we can afford the time away from the desk while we deal with said emergency, we still do it.  Our office or shop-working spouses thank us for this.  (They do, right?)

“Oh, and while you’re home today, could you please call — and — and set up appointments for them to come to the house and —.”

Disruptions are inherent in our days.

But I wouldn’t trade working at home for anything in the world – except maybe working from a cruise ship or at a vacation resort.  I’ve done both.  Somehow typing on my laptop next to an exotic pool or on a balcony as blue water streams by still feels like a vacation, because after all, I’m out of MY office!

And gosh – someone ELSE is making dinner and doing the laundry!  WOW!

Thank your home-officed friends and loved ones today for being the dedicated and successful people they are – especially if you’re jealous of all of that time they get to spend at home!!!