Working Utopia

I homeschool, mother, and do housework in the daytime while Joe works. Joe fathers, cooks, and does housework in the evenings while I work.

From a chair in the living room.

It’s crazy and hectic.

Most of the time, I love working from home, but it has a whole slew of challenges.

My job – my consulting, my blogging, and my work at AboutOne – relies entirely on my having a reliable internet connection. No internet, no work.

Late yesterday morning, my internet connection went out. I rebooted and massaged {read shook, jarred, and tapped} my wireless router. Nothing.

I called customer service, and they talked me into disconnecting my home phone. {How weird is that?} They said they’d put in an emergency order and hopefully would get a technician out to me this week.

{gulp}

I knew I had a couple of posts written and scheduled {thank you, Jesus} and I didn’t have any consulting appointments scheduled for the early part of the week, so those fronts could stand a blackout.

Unfortunately, however, my boss at AboutOne depends on me getting my work done. I can’t just skip a day without careful planning ahead of time.

What can I say? I’m valuable.

And modest.

working utopia

Anyway, I had to make other arrangements for my work time as I couldn’t manage everything I needed to do from my iPhone.

I decided to go to McDonald’s. They have nice music, free Wifi, and cold drinks.

I found the only visible electrical outlet in the entire store underneath a booth occupied by some angst-ridden teenagers. I ate a sandwich in an adjacent booth, waiting for them to vacate.

Once they were gone, I was ready for working utopia – no kids climbing on me and making demands, no television, no cats sitting on my laptop, no bedtime drama. Just me and my laptop and my distraction-free brain.

Cue the productivity music. Momma’s in the zone.

Shortly after I sat down, a family with a 2-year-old (I know because she told me.) sat down in the booth next to me.

Shortly after that, some rowdy teenagers came in.

Shortly after that, a family with 3 badly behaved kids {named Montana, Rebecca, and Tori} arrived and stayed to eat, and I was shocked by the kind of language people use in public.

Clearly, I spend a lot of time hanging around with people who are just like me.

Not so at McDonald’s.

About two hours into my office hours, I looked up to see my youngest running toward me, squealing. Joe followed with my friend.

I greeted them, puzzled.

So nice to see you! I’m working. Come back another time. {Things I wanted to say but didn’t.}

They sat down.

HELLO! I’m trying to work here! {I didn’t say that either.}

And started chatting.

I left my comfortable chair to sit in a McDonald’s booth so that I could work! Here! By myself! {Also unsaid.}

With me.

I give up. Tell me about your day. 

We had a nice conversation. I hadn’t seen my friend in a couple of months, and I always really enjoy her company.

Nonetheless, I was happy to see the whole crew leave. They had to pick up Daisy Girl Scouts a quick 20 minutes after they arrived, and I was free to get back to work.

Almost every day, I see a photo on Instagram of some work-from-home-mom working at a coffee shop or fast food joint while I’m working in madness, and I am jealous of her quiet work time. Her grass looks so much nicer and greener than that under my feet.

Today, I realized that there is no such thing as working utopia.

The mom in the coffee shop has just as many distractions as I do in my living room.  Their names are different, but they are no fewer.

I’m almost glad that my internet went out so that I could have this experience.

Almost.

© 2012, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.

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Comments

    • says

      Sadly, I’m back at McDonald’s because my internet still isn’t fixed. I should’ve stopped at the drug store to get some. I’m pretty good at getting in the zone and blocking stuff out. I have lots of practice at home. :)

  1. says

    Also, the woman in the coffee shop really needs to use the restroom but she’s waiting until she gets home so that she doesn’t leave her laptop unattended. I know, because I’ve been that woman.

    But I will say that working utopia exists. It’s called “my parents are out of town so I left the kids with hubby to housesit for them and can work for hours and hours without distraction and can even use the bathroom anytime I want.”

    • says

      I know! I took my laptop and phone and purse to the bathroom with me after asking friends on Facebook what I should do. That’s something you wouldn’t think of until the urge strikes. ;)

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