Working from Home, Day 1

The alarm clock went off at 7:10 this morning, the first of an unknown number of 8-5 work weeks. We played Russian Roulette, laying there with our eyes closed for a few more minutes, no snooze alarm to rouse us if we dozed off. All too soon the time came for him to hit the showers and for me to make coffee.

Finally the inevitable arrived–he had to leave, I had to stay. Inwardly, I cried out like a preschooler that first day–“Don’t leave me here!” But this is what I chose for myself–working from home, splitting my time between practicing law and writing, the former to (Lord willing) sustain the latter.

I sipped my coffee while I checked my email. Nothing important. I consulted my to-do list. Lots of errands. But I can’t do anything until I go to the bank. My appointment is still more than two hours away. I look at my list again, wondering whether I’ve left off anything.

I go to a couple of trusted lawyer resources to look for articles on setting up a practice, marketing, website design. Too overwhelming. Too much raw information. No filter for quality or quantity of information. No clear “start here” page. Fully aware of how much I don’t know, I shut down the browser. Once I start to break down some of the pieces, I’ll wade through the information, but right now I’d just drown.

Maybe now is a good time for breakfast. I make an omelette.

Timidly, I reopen the browser while I’m eating, feeling like I should be doing something. I try to call my personal bank–all lines are busy. I look at another tech article, hoping it is basic enough, but I’m too distracted to try to make sense of the words in front of me.

I try to figure out a routine. First, I do this, then I do that, from 10-11 is this–a structure to my days, a way of making sure I am making progress. Having no clear deliverables or deadlines makes this difficult.

Further, the twin goals of growing my law practice to make money and writing to make myself happy both require time and dedication. A balance must be struck.

Finally, it’s time to go to the bank. That will kill an hour, I think.

Two hours later, more overwhelmed and exhausted, I leave the bank. Both accounts have been created. At last I can proceed!

A quick call to my lover–he’s ready for lunch. I’m ready to see him. We decide that I’ll pick him up.

I tell him I am too mentally tired to run the rest of my errands, but that my afternoon plans include making some calls and setting up my office. This seems less stressful somehow.

After I drop him back at work, I go to Starbucks. Caffeine and a cake pop to reinvigorate myself for the afternoon’s tasks. I opt to wait in the drive-thru as opposed to going inside. I have no book, no to-do list. Just myself and my favorite Sinatra CD. I take a few minutes to just relax.

Back at home, the full enormity of the task of setting up my office nearly undoes all of the time relaxing in the drive-thru. Tripping over the throw pillows strewn about and constantly messing with the mattress laid out for Steve’s daughter undo the rest of the relaxation.

I hate throw pillows. They serve no purpose. They are stupid.

Coffee just isn’t going to cut it. I need some gin. Coffee, you’re on the bench; Alcohol, suit up! I pour out the coffee I had purchased and took two sips of. I pour a gin and juice. This will help. I don’t need energy; I need focus.

I ignore the papers on the bookshelf that need to be cleared, deciding to wait until I can create more floor space by flipping the mattress up against the wall for a couple of days.

I do a quick organization of my desk space and make some phone calls.

As with nearly everything involving starting my law practice, today has been one step forward (setting up my bank accounts) and two steps back (learning that the trust account is set up wrong and miraculously discovering that there was a form I had to submit to my bar association). I will have to go back to the bank to redo the trust account. And I can’t set up my credit card processing service until the trust account is fixed. But I am eventually able to make some progress with the other calls.

With that it’s 5:00 and my lover is on his way home.

I’m simply not sure how this working from home thing is going to go. Hopefully it will surely get easier once I’m running fewer errands and get used to Steve being gone so much.

Like everything, it takes time to find a balance. I just hope time hurries the hell up.

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