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Loretta's Day Off - Working at Home
Working from home has it's perks, like lots of days off ... right?
I think a lot of people see working from home as this luxurious lifestyle where you lay on the beach sipping fruity cocktails and reading on your Kindle all day long.
I realize that image has been planted in many minds by the mounds and heaps of misinformation on the web about working from home and the internet lifestyle.
There are many false gurus out there - ugh, I hate that word, but that's another lens for another day perhaps - and they pretend that they magically made a ton of money while doing no work and now they drive fancy cars and hang out at the beach all day.
Well, I've been to the beach and I didn't see them there. Chances are they are sitting in a dimly lit basement planning their next sleazy move.
Hello, I'm a real person who happens to work from home.
I assure you that it's not a vacation and I do actual work.
I have been working from home since 2001 and have dabbled in many areas since then. I'm not going to rehash all of that here, because this page is about taking a day off, taking a vacation, getting away from the daily grind. Right?
Or is it.
You see, I'm not really wired for time off or vacationing. It's just not in me. I'll be honest this is something I've always struggled with. Even when I held a "traditional job" I was the crazy loon who volunteered to work holidays and weekends. When my kids were very small there was this ridiculous pressure to be a "stay at home mom," but the truth was doing that made me stir crazy out of my mind.
Don't misunderstand me, I think being a stay at home mom is awesome, it's one of the most amazing things ever. I admire a woman (or man) that can devote themselves fully in that way. Raising kids is hard work and it's work that I most certainly enjoy - my husband and I have four boys.
Even with hobbies and enjoying the time with my kids, I needed work to do, something productive that I could focus on, deadlines to meet, paperwork to fill out. I know, I'm a freak of nature that way. I'm also the worst housewife ever - ugh, another word I hate, but I digress - I am horrible at cooking, I'm a complete slob, and I hate washing dishes.
Why am I rambling on about all this brain wiring?
Because I'm also not wired for a day off.
Most weeks I work seven out of seven days of the week. Mind you, I'm not putting in a full eight hours on every single one of those days. Well, not always anyway.
I do take time off now and then ... I've taken two long weekends so far in 2011 without working.
In the spring we took our boys to a Nascar race with my parents one weekend and I didn't work the whole time.
Over the summer we went to visit friends and family in Pennsylvania for the weekend and I didn't even check my email. Okay, I might have checked it once, but only once - really, I swear. Don't tell my kids O.o
Also over the summer I took a trip to a niche marketing event in Atlanta, but I guess that was technically work related and probably doesn't count as downtime.
The one thing those three long weekend all have in common? Getting back on task was hard afterward. I know that's normal, but when I get back from taking time off I feel like I'm in a state of chaos, lost and confused. Maybe I'm just doing it all wrong!
I do take a short day (or two) once a week!
See, I'm not a complete workaholic freak!
I suppose you could consider these short days my day off, and they do tend to happen on a weekend fairly often - but sometimes they're just a random Monday when I need a little "disconnected" time to think something through or to clear my head of the noise from the internet.
A short day or a day off for me usually starts the same way a work day starts - a big cup of coffee and checking of email.
If it's a weekend we might take the kids out for lunch or to a movie. Most of my best days off include catching an afternoon movie.
If it's a weekday and I'm home alone - ah, the quietness - I'll probably pick up my cross stitch project and work on that for awhile, read a few chapters of a book, or watch some mindless television ... or all of the above.
There will likely be a big coffee refill, a nap, and a lot of scribbling in my notebook, maybe a brain dump to clear my head of all that noise.
That's really all I ask for in a day off. Usually when all is said and done I'll probably pop back onto the computer for awhile before the night is over and either draft out a blog post or refresh some older content, or maybe work on a side project that needs finishing. Whatever calls to me the most.... or I might go to bed early! *gasp*