Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Different Kind of Day

I've been working from home for about 2 years now. With a phone, headset, laptop and broadband internet connection, I can work pretty much anywhere in the world. Fortunately, that "anywhere" is my kitchen table. (I was going to convert an unused bedroom to an office but I decided after about 3 months working at home that I like being in the center of activity, so the kitchen table has been completely taken over as my work desk.)

Today, I spent the day at the office for an all-day meeting. How different my routine is now from the old days when I commuted to the office every day. In other jobs, I used to drive 20 miles each way, work 50-60+ hours per week and wasn't home much except for the weekends. In addition to physically working in the office, I built and maintained more social relationships with colleagues. I spoke to Skip on the phone a few times a day. Occasionally, as Skip's disease progressed, I'd have to run home because she'd fallen and needed help getting up.

It was a bit of a drag having to get us all going quite early, dress up in nice clothes and head out around 8:30 for the office. We had to have an aide from an agency in for 2 hours in the a.m. for the heavy-duty care needed in the morning. Skip's regular aide came a bit earlier than normal so she'd only be alone for a short time in the day.

All-in-all, it was actually a bit relaxing being in the office. When I work from home, I'm basically managing two jobs at once. Today, I knew Skip was in good hands and I didn't worry about her one bit (I'm not much of a worrier, actually). So, I was just Cranky the employee, not the job-juggler.

So what do I take away from this? A change of pace can be a good way to 1) get a respite from some care responsibilities and 2) remind me of all the reasons I far and away prefer to work at home.

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