napping from home

Sometimes, when people hear that I’m working from home, they say wow! That must be so nice! You can just watch teevee, and lounge around, and take long lunches and sleep in and it’s so great! And I agree and say yes, it is so great! That’s very true. But I don’t lounge around and watch television, because anything I don’t finish during the day, I have to finish at night and it is not fun to be proofreading technical documents at 3:00 in the morning, I promise you. That is a lesson I learned quickly, after my first few days of working at home, and dawdling on the Internet. Oh! Wait, you mean, I still have deadlines, even though I’m in my pajamas? Well, fuck.

I get a little mad when people assume that working from home means lazy bum, and maybe that’s because I really wish I could be a lazy bum. Why can’t I lie on the couch and blow spit bubbles? Why don’t the checks keep coming in while I get to go out and wander the streets, looking for chocolate and thinking about shiny things? That sounds exactly like the career I want. Who needs “lucrative?” Not me. Lucrative is for chumps.

It is nice, though, of course, that it gets to be my own schedule. I
accomplish what I want, when I want, wearing what I want. I can go
accomplish it in the street, if I want, if the street’s got Internet
access. And it is exactly the right kind of position to be in when
you’re a little bit nuts. Yesterday, I got to take the afternoon off,
to escape my house and the walls that were totally closing in on me,
and go have the mental health day I so totally needed.
Yesterday, I woke up, got some work done, realized at 1:00 p.m. that I
was still feeling kind of crazed and a little bit weird and sad, and I
got to close my laptop, go crawl into bed and go back to sleep for
three hours, where I had extremely weird dreams about hanging out with
the (non-existent) children of well-known bloggers. We waltzed cheek
to cheek and sang “Ain’t That a Kick in the Head,” and then we had to
go find a party store because the blogger decided she wanted to collect
cardboard wedding reception decorations and–well, the whole thing was

I think it discharged some of the crazy, though, the neurons firing off
all the excess energy that I was spending on being wackadoo. Or the nap
did–checking out for a little while, just giving up. Sometimes,  just
for a little while–not forever, not for long–it is good to just give
up, and stop trying to stay upright and stop fighting because the
fighting is just wearing you out and wearing you down and after awhile,
you just can’t do it any more. It’s better to lie down voluntarily
than collapse. To pick your time and place, and have energy left over,
in the end, than to work yourself to death. Because it feels like work,
sometimes, to keep going.

So I napped, yesterday–well, slept, really. And I am really behind now,
in my work, and I have a lot of things due, tomorrow, and I was up
late, last night, trying to get things done, and I’ll be up late again
tonight, but I feel a little bit like I’ve hit a reset button, that I
needed to rest awhile and do that recharge thing and build up my
battery and a lot of other electronic metaphors like that.  The problem
now is to make sure that I don’t decide every day that I am delicate
flower who deserves a nap, because I am still so delicate and napping
is so nice and I am a little dumb. I still have deadlines, even though
I am in my pajamas.

7 Replies to “napping from home”

  1. I work from home too, and I’m in charge of a conference that’s happening next week, so it’s been [nonexistant] balls-to-the-walls for a few weeks… and when I thought I’d “hit the reset button” by actually getting a good night’s sleep last night, I woke up with a migraine. Ugh. There is no worse feeling.

  2. I too work from home…or did, when I had a steady paying job. I actually got the opposite response from people: horror. I can’t count how many times I heard people say, “Oh my gosh, I could never do that. I’d never get anything done. How do you handle it?”

    My answer was always the same. I’d say, “The same reason you don’t sit in your cube drawing pictures of unicorns all day. Fear. The fear of being fired and penniless. Duh.”

  3. Yeah, I got exactly the same kinds of remarks when I worked from home. In my experience, working from home eliminated the boundaries between “work” and “home,” and the upshot was that I never really left work behind. I’d check email on a Saturday morning, and before I knew it I’d put in 3 hours of work. Part of that could’ve been the nature of the job, though.

  4. I can relate, in a small way, because whenever people find out that I’m an assistant librarian, the 9-times-out-of-10 response is: ‘Oh, that must be so nice! I bet you sit around and read books all day!’
    Um, yes, that is exactly what working in a library is like…

  5. Both my husband and I work from home (and love it!) and we have gotten both reactions from people. “Oh that must be so nice! You can laze around!” or “Oh I could never do that. I need people and interaction. I wouldn’t get anything done!”

    But my biggest pet peeve? Is friends/relatives who call during the day for a chat. Um, hello, we’re working! Just because we are at home doesn’t mean we aren’t working during the day. Grrr! They think that just because we’re at home we must have all this free time.

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