Friday, 21 June 2013

I'm a lonely soldier. But I like it.

I am writing this from my bedroom. I am not in bed - in fact, I am up and cleaned and dressed despite it being barely noon. But I am sitting in here to write because the rest of the house is so hideously messy and cat-hairy and in need of housework that if I go out there I will never get anything done due to the sheer, paralysing, deer-in-headlights horror of the Clean All The Things list. I won't actually clean anything, either. I'll make tea, or come across an important magazine article that needs reading, or play with the cat because it looks lonely (translation: "Wake UP, Doug. Play with me. Please?"). Only the other day I ended up doing my tax return in a supreme bout of championship-level procrastination whereby it somehow became a better option than whatever small, less complicated task I was supposed to be doing.

Procrastination and housework avoidance are just one a few of the issues I have come up against since becoming a full-time work-at-home person a month ago. Due to a very amicable redundancy, I switched from going to an office to sit at a desk (procrastinating), every day to being self-employed, doing much the same work, sitting on a cat-filled sofa (procrastinating), every day. And I have to say, on the whole, I'm enjoying it. I find that I actually get more work done in less time, as I'm more painfully aware of the tasks I need to complete every day. And while I do procrastinate wildly, I do eventually Get Shit Done, partly because I feel like I need to justify my time and prove that I'm not just stroking kittens (I am), drinking tea (I am), and wearing pyjamas (usually).

I find myself trying to fit more into every day because I'm not constrained by the 9-5. Popping out for a loaf of bread becomes a trip to Sainsbury's followed by Ikea followed by oh I might as well stop for some cake followed by Hobbycraft followed by oh well it's not that far to that nice fabric shop in Tooting I might as well do everything at once seeing as I'm oh dear it's 6pm and I haven't actually done anything of any worth. And I will have invariably forgotten the bread.

Internet social networking, which was once a horrible, dreadful time-sucking vortex of pointlessness, becomes a veritable boon for the home-worker. Deprived of water cooler moments in the office (we never actually had a water cooler. Who does, really?), my social interaction is reduced to 140 character tweets about how many cups of tea I've had or long, entertaining conversations on Facebook with fellow procrastinators about how we really should get off the internet and do some work. The world of craft is fantastic for this - Facebook is populated by dichotomous agoraphobic socialites working away on their solitary artistic pursuits, stopping to post a picture of a tangled bobbin, a cat eating their knitting, or an anecdote about the post office queue (a rare outing and one which often necessitates the first Outdoor Clothes of the day).

Then there are the more complicated issues of fending for oneself all day, alone. No longer able to run across the road for an Americano, this week I had to learn how to use the coffee grinder, something which is normally the task of the Significant Otter. This occured:

Not pictured: floor. With coffee.

Honestly, I feel like Bear Grylls in the wilderness. Only I'm not drinking my own pee. Yet.