One of the benefits of working for yourself, from home is that you can, in theory, do it anywhere. One of the curses of working for yourself, from home, is that you can, in theory do it anywhere. So as a work from homer, it was hard to use a work related argument when my husband presented me with an interesting proposition. He was offered a consulting gig at a sleep away summer camp in Connecticut. Either we could spend the summer apart, something neither of us wanted, or Sara and I could decamp with him for the country, and a little rental house in the woods about a mile from the camp.
So last week we packed up the car, and headed to the woods. I knew that my schedule for the summer would be completely different than at home. For one thing, no full time sitter. Sara is in the “peanut program” which is the camp/sort of seems more like day care for kids of camp staff who are too young to be in the actual camp program. It will be great for Sara, and she already is loving the wide open spaces where she can run and play. But she’s only three, so chances are she won’t be doing a full day at camp every day, which means more time with mom. I envision the days going something like this: Gary leaves early for his 7:30 meeting, then Sara and I head to camp, eat breakfast, and she goes off with the peanuts. I have a few hours to come home and do work, then back to meet her for lunch and pretty much entertain her the rest of the day.
This scenario raises several issues.
First – how to prioritize work when I have only between 2-3 hours a day to do it. Here is my portable “office” of files and supplies that I brought up:
Not exactly the same set up as home, but then again, this is my new view from my new workspace, aka the kitchen table:
I’ve got my files, I’ve got my new view, now I just need to find a way to be super focused and disciplined about work time in order to get things accomplished.
The second issue, is how to let go of work, and not feel stressed that work time is so limited, in order to enjoy my time at camp with Sara. I can’t spend each afternoon thinking “I should be doing x or calling y or doing z.” I have to recognize that this summer is a gift. A chance to spent a lot of great quality time with my daughter engaged in activities some of which we can do at home easily (go to a park) and some of which we can’t (running on a soccer field, playing tennis, swimming).
In both cases, I have to really learn to live in the moment, to the fullest. When I am working, I need to WORK, to get the most accomplished in the littlest amount of time. And when I need to put it down, I need to PUT IT DOWN. And not think about it (well, maybe just a little …. ) and just relax and have fun. After all, that is what camp is for, right?