Yesterday I finished up work on a grant application that took me five days to complete. It was 2:30 pm. I pressed send. It disappeared from my computer. I looked at my dog.
The New York Times recently had an article about family and office roles mixing at work. The piece explained that all of the issues you have at home will get taken, inevitably, to the office. But what if home and office are the same?
A fellow writing friend took it upon himself to invent imaginary co-workers. He has conversations with them, their personalities effect his days. It’s coping, self-employment style. Yesterday, when I felt like celebrating, I went to the grocery story. I spent fifteen minutes in the produce department. When I placed a 2-lb bag of onions in my cart, not caring that I had another 2-lb bag at home, untouched, I knew something was wrong.
Fitz might have imaginary co-workers, but I go to public places to be seen. Deep in the throes of writing my book it occurred to me that I could choke on something and not be found for days. My friends expect me to disappear. It’s what I do. I also, apparently, use the grocery story for a pick-me-up.
Having realized my pattern, I decided to add to it and go to a pharmacy as well. I needed face cream. Or I would, when I ran out sometime in the next month. I’m in North Conway, NH for the winter and every errand is still an adventure. I bought anti-wrinkle night cream because it seemed like a good idea in the orange light of the drug store. My 32-year-old skin looked like it might need it.
My parents worked in corporate offices. Most people go to work, somewhere. There is structure built into these voyages to and from a place of work. I’m working on creating the same in the eight paces between my bed and my desk.