When I was a kid, my sister had an old fashioned portable turntable for vinyl records. The kind that is all retro and trendy now. Ours was boxy, faded red, and pretty old even then, but we loved it. We could pile on on 45s and have them flick down as each finished, till the last one was a wobbly mess as we had piled on too many. We didn’t have too many records of our own. We had a rather bizarre collection made up of most of our dad’s old records from the 1950’s. In between Elvis and The Beatles we had strange American comedians and this one. I’m not sure why we kept playing it, it is after all incredibly irritating and repetitive. Today though, it pretty much sums up how I feel.
I’ve been lucky enough to work from home for over 5 years now. It gives a lot of flexibility, and apart from last year, allows me to come on our annual trek across continents without taking unpaid leave. The main downside of working from home is that it can be quite isolating. When I was working part time I didn’t feel that so much. The boys were still young and I had plenty to do that was quite sociable. Other jobs meant a one or two day commute, so it wasn’t fully home working but I had a bit of the best of both worlds–being social in an office and isolated at home.
Now though, my job is full time. It means I have less time for social stuff like meeting other mums or doing the school run. I can hardly complain, my hours are flexible, I don’t have to spend time in traffic, and I’m there when the kids get home. Most of the time I don’t feel isolated and enjoy the flexibility.
Yesterday though, I felt like the bottom dropped out of my bucket and it was the first time in a long time that I felt quite isolated. Usually when I hit a snag or get some criticism, I just plod on, or have a rant to a friend or colleague, or mum. I can get out of the house and blow the cobwebs away, have a cuppa and a moan, and put the world to rights with someone. I don’t have that here. And sometimes, when your buckets gets a hole, you need someone to take you round in circles while you explain how you don’t understand how to fix it, hopefully to find that the first step isn’t to have a bucket without a hole–which is exactly what you don’t have.
This should the be followed by another friend suggesting you get off your bum, chug a vodka jelly shot and dance round the retro turntable to the scratchy sound of the Swinging Blue Jeans.
I really should get out more.