2006-09-11

Another Vote For Throwing Money at the Problem

I spend a lot of time thinking about gender issues in terms of marriage, about how I spend a lot of time doing dishes and laundry and paperwork and Husband mostly gardens, is in charge of buying and maintaining our cars, and feeds the cats. Note that what I do is a daily thing and what he does is less so, since he tends to walk out the door to work in too much of a rush to remember the cats, and I end up feeding them anyway.

Since he goes out to work, and I “work at home,” I also end up with most of the dog care. The “work at home” thing also means Husband figures I can be home for Fed Ex guys, or to make important faxes for him, or to get him the phone number for some person or another that he’s forgotten at home. None of this stuff is good for getting my work done so much as it is incredibly helpful for accomplishing his.

This was a struggle all summer, as he settled back into full-time, off-home-site work and I returned home from my rented office space. At first, I was thrilled to be home, because of the incredible savings on my office space rentals, but also because I could get chores done in the middle of the day, rather than waiting until I was so exhausted after dinner that things got lost in the mix.

Then he started calling. And calling. And calling. It’s nice that he likes to check in, and in fact I adore hearing his voice pretty much WHENEVER. But I like it less when I’m working, which tends to be in the mornings, before life is too distracting, and I like it LOTS less when the calls start, “Are you home?”

So I’ll be honest here: for a couple of weeks I just straight-out lied. My cell would ring, he’d ask, “Are you home,” and I’d say, from the comfort of my chair at our kitchen table, “No.”

That worked for awhile. But I was also battling the creep of personal affairs onto the territory of professional ambitions. Our life this summer has catapulted us into the realm of True Adulthood in a number of ways, and Adulthood requires a hell of lot of a person to do at home. It can take up every minute of the day, really.

The only thing to do when that happens is to get the hell out of the home, as quickly as possible.

This is not new information—I periodically realize I need to work out of our home. That’s why I rented office space. But I had just given up my office space, and it was hard to justify the thought of renting space when I had a perfectly quiet office space at home, thanks to Husband working elsewhere. Also, there was the question of the puppy. Can’t really leave the puppy home all day alone. She doesn’t like it, and she expresses her displeasure by ripping things up in a puppy-like way.

So, two problems: puppy needs exercise / baby-sitting, and I need a place to work that isn’t home. Solution: throw money at the problem.

On the puppy-front, we bought a monthly membership for daily doggie daycare, at a savings of $25 compared to what we used to spend for 3 days / week.

Even better, on the writing-front, there’s a fabulous wonderful cafĂ© near daycare with ample outlets AND wi-fi and a space so large there is never any pressure to get up for the lunch time rush. Instead of spending hundreds and hundreds of dollars each month for my crack den office, I now spend about $3 in the morning for a latter, and $10 more at lunch on a sandwich – at a savings of about $400 / month compared to what used to be rent.

And I write like the wind. I’m now within 2.5 chapters of completing the first draft of this novel. Yippee! Go me!

Another triumph for spending a little money when you need to free up a bunch of time.