I’m writing this at my kitchen counter, it’s centrally located, well, right in the middle of the house (grin). My six-year-old and my eight-year-old are running circles around me, stark naked with bath towels trailing behind them like superheroes. If I stop writing I might say something lame like “Cheesus Ate Rice, stop running in the house” and that’s no way to reach a daily financial goal, is it? With all the snow outside, I’m sure they need some exercise, plus their little behinds are so cute.
It’s not all work here, last night I made Alton Brown’s homemade marshmallows recipe. I heard a rumor that once you try homemade marshmallows you’ll never buy store-bought version again. That’s a total lie, the recipe was complicated and time-consuming. It involved no less than three bowls, a couple obscure-to-me ingredients and a 4 hour (or overnight) wait until they could be eaten. The entire process was a painful reminder that I’ve failed to reward myself with the Kitchenaid Mixer that I’ve lusted after for like 15 years.
It just occurred to me that instead of leaving subliminal gift idea clues for friends and family I could be offering up some actual helpful advice for working from home during the holidays since the title of this post sort of led you to believe that’s what you’d find here.
1- Don’t go crazy expecting yourself to do more work than usual to make up for the fact that you’re probably spending more than usual.
2- Use the stress you’re feeling to create a plan that will prevent it this time next year.
3- Avoid over-indulging at the cocktail parties if your best work time is in the early morning. If you’re a mom with small kids at home, like me, you might find that it’s easiest to get work done before they wake up in the morning so while it might be fun to drop the social anxiety with a rum and coke at your husband’s office party, it’s probably not worth losing an entire day of work, is it?
4- Reach your daily financial goals as early as possible. The only reason I am writing this instead of helping kids get dressed is because I have reached my daily goal and it’s only 2pm. I worked from about 4am to 10 am and met my goal for the day. Plus, they like to be naked.
5- Make time to help others. This year I’m taking my kids to Skid Row for Christmas to deliver funky socks to homeless people. It makes me feel like a human being that’s contributing to society. Spending my days writing marketing content for companies without actually ever researching their environmental impact or social impact feels strange sometimes. On one hand, they’re my client so I make it my goal to do my best work but sometimes I wonder what the overall affects of my contribution are going to be. What if I write the web content for a company that singlehandedly kills all the dolphins in the sea or enslaves toddlers for cheap labor in Guatemala? That would feel horrible, right? Then again, no one is paying me to research the ethics of these companies and I just want to feed my kids. So I do the best I can with the job at hand and try not to be too concerned if the companies I’m helping are ones I can stand behind as a human. Right now I’m make up for the potential karmic downfall by raising great kids and giving homeless people something to smile about.
Finally, my last bit of advice is to love love love these munchkins who might run circles around you when you’re trying to finish a sentence and know that deep down inside they’re so glad that you’re working from home. I’m sure they are. Otherwise they’d have to be dressed right now.