Working from home has it’s ups and downs.
We live in an area that’s a combination of older low-rise apartments and a whole bunch of lovingly restored free-standing houses, some of which date back to the late 1800’s. Very impressive they are, however . . . they also have pocket-handkerchief sized areas of grass, and whenever there’s the slightest hint of sun out come the lawn manicuring power tools. I’ve only come across one that’s electrical, the rest are gas (petrol) powered, and very loud. My best writing times are late in the evening so consequently I sprrrrroing out of bed at the crack of 10.30am. It’s not worth trying to have a conversation with me until I’ve had my third cup of tea, so imagine my – how shall I put this delicately – displeasure this morning when the sound of leaf-blowers, edge-trimmers, mowers and a high-impact nail gun (no idea what they were doing!) that echoed along our sleepy chestnut tree lined street.
Haven’t these guys ever heard of grass rakes and reel mowers? They even conduct their lawn maintenance-erly duties when its raining. I want to sit out on my patio sipping my tea and listen to the rain, not the two-tone buzz of a weed-wacker.
One day a friend and I contemplated the sort of vengeance we could extract from the situation. She concluded that a paintball gun might be useful. It’s not deadly force but will undoubtedly catch their attention. And if a few balls impact on the much hated noise-makers, well, so be it!
Another aspect of working from home is not having to dress for the office. Not having to dress at all. I don’t mean that I scoot around the apartment naked, the neighbours are too close to subject to that sort of treatment, but in what I call my schlumping clothes. Scruffy, frayed at the edges, comfy, and definitely not for company clothes; aka, jammies.
Way back last century when I realised that I was not suited, either by temperament or desire, to work in an office for someone else, I heard that one should dress as though one were going to the ‘office’ in order to instil the correct mindset in oneself; that of going to ‘work’, and thereby being able to ‘produce’ whatever it was that one was producing.
In a fit of virtuous workethic-ness I would get up, have my three cups of tea, shower, dress ‘business casual’ and walk briskly into the spare bedroom that I’d converted into my office/workroom. In all honesty I probably lasted three days of such insanity.
This strategy may indeed work for some folk, but not for this little black duck! I felt uncomfortable, a fraud, and anxious about entering the rest of my house until after ‘quittin’ time.
I do understand the rationale, but as a motivator, going for a bicycle ride with my trusty notebook in my pannier is far more effective for me when I enter the doldrums of the writerly life.
These days I turn my computer on in the (late) morning, make my tea, run through my emails, and start to write. Simple, straight to the point.
“Did I ever tell you how I shot a wild elephant in my pyjamas? How he got into my pyjamas I’ll never know” – Julius Henry Marx
Who is Julius Henry? If you haven’t guessed, check out the link.