…I have been neglecting you – I’ve apparently been (dare I say it) working! Dammit – this year I was hoping to do a post each week, with a fall back plan of once fortnightly. My life it seems, had other plans. It saw me land myself a new job, complete with new challenges – not the least of which – involves how it impacts on that thing called my ‘home’ life. Working out of a home office certainly had it’s perks. It certainly had it’s troubles too – but let’s not go there (right now – the XO might be looking)… suffice it to say working from home is far different from working away from it.
There’s currently an advert on TV which opens with a bloke sitting over his work station, about to tap keys on his keyboard, when the baby monitor in front of him comes to life. He pauses – that hopeful kinda pause parents get where they hope like hell the monitor will suddenly stop showing you that the baby’s awake, and you can go back to doing whatever it was you were doing (sleeping probably) – and resigns himself to fetching the bub. That’s when he spins around in his office chair and without getting up – leans into the cot behind him to lift his crying bub up, and into his arms.
I laughed the first time. I near on cried the next. It’s squeezy in an old state housing home, and on my son’s arrival he shared our big room, leaving me with my office space – all on my ownsome. 12 months down the track – the XO drafted her orders. Now, at 14 months I’ve lost my office and the boy has gone and got himself a brand new room. The space he once occupied in our room sulks defiantly, it drew the short straw you see and was reinvented as the ‘new’ office space. My desk and chair look like they don’t want to be there, and frankly – at times – nor do I.
Anyone who’s ever worked from home knows intimately the difficulties I’m speaking about here. Your Office space – unless it can be completely separated from the house – can never completely be free from ‘home space’ invasions. Sooner or later your other half comes to reclaim the lost space. One day you can come home and find your whole office setup gone from the old space, and find it completely relocated elsewhere. It’s frightening stuff. You go to retrieve an important document from the desk, and you can’t find it. Later it turns up with three phone numbers, a shopping list, and a reminder note scrawled across it… I tell you – NOTHING is sacred!
And did I mention how much you might spend on pens in your home office? Forget the way they used to disappear in your old office at work. You ain’t seen nothing yet mate – EVERYONE who ever visits your home, knows where you keep you pens, and they’re never safe! I swear, I was in the post office up the road paying an electricity bill the other day, and the bloke there had the cheek to pass me one of my own pens to sign my signature with. Bloody red hot I tell you!
Okay… I made that last bit up – but it might as well have happened. Office items that are meant to experience a meaningful life existing as nothing more then simple office equipment, tends to need intensive counselling and rehabilitation after being humiliated and shamed in a HOME OFFICE. I came home to find the XO trying to kill a cockroach with my stapler one day. She was using it like a shoe. I also caught her using my hole punch to hold a bit of cloth down once, as she was working on turning the errant scrap into a makeshift curtain. Oh the shame! I felt so embarrassed for the poor little hole punch – I left the room. The poor thing couldn’t look me straight in the eyes for weeks. This experience affected it so badly, I eventually had to go out and buy myself a new one.
Don’t even start me on paperclips. You think they disappear on you in the work environment – try figuring out why they turn up in your plumbing at home. My chicken’s were fighting over one last month. Apparently it got thrown out with the scraps, but I’m buggered if I know how. Unless you take into account that 14 month old I mentioned. He so good at getting into my drawers (Yes – I KNOW that sounds bad!) you’d have thought he’s ready to sign on a part-time thief. Things disappear at an amazing rate in our house, only to turn up a few days later, wet, dirty and lonely. It’s a phenomenon known only to parents, and if they couldn’t explain it then – who am I to try now?
I sorta sound a bit grumpy don’t I? I know I shouldn’t be. If you got to look up from the surface of your desk and got the number of smiles I’ve got in the last six months – you’d be a very lucky fella. I get all bleary eyed trying to win a contest of wills with the computer screen and keyboard, and along comes my son – making all kinds of inarticulate sounds – holding out his latest discovery for Dad to have an eyeball at. I stop. In fact the world seems to stop, because suddenly here’s this little person looking up at me, as if I’m the whole world to him, as if he sees no-one else but me.
I have to tell you – it scares me silly and sends a thrill up my spine all at the same time. I wonder again for the umpteenth time – if I’ve got the right stuff. He smiles some more – and then he’s off and the moments gone. I’m left breathless. Such responsibility scares the bejesus out of me. The XO comes in and offers me a cuppa, giving me a conspiratorial smile. Our little man has changed our world in so many different ways, it’ll be years till we catch up on ourselves – if at all! She leaves, and there’s an empty space where she was once standing – here one moment and gone the next. Mumble and moan though I might, my office space looks and feels more and more like it’s home.
As well it should be!
Belongum – Out!