I work from home, and have been struggling with it a bit lately. It’s a strange thing to struggle with, seeing how it’s most people’s dream to be freed from an office environment and to have the flexibility to tweak their work schedule to fit their larger, non-working life. And hey, I’m not complaining about any of that. It’s great. I’m hugely lucky, and I know it.
But The Office is the place where most people develop new friendships and connections. And/or where they get so burned out on being around others that they want nothing to do with people once they leave work. And beyond that, there’s a kind of low thrum of interactivity – the not electronic or mediated kind – that happens face-to-face when you work in a proper office that makes one feel connected, civilized, human. All of that is missing when you’re alone in a home office all day, and I’m feeling that void with some intensity lately.
Some days, the most person-to-person, unmediated, non-electronic adult-type human interaction I have outside of the home is exchanging pleasantries with the cashier at the grocer. Everything else goes down by phone or email or text message. That’s just… weird, right? To be human and so relentlessly electronically connected to other people (to the point of fatigue, at times), yet so physically disconnected at the same time? I don’t know. #21stCenturyPeopleProblems
I say all this as someone who’s always leaned introverted hermit in disposition. Time alone not only doesn’t bother me, but keeps me sane and level. But at what point does that become less than healthy? Is there some sort of Recommended Daily Allowance for living in meatspace?
This weekend my best friend Amy and her family came to visit, and stayed with us from Saturday afternoon until yesterday morning. Two days and nights with a house full of people – the noise, the close quarters, the messes, the barely controlled chaos – and now that they’re gone, I miss them.
My house felt tiny with so many people in it — but cozy, too. We joked about some day buying two houses and connecting them with common spaces. Would I love that? I think I probably would. Well, provided there are solitary spaces I can go hide in and get my hermit on when I need to – because UGH, PEOPLE. (Heh.)
PS: You need to buy/download this. We played it all weekend, and it was cry-laugh inducing. (Also? We’re horrible people. Just awful. Terrible. Trust me on this.)