One Week On My Own

Empty Chairs and Empty Tables

Officially, it’ll be a week tomorrow, since Angela did leave for Oregon on Sunday, but for me, it was the work week that was the hardest adjustment. You might not expect that, after all shouldn’t work have kept me busy and not thinking about being apart? Well yes, but when you work from home, not having anyone else in the household is where it gets weird.

Look, one of the biggest challenges with working from home is knowing where to draw the line between work and your personal time. When you leave the office, generally, you are done working. Oh yeah in this day and age you still check email and do quite a lot of work outside the office, but there is a well-defined event that differentiates between being at work, and at home. For the last couple of years, that event was having dinner with my wife. When she doesn’t come home after work, there’s no event to indicate to me that I should stop working, and at least this week, I haven’t!

I’ve read many an article that talks about having the discipline to draw a line between work and your personal life when “work” is in the same location. I’ve always paid attention to that and attempted to draw that line, but now I’m realizing that living by yourself, even temporarily as I am, requires a whole other level of discipline. You really have to make an active choice to stop working and go do something else, or you find yourself sitting at your desk, responding to emails at 8-9PM without having eaten dinner or had any non-phone or Webex contact with the world!

So if you’ve been in this situation, got any advice?