My wife: suddenly working from home

untenable

working from homeMy wife is a teacher of English as a New Language. The word came down on Friday, March 13 that schools in New York State would not meet the following week. But a previously scheduled teacher conference would take place the following Monday. Then they spent Tuesday making packets for the students.

Thus it wasn’t until that Wednesday that she actually began working from home. Any thoughts that she would have a lesser workload were quickly dashed. Between the online meetings and the one-on-one phone calls to her students, she was giving even more effort than she was in person.

Initially, her “office” was at the end of our dining room table. That was only because that’s where a laptop happened to reside. Soon, however, this became untenable, at least to me. The dining room is connected to both the kitchen and the living room. So, pretty much every time I’d come downstairs, I felt as though I were invading her space. If I wanted to wash the dishes or get something to eat, I was in her “office.” Ditto, vacuuming the living room or watching television.

A new venue

I suggested that she set up a station in the spare bedroom, which she did. In my mind, she too immediately saw the wisdom of the move. Later, I was surprised to discover that it was only after a week or so in the new enclosed space she recognized the value of it for all of us.

Among other considerations, she was always complaining about the messiness of the house, which certainly included the dining room table/her workstation. Now she can leave her papers as needed. She could have private conversations without my daughter and me avoiding the entire first floor.

And she now appreciates looking out on the backyard, seeing the trees and grass. The view from the office, where I tend to blog from, is to the street. I can see a few branches among the utility lines.

I mention this for two reasons. One was that a friend of mine was telling me about a prominent local couple who are really getting on each other’s nerves. They have a house large enough to have their own working from home spaces. Yet they have not, to the detriment of their relationship.

The other is that today is the 21st anniversary of our wedding. A little bit of territorial boundary-setting is a good thing in a marriage, especially during a pandemic.

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

3 thoughts on “My wife: suddenly working from home”

  1. congratulations! (on both figuring it out and your anniversary, I imagine there’s a connection there).

  2. I bought a desk (from Wayfair) towards the beginning of this. I HAD a desk, of sorts, in my overcrowded with stuff guest room, but it faces a blank wall and is already loaded down with a ton of junk (it’s where I keep some of my files). It’s also too big for the space I wanted to work in. So I sighed and spent the $200 and tried not to think of “if I lose my job, I’ll wish I had that $200 for a couple more weeks’ worth of food”.

    It’s been a game changer; it sits in my front window so I can see out – watch the neighborhood cats roam, and see the weather, and watch the sun set in my neighborhood and I feel a little less trapped working here than I would in my guest room.

    That said? If I had unlimited funds and more space in my backyard, I’d have a studio built, with power and an airconditioner for the summer (it’s too hot here to work without one) and have a place to retreat to and work that WASN’T my house, so I didn’t see the clutter or my piano staring at me when I’ve not practiced it. But I don’t have unlimited funds, and anyway, the WiFi probably wouldn’t reach….

    Ironically, around Christmas I vaguely thought about wanting a small writing desk, maybe to put in my bedroom (one of the windows looks out over my backyard). I thought “maybe I’ll feel inspired to do a little writing.” Well, now I have the desk (and it COULD go in my bedroom some day, when this is over) but inspiration has completely fled….it is hard to even come up with blog topics when one is an “indoor cat.”

  3. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! And congrats for creating happy work spaces. Prior to moving to Massachusetts I enjoyed my home office space, it truly was my happy place. It was the one room in the house where I could choose my favorite wall color, have a few of my favorite framed photos on display, play my favorite background music (opera, hub detests it!),gaze out the window without someone asking “What are you looking at?”, and leave my papers neatly or not so neatly on my desk. We’re approaching 51 years of marriage next month, so I guess it works well for us!

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