I’m a remote worker. And for the first time in a long time, I spent an entire day at home. Working.
Writing for work, without a break, hoping to get the damn thing finished so I could spend more time writing more stuff—poetry, opinions, random strings of sentences I wish would make a reasonable story.
Then, I’d edit my works in progress, expecting to get a lot done, as much as I could, within my limited daytime.
As I wrote on, my heart longed for the great outdoors. Through my window, soft breeze and cloudy sky called for me. After three months of bushfire smoke haze, the rains of last week had cleared the air and people’s lungs of deadly particles. It was, at last, beautiful outside.
Over the last week, it seemed like summer had decided to call it a day. The temperatures had cooled down, delaying sunrises and expediting sunsets. Though I still saw the light at quarter to eight, the sun had already retired, taking much of the heat with it.
And all the while, I sat on my desk, typing away, taking a minute or two to distract myself on Facebook or to tune into the radio to hear the last of the daily quiz show.
Just as I finished my work stuff, I realised I hadn’t showered in two days. Though my pedestal fan prevented any perspiration, I was still uncomfortable in my own skin. A bath later, I remembered I still had to meal prep for the next couple of days. As the light waned in the garden, I let my imagination and hopes melt in the heat of the stove. All the stirring, sautéing, and the dishwashing that followed left me drained.
Nothing worse than when the body is able, but the mind has already shut down for the day.
I felt claustrophobic, even with so much light and ventilation. It was like being in a cubicle, shut off from the rest of the world. I love my home, but it drove me crazy. It felt wrong not to go out, to interact with people, walk, or rush for the bus. As if everything normal in my life had taken a sudden break, crippling me.
That’s when I realised: working from home is great, as long as you’re not in your home.