I work from home.
The important word in that statement is Work. Because I am at home all day many of my friends and colleagues think I spend my day lounging in bed, watching daytime TV and scratching myself. Okay, I do time my lunch break to coincide with the early afternoon showing of Neighbours ( for those not familiar with this Australian TV soap, it is mainly about some good looking Aussies who all live in one street and hate each other while pretending to be friends. This show helped launch the careers of Kylie Minogue & Guy Pearce and even a young Russell Crowe appeared in four episodes), but everyone is entitled to half an hour break for a cup of tea and a sandwich.
I have conducted a brief study of my working hours since I closed my bookshop a while back and the results surprised me.
When I had to "go to work" I averaged a 60 hour working week. Since taking the "easy option" of working from home I am averaging 70 hours a week.
How does this happen?
Easy. The lines between work and home life get blurred. That is why I sometimes find myself sitting at the computer answering emails still in my dressing gown at 8am, talking to a customer on the 'phone while waiting for my morning toast to pop up, or packing a parcel at 8pm while my dinner is cooking itself on the stove. When your home is where you work there is always work to be done. You can't leave it all behind by leaving the ofiice or shop at 6pm. I've lost count of the times that I look up from my work to discover that it is past midnight and I've worked into the next day, getting lost in both the task at hand, and the always playing music in my bookroom ( music is an essential part of my working day, and indeed my life, but more of that in another blog).
Don't feel sorry for me. I love my job. I have a lazy streak a mile wide and can sloth it with the best of them when I'm bored, but when I'm engaged I can keep working all day long. As long as I get a couple of nights a week to go out and see friends, and a couple of weeks lounging in the Mediterranean sun each summer, I am happy to keep on working away while at home.
The point of all this?
Be careful what you wish for. Many friends have told me that they envy me working at home. It's true I don't have to endure the rush hour each day, but don't think it is the easy option. Quite the opposite.
Is that the time? Neighbours starts soon. Time to put the kettle on.