A funny thing

One of the things that has changed for me since leaving Montana is that I don’t leave the house to go to work. I go other places, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t leave to go to work. Therefore, I don’t have these long hours away from home before I come home to do things like make dinner, laundry, and etc. I bet you’re wondering, so what? I got to thinking about it. I perceive my home in a different way, I think, that those people who go away from theirs do. They come home and it’s a refuge. A place to recuperate. They might miss it when they are away. They might wish to be on the couch or hanging out in sweats or digging in the dirt while they are stuck in a meeting or behind a counter, or doing whatever it is that they do. It’s the place where you can rest and be yourself, with only the demands on you that are part of your life.

My house isn’t a refuge. This is hard to explain. It’s my space. I exist here all the time. I have habits here and the dogs and a pattern that is more well-worn than if I left every day and went to another space that was also my own. All my lives coalesce in this one space. I got to thinking about why that would matter, or how it would matter in terms of perspective, particularly if I was thinking about characters. I’m not sure I have any clue, really. At least not that I can articulate very well. I am remembering back to when I would leave and come home from work in Montana and before. The way that things for work had to be set here and there so I could remember where they were (though I frequently brought work home and I did have an office for my writing). But there’s this feeling I got when I walked in the door. A kind of relief, maybe. Or a feeling like you just scraped something off at the door. The outside, maybe. The needs and demands of that outside life.

I don’t really get that here. When I shut the door now, it’s more like closing away the noise of life, but not the little hooks and harpoons. When you work in your home and when most of your life takes place there, that sense of relief and refuge doesn’t seem to happen. I don’t know that that’s a bad or a good thing. But it is different. I do have different spaces in the house for primarily work or play. I do notice that my attitude changes with moving in between those rooms.

I don’t know if this makes any sense. I’m maundering quite a bit. I wonder, do you have a better way of articulating how working and living at home is so different from the going away and returning home sense of home?

One Comment

  • Denisetwin

    I used to commute, 45min each way, five days a week for almost two decades. big trauma event and now I work from home and go in only every other week, still full time. I too noticed home changed a bit, but it really helped me when DH built me a work office where I don’t do anything but work there. Now as I walk up the stairs from my office to the house, I get that same sense of relief that I used to have pulling into the driveway. BTW, I love your books, started on the Horngate series and then had to haunt used book stores and swaps for the Crosspointe ones. Glad they are being reprinted!

%d bloggers like this: