On Self-Isolation And Working From Home

I'm a creature of habit. Image: stokpic.

It got to the point where I would look at my Google calendar and get really excited about the weeks where there was nothing planned outside the home.

My weekdays start promptly at 6 am and are filled with packing school lunches, getting my son out the door to the bus stop, pitching, writing articles, and blogging until I pick up my son from the bus stop at 4:50 pm.

This is how I have planned my life so that I am able to work from home and be there for my son (plus one on the way).

I believe it's a perfect arrangement for me and my family, and I'm fortunate to be able to make it work. My children will never have a performance where I won't be in the audience, or a time when I’m not around to answer a homework question.

But I have noticed an evolution within myself over the past year. It might have something to do with being pregnant, but that’s probably just an excuse.

I’ve been avoiding leaving my house at all costs.

Being a creature of habit, I've grown accustomed to my schedule. I absolutely love my routine and the privilege of being able to work in my underwear if I so choose. I love it so much, in fact, that it’s keeping me from actually wanting to put on real clothes and interact with my peers.

It got to the point where I was actually scheduling one day out a week, whether it was lunch with a friend, a photo shoot, or a fun event. I knew deep inside that I needed that. Adult time was necessary — watching Netflix with my husband in the evening didn’t count.

Then it got to the point where I would look at my Google calendar and get really excited about the weeks where there was nothing planned outside the home: just me, my computer, and work.

But when it got to this point, I knew there was something seriously awry.

I was sitting at my computer (of course) in my bed — in my yoga pants — going back and forth between Facebook, scheduling tweets, and trying to think of a clever title for my recent blog post, when an email popped up.

The title read, YOU’RE INVITED — RESPONSE NEEDED.


 

I started adding more of what I needed in my life: moments that didn’t need to be documented and posted on Instagram, but simply experienced because I wanted to.


 

OK, I get stuff like this probably 15 times a day. I clicked to open it, knowing I would probably be scrolling over to the delete button shortly.

But this was different. This was an event invitation from a brand that I loved with paid coverage, coverage that came with a big enough price tag to pay my NYC apartment rent that month — and I didn’t flinch.

I started by looking at my calendar to see if there was anything else planned that day, anything that would hold me back from saying no. At the same time, my family and I could definitely use this check. I was torn, and I started to really wonder why.

I closed my laptop and took a cold hard look at myself.

I was isolating myself, not only from amazing opportunities, but from my friends, colleagues, and industry reps — the latter two of whom I really needed to get to know face-to-face if I wanted to grow my business and continue to work from home.

I needed to make a little deal with myself at that moment, because I knew that I needed to get out more often and stop avoiding being around people.

I think the truth was that I missed having connections with others, connections that actually meant something.

I wanted to sit and have a deep conversation with friends, family, and my husband. My whole “gang” of friends in the industry and I have focused so hard on getting ahead and scoring the next opportunity that our relationships have suffered along the way.

So I started adding more of what I needed in my life: moments that didn’t need to be documented and posted on Instagram, but simply experienced because I wanted to.

We all need this in our lives, whether or not we have a job that takes us out of the home every day.  

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