Not having an office allows me to work anywhere.
I’m not complaining. It’s an awesome perk. Being a work at home mom has allowed me to work in places that allowed me to have a bit of fun too, like the beach or by the pool.
But sometimes I can’t shake the feeling that because I can work anywhere and everywhere, I don’t have an excuse or reason to stop working.
Like if I had a moment to spare, I have to productive or else that moment is wasted. I feel like I can’t afford to be idle because I live in a world where everything is connected; and as long as I am connected I can (and I have to) work.
It’s not that I don’t appreciate the freedom of mobility that my work allows me. I do appreciate it very much. The fact that I can go to the beach in the middle of the week if I want to is a blessing to me and my family.
And I love being able to go to the beach in the middle of the week and not worry about missing any deadlines.
But It does take some of the fun out of having a mini vacation because I can’t just enjoy the moment. I can’t completely focus on having fun until all the work is done. And when I am done with my work, hours have flown by.
Idle and Detached
Being an idle is a luxury I can no longer afford. I guess this mainly due to the fact that I’m a mom. But as I writer, I miss being idle. I use those moments to daydream and be inspired. I rarely have those moments anymore. My creativity is still there but it’s harder to find it now that I don’t have time to dream.
And another weird thing about being able to work anywhere is the detachment I feel with my surroundings.
Ever since I’ve started working from home, I’ve trained myself to block the world out. I have this bubble I retreat to where everything else is secondary and I’m just focused on my work.
This skill is useful especially when I find myself working in places that aren’t exactly designed for work.
Believe it or not, I have worked in:
- moving cars
- parking lots
- hotel balcony
- house balcony
- fast food kiddie playground
- public restrooms
And that’s on top of the usual coffeeshops and co-working spaces.
It’s not easy working in those places with everything that happening around you. I’m surprised I get any work done but learning how to focus does help. That and a good set of headphones. And not caring that people think you’re weird writing a review about barbeque while everyone else around you is playing, jogging or mourning for their loved one.
I guess the reason why it bothers me is because I’m the type of person who wants to be in the moment. And when I work in these places, I feel like I’m detached from everything that’s going on around me. Like I’m not part of the real world because my brain is working on a different plain. I’m too engrossed with what’s in front of me to appreciate the beauty or misery of my surroundings.
I know my family understands. They understand that I do this so I can provide for them and they can still have a part of me anytime they need me. But I sometimes wonder, is that part enough? Is my physical presence enough? Am I really doing my part as a mother and a wife if I’m physically there but mentally I’m somewhere else?
I know this is nothing compared to the grand scheme of things. And there’s an easy fix to this: just stick to working at my desk at home, leave work once I leave my desk, and make the effort to interact with real people every once in a while.
That’s work mobility for you. It feels liberating at first but after a while, you start asking where the borders are, and where does it end.
In any case, time to get back to work.