Every Day is Saturday

Finding Joy in the Here and Now

Wonderful and Awful

on June 17, 2013

Working from home is wonderful and awful – both in succession, and simultaneously.  What I mean is that sometimes the wonderful days are wholly wonderful and the awful days are wholly awful, and at other times it’s a big ball of wonderful awfulness.  Or awful wonderfulness.  It depends on the day how I see it.

The wholly wonderful days are the ones where I feel like I’ve really taken advantage of everything working from home has to offer.  Those days go like this: sleep until I wake up (usually @ 7:30 or 8:00 – don’t judge me!), enjoy my coffee as I read the paper, fire up the laptop and peruse my email, have a little breakfast, work a few hours, get dressed, go meet my sister for lunch, drop by the grocery store on the way home, work some more in the afternoon, make dinner, hang out with the hubs, get back on the computer and write until 11:30 or so, go to bed.  Those are the great days, the days I think how lucky I am not to have to show up in an office every day and play nice.

The wholly awful days go like this:  I wake up thinking about how I don’t know how to find my next client, how tight money is, and how guilty I feel that I’m not contributing more to the household income.  While my coffee is brewing I check my email on my phone, and become discouraged if there’s nothing but junk mail.  I fire up my laptop and spend the next 45 minutes on Facebook.  Without a plan or a goal I drift around the internet looking for inspiration from anywhere – other industry people, trade magazines, blogs.  At some point I give up and turn on the tv.  I may do a load of laundry or mop the kitchen floor.  I never change out of my yoga pants or put in my contacts.  I try to write, but I wind up staring at a blank screen.  I go to bed regretting the wasted day.

The days that are simultaneously wonderful and awful usually happen when I’m having a great day and then get some bad news that sends me into an emotional slide, or when I’m having a bad day and I get some good news, or I hear unexpectedly from a friends, or something else happens to give the day a positive color.

Wonderful and awful is the spectrum on which all of my days fall.  This isn’t new; every day of my life can be found somewhere along this line.  But there’s something about being self-employed, about the silence of working alone that magnifies my awareness of the continuum.  It’s so easy for the quality of your days to become drowned in the noise of daily routine when every day you have to get up, get dressed, fight the traffic to the office, deal with co-workers, fight traffic home, and finally, cram your family relationships into the four hours or so between the time you get home and the time you go to bed.  It took these days of solitude to understand how many days on the awful end of the spectrum I was actually having.   So now, even though it seems like the awful days are worse, I don’t think they are.  I just notice them more.  I notice the wonderful days more now, too.

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