The Hidden Perks of Working From Home

Does your job offer hidden or unwritten perks?  Do you have any special places in your home that make you smile?

After last week’s moment of understanding, I decided to embrace our life and our choices a bit more.  I also thought it might be fun to share some of the hidden perks of working from home (versus looking back and questioning everything and focusing on the challenges).

  • Time to run out to the store in the middle of the day for a needed ingredient for a being-made-right-now meal.
  • Staying up late in order to help our little girl fall asleep (versus being tired and having a more conformed schedule).
  • Being able to listen to Scott when he’s sharing an ideas (versus wishing I was there to listen).
  • Swimming in the mornings.
  • Writing with my feet up on the coffee table, a blanket on my legs, and a yoga block under my computer. (It’s not your standard desk or work space, but it’s perfect for me!)
  • Easy access to bathrooms.
  • Walking away from work for a few minutes to water plants in the greenhouse and watch Susanna play in her sandbox there.
  • Texting friends at any given time (which was not happening in a classroom).
  • Taking spontaneous trips, as they are part of our work.
  • Beach walks.
  • Researching recipes whenever there’s a moment and I’m inspired.
  • Cleaning an area of the house at any given moment.
  • Trusting the process of our lives.
  • Seeing our dedication move our lives in ways that make us happy and our family flourish.
  • Mother-Daughter time while Scott runs to-on-from the beach during the day.
  • Collaborating with people with whom I wouldn’t have previously.
  • Impromptu trips across the state to help family members in need, because we can pack and go in a moment’s notice.

So now it’s your turn.

What are the perks of your life?  Do you ever view things in a “this versus that” manner?

 

A Moment of Understanding

Do you ever question if you’re doing the “right” thing?  Do you ever wonder if you should be doing something else (in life, in a given moment, etc.)?

Lately it seems as if I’ve been questioning my choices to stay at home, to write, to be with Susanna, and to live with Scott.  Okay, I’ve been questioning this dynamic life of ours because, well, looking from the inside out, I can see the other options.

I’ve wondered if I’m providing enough for our family.  If we’d be better off if I returned to teaching.  If I’d be happier if I worked from outside of the home, as I’m fiercely independent.  If… If… If…

Then this morning (the morning of 16 July, the day on which I’m writing this), I had a moment of understanding.  I woke up early, put Susanna in bed with Scott, read a few blogs, did some work, and changed quietly into my swim bikini.  I went to the pool, swam a solid 1400 with tired legs, pool walked another 600, and made some good friends before the final 20.

I skipped lifting after the swim-walk and shower, as the weight room was packed and I had no desire to wait for machines.

I returned home, napped (sort of… more like rested), and ate a bit while doing more work.  About 20 minutes later, I heard Susanna awakening.  I could have let Scott be with her while I continued to work, but I chose to walk into our bedroom and tip toe next to the bed.

Susanna was smiling at Scott.  Happy, content, and fresh from a solid night’s sleep with only one early morning awakening.  After a few moments, she looked to her right, and I stood there, beaming back at her.  Her face lit up, and she wiggled toward me.

I told her to stay put, please, as I was going to get in bed with her.  I did.  We kissed and snuggled.  We smiled.  We talked a bit.  We were ourselves, face-to-face while Scott watched.  We patted Scott’s back and shared love aloud and with our body language.

At that moment, I knew why I chose what I have chosen.  I understood that looking inside of our lives is where our hearts and intents exist.  We chose to both work from home and to shift our lives dramatically, so we could be with our family first.  So we could put creativity at the core.  So we could take adventures and live more fully.

It’s not always easy.  There are many days when I wish I could have a 9-5 job.  When I long for structure.  When I wonder if I’m really cut out to balance everything.

Yet, in the moment of awakening, of love, and of family, it was all clear.  We’re doing what we need to do because it’s best.  Our priorities are straight.  Our hearts are clear.  We’re providing for ourselves, our family, our hearts, our goals, our future, etc. by doing what we’re doing.  Now and as we have been.

The sense of the moment continued as we took a beach walk a few hours later.  We strolled, Susanna called out to birds, taught her doll to do a few things on the beach, and we noted the changing shore line.

We are blessed to live a very unique life.  A life that I wish I could describe in words better.  A life that requires extreme patience and perseverance, and is probably not the ideal life for others.  Just as the life that others are perhaps living might not be the ideal life for us.

It’s a life that requires faith.  A life that requires humility.  A life that I don’t always understand, but I do trust.  A life that shows me in moments of understanding that what we’re doing is best.

Have you ever been struck by a moment of understanding or awareness?  What makes your life unique?

 

Midpoint Nesting List

Did you nest when you were pregnant?  Do you make a midpoint list or check in during a major life event?

We’re a little beyond the halfway point of this pregnancy.  Elena is due sometime in November.  With Christmas beyond that, Thanksgiving shortly after she’s born, and a stream of family visitors plus the possibility of a repeat C-section, my brain has been in “look ahead” mode.  Big time!

I keep most thoughts in my phone, but am sharing some here.  In order to keep in line with my 2014 words of Growing Beauty, the list is simple but purposeful.  Sharing lists here has helped me to be more accountable with the flexibility that life requires.

Health

  • Continue weekly swims.  I’m considering adding a 4k swim/walk once a month to the mix.  We’ll see.
  • Add in more lifting.  Swim before, lift after, and listen to the body always.
  • Beach walks.  I need them.  Sure it’s grey and often rainy here, but they are wonderful for all of us.
  • Extra water.  Intake it. Enough said.
  • Veggie dinners.  I need to find new recipes that sit well with this pregnant body.  Recommendations are welcome.
  • More yoga.  It’s simply a matter of choosing time on it over another part of life.

The Girls’ Room

  • Organize all clothes.
  • Purchase and install bookshelves.
  • Sort toys and store extras in the garage or sunroom.
  • Maybe (maybe…) make a pocket wall hanger.

Food Prep

  • Use what we have in the freezer (which is a LOT!) and plan realistically.
  • Find those veg dinners and make appropriate-sized portions (not too much or I won’t eat it months later).
  • Another round of granola and a few batches of gluten free muffins should tide me through to almost the end of the pregnancy before mass baking ensues.
  • Create a better system for storing recipes.

Our Ocean Home in General

  • Winterize it and start purchasing what we need for potential “no power” days.
  • Continue to clean out and donate all that we can. (When we bought it, oh my… we’ve come a long ways!)
  • Finish burning the burn piles and tear out the fire pit. (We’ll build a new one next year.)
  • Overall Fall-Winter cleaning.
  • Create a more defined Mom (me) work space and spiff up Scott’s office as needed.
  • Declutter.  Declutter.  Aka organize and find meaningful places that are toddler friendly or donate.

Finances

  • Stick with our current budget, but modify as needed.
  • Celebrate milestones with something small (a beach date?).
  • Make the most of the resources we have on hand.
  • Continue to positively communicate with each other.
  • Let it go.  Trust.  Have faith.  Focus on other matters beyond numbers.


I’m sure there’s more, but, again, I could get bogged down by bullet points and that’s contrary to what helps me.  Realistically, we’re doing well, but sometimes a few reminders are needed.

I have mental lists for post-Elena, but I’m being patient and enjoying this pregnancy.  It’s our last, and I want to savor each moment with her as she is and our family as it is now.

What is nearing the midpoint in your life?  How do you organize your thoughts?