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Posts Tagged ‘writing from home’

il_430xN.70809577Since I decided to leave the 9-5 and work from home part-time, my daily routine has become easier. I can spend more time with Lauren and Will in the morning without feeling rushed. I can visit my daughter’s nursery school and not worry about missing a meeting. And although I’m tired by 5:00 p.m., I don’t feel brain dead when I pick the kids up from daycare.

So what’s the problem? These days it’s my inability to shut off the two sides of my brain, not right and left, but the mom side and the work side. When I’m writing, I’m rarely distracted by other thoughts. It’s as though I get lost in some strange vortex, but the moment I take a break, my mind starts to wander. Lately, for example, I’ve been worried about Lauren’s mysterious 2-1/2 week outbreak of hives. What’s causing them? Will the hives be gone by the time we go to the allergist? And if they do, will he know how to help her? Then my thoughts turn to the kids’ winter wardrobe, meals, house projects—the slippery slope of the to do list. When I can, I’ll divide my day in half, spending the morning writing, and the afternoon tackling the list, but that’s becoming increasingly harder to do. I lose track of time when I’m working on a writing project. I’ll look at the clock and it will be 3:30 p.m., giving me only an hour and a half to tackle any household demands.

I’ve made a promise to myself (and the kids) to focus on them when they’re home with me. If Will is taking a nap, and Lauren is immersed in a craft project, I’ll check email or fold laundry, but overall I’ve held to my promise. Once they’re in bed for the night, my mind returns to work. This never happened when I worked full-time. I could leave the office and rarely give it a second thought once I arrived home. That’s changed, too. I love what I do now, and so I am constantly thinking about story ideas, what’s worked, what hasn’t and what I should be doing to get ahead. Sometimes I can’t sleep. It’s not so bad that I’m up until 2:00 a.m. thinking about work, but it takes at least an hour for me to shut down.

I’m not complaining, though. It’s good to be busy, to spend more time with the little people and feel challenged. I thought I’d have more balance working this way, but now I wonder if balance is possible. I’m starting to think it’s more about finding what works on a daily basis, and being inordinately flexible when life gets in the way—whether it’s the hives, a new project or my thoughts sending me in another direction. The truth is, whether a mom stays home, works in an office or does a little of each, both sides of her brain are always buzzing.

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