Sticking Point

Yesterday was my first mandatory day to work from home. My office went from a surprising “you can work from home all you want” on Wednesday to “we strongly encourage you to work from home” on Thursday to “why are you here?” on Friday. I’m bright. I can take a hint.

So for the first time in 30+ years, on Friday afternoon I packed up my computer, my binders, my headset, my little box of pens, got a ream of paper for printing and headed out. Then promptly went back in and got my plant.

Over the weekend I thought about how my day would be different working from home. First, I would gain close to an hour by chopping off my morning and afternoon commutes. Then there would be my lunch hour, which I normally speed in my cube, sometimes working, sometimes reading. I decided that I wanted to put that extra time to good use – intentionally.

So today, I read a little longer in the morning, worked on a project during “lunch” and then at 4:30, took Guinevere for a little walk. Nothing big or earth-shaking, but at the end of the day I didn’t feel quite so stuck in the house. I’m not sure yet what other intentional things I will do in the next couple of weeks; I don’t want every day to be the same. But I do know that yesterday felt good and I wasn’t nearly as unhappy working from home as I thought I might be.

How do YOU get “unstuck”?

22 thoughts on “Sticking Point”

    1. It’s one helluva way to celebrate St. Paddy’s Day, but you’ve gotta give me credit for creativity. I need to be a the day-surgery facility at 10 AM for the prep. Surgery scheduled for 11 AM. Should be ready to go home at 12:30 PM. Easy peasy, nice and green – like a shamrock.

      Liked by 4 people

  1. Good luck and swift healing, PJ.

    I’m unclear where the “stuck” impression comes in in today’s post. It sounds like you have established a tentative routine at home that you could continue indefinitely. Don’t you have a routine at the office? Your work-at-home routine helps delineate being at work from being at home with all the distractions home entails. I would expect you would need that.

    I have worked mostly from home over 20 years, but my work is judged by my output and its timeliness. How I use my time to get there is my choice. I’m not expected to be on the job during any set hours.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The stuck is a “stuck at home” as well as an “I don’t want to be stuck in too much of a routine at home”. I guess I didn’t elaborate enough on how much I don’t like working from home.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Surgery should be underway PJ. Thinking good thoughts for you!

    All my life I’ve been pretty lucky to have jobs where I set my own schedule for the most part. And then no one standing over me to see when I do them.
    So while I haven’t been told anything specific about my college job, I don’t really know *why* they’d keep me on staff if there’s no productions. Although there are lots of things I can be doing here; cleaning and organizing the props area is what I’ve been working on the last week, but there’s online training, there’s all those little projects I’ve been writing down to get around to “someday”.
    And of course home, and the way spring is shaping up early… I just picked up a whole bunch of john deere parts. So there’s certainly no lack of things to do.
    To get back to the point, if I get stuck on one thing I wander off to another.
    Which leads me to this:
    “Anxiety, the next gumption trap, is sort of the opposite of ego. You’re so sure you’ll do everything wrong you’re afraid to do anything at all. Often this, rather than “laziness” is the real reason you find it hard to get started”

    ― Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values

    the thing I’m most afraid of? Missing people. Before I got the college job, if I didn’t leave home for a few days in a row I missed having contact with people.

    So, even if they tell me not to come in anymore, I have better internet here than home, I’ve a shop / office in the back where no one sees me in the first place. And I will no doubt just come work here anyway. I’ve baseboards to stain and this shop would be warmer than my garage.
    So other than not having students around (and perhaps the lack of a paycheck) I don’t see my routine changing much.
    course, I’ve already taken 5 shows off my schedule. With possibilities of 2 more depending. But that’s just bonus free time. So.
    There ya go.
    Sorry, rambling.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m back home. Uneventful and successful surgery. Turns out that today is the last day they are doing “elective” surgeries where there’s no urgency. Glad to have it over.

    A team of nurses in scrubs were screening everyone entering the building, taking their temps and asking several questions before allowing them to enter. All doctors and nurses wearing masks.

    I’m a little woozy, and need a nap. See y’all later.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. The thing that usually gets me unstuck, if I’m not in a major hole, is staying open enough to allow in something new or different – new thought, new person to talk to, new technique to read up on…

    …new room arrangement! We just figured out that by turning our (PJ’s) dining room table-with-leaf 90º, there is enough room to do (try) t’ai chi here at home. Of course that required a little corner shelf to be relocated, so there’s that cascade of things that change. Once a change starts, it loosens things up and I get unstuck.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. We are home. Driving out of AZ was an exodus of campers with Midwest plates. It was not quite bumper-to-bumper traffic, but it was close at times. What a surreal trip.

    So glad to be home.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. I always liked working from home when I had the opportunity. I really liked planning something for dinner that could be baked or simmered in the afternoon, and enjoying the smell of dinner at the end of the day.

    Wish I could put in my flower shop hours from home, but the shop doesn’t have the technology so far. Hours have been cut back, though.

    The restaurant at which my sister works has been shuttered, and the one that employs my niece and her husband has gone to curbside pickup. A lot of servers are in tough straits these days.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Remote access to the computers at the shop could be arranged, I think. The piece that’s tough to manage is to have phone calls to the shop’s main phone directed to phones in employee’s homes. When I worked from home for the IRS, they had a contractor manage that part of it.


    1. In addition to the anxiety around the Covid-19 virus itself, lots and lots of people are facing the uncertainty around a future that suddenly seems fraught with perils. It’s heartbreaking to watch friends in the so-called “service” industries, and artists who have been hanging on by the skin our their teeth, struggling with a situation that has spiraled totally out of their control. I’m delighted to see so many of them reaching out, asking for, and offering, support to others. This poem provided a nice boost to my spirit:


      What if you thought of it
      as the Jews consider the Sabbath—
      the most sacred of times?
      Cease from travel.
      Cease from buying and selling.
      Give up, just for now,
      on trying to make the world
      different than it is.
      Sing. Pray. Touch only those
      to whom you commit your life.
      Center down.
      And when your body has become still,
      reach out with your heart.
      Know that we are connected
      in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
      (You could hardly deny it now.)
      Know that our lives
      are in one another’s hands.
      (Surely, that has come clear.)
      Do not reach out your hands.
      Reach out your heart.
      Reach out your words.
      Reach out all the tendrils
      of compassion that move, invisibly,
      where we cannot touch.
      Promise this world your love–
      for better or for worse,
      in sickness and in health,
      so long as we all shall live.

      –Lynn Ungar 3/11/20

      Liked by 3 people

  7. Leandra Peak, of the singing duo Neal & Leandra, is now working as a realtor, and has switched to working out of her home office within the last few days due to the Coronavirus. Today she shared some of the challenges and rewards of working from home. A consultant friend of hers shared some tips for working successfully from home. Here’s what she had to say:

    “I recently shared these tips with school district colleagues who will soon be working from home. It is not easy for everyone, and requires discipline. Feel free to use or share any of these. One I’ll add given the times: limit your computer use to your actual work and only scan the internet for COVID-19 and related news a few times a day. The rest are here:


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