Transitions, Darkness and Working at Home

Monday, October 29, 2012
Here we go again: transition time at Of Woods and Words. Not counting the many, many seasonal changes we have each year, we go through two major transitions annually: when I go to work full-time out of the house each May, and when I starting working from home again each October. Both transition periods have their hiccups, but arguably the autumn transition back to working from home is more difficult because I feel a need to transform myself into homemaker extraordinaire, freelancer extraordinaire, and Etsy extraordinaire, while also attending to the demands of my day job. (Whew! I'm just glad there aren't pets or children in that mix!)

Full time work officially ended last Sunday and over the last eight days, I've been bouncing between home and work, trying to get everything set so I can truly start working from by the end of this week. The first week after closing up for the season is always discombobulated: the last board meeting of the season, packing up the building, moving the office to the cabin, and making sure everything's set to over winter without freezing, shattering, or being gnawed on by vermin.

It's really easy to be way too hard on yourself during these times of transition. I've been sleeping far too much this past week. Despite my best intentions to get up and at it before sunrise, it's so dark in the mornings, and the bed is so awfully warm and cozy, that by the time I drag myself out from the covers each morning, I already feel like I'm behind.

It doesn't help my motivation that I devoted last Monday morning to making an editorial calendar for myself which when completed, I looked at and went "Holy shite, no wonder I'm always feel like I'm forgetting something." Even when I drop my day job obligations from 40 hours a week to a mere 16, I'm still over-scheduled. So perhaps before I move forward much farther during this work at home season, I need to figure out some ways to work smarter, rather than harder.(I.e. make more money while either doing the same, or less work.)

Then there's the fact that Baja went to shop last Thursday and was given a 4K diagnosis (why hullo there new transmission, clutch, timing belt, et al.) from a very reputable mechanic. After weighing just about every option out there (declaring a total loss, car loans, becoming a one car household, etc. etc.) we're repairing it since that's most economical and environmentally conscious thing to do, which means I'm not exactly in a position to pass up any paying work that I can get. Whenever I claim that there's some conspiracy against my using motorized equipment, Andy says I'm being silly. But honestly, even my KitchenAid mixer exploded after only two years of use. It's fine. It's really getting rather amusing by this point.

In the last 15 days, I think the sun's shone about seven whole hours and we're all feeling a little gloomy. I forgot I even had Halloween decorations until I was cleaning the back bedroom on Saturday and happened upon the holiday decorations box in the closet. Yesterday, it snowed all morning (and actually stuck to the ground and accumulated), so it's been a little confusing what season it actually is. Most likely, with Halloween being just two days away now, the Halloween decorations will spend all of 2012 hibernating away in the closet.

Although it's a rather dark, bumpy transition time at the moment, I'm trying not to focus on what hasn't been getting done, and instead focus on what I have been accomplishing. Suppers are certainly tastier now that I have a little more time to devote meal prep and the house is at its tidiest in months. And look, I even created an Etsy shipping corner in the back bedroom! It's about the little things . . . right? Quality of living is definitely improving around here.

Certainly, there's a need to bump up productivity. I just have to remember that being kind to myself as the seasonal darkness creeps in, and creating light from within rather than being dependent on sunshine and long days to elevate my mood, is probably the best way to make the annual transition into working from home go smoothest.



  1. I work from home year round and it really is key to have a system to keep me motivated and organized. It is so hard jump through transitions and maintain flow-- so kudos to you for really focusing on creating a system.

    Meanwhile, I hate unexpected financial costs! I swear the moment I *think* that I am about to experience a windfall it is the moment something breaksdown and needs to be fixed or replaced....

  2. I feel like its hard to be as productive during hte winter months when it is dark all of the time. I can also relate to the car troubles- not knowing when its worth it to keep paying for repairs. Good for you for saving the baja!

  3. Sounds like you've got it down, Ada. I go through that same sort of feeling when school is out for the summer and I have all that time off. I know it sound great but I thrive on routine and it's hard for me to get used to. Then when I get used to it, it's time to go back to school! Not quite the same but I get the idea. I also do not like unexpected expenses!!

  4. Yes, it is easy to be kind and caring to oneself when all goes fine, It is so much more important to act kind and caring in difficult times. Its wonderful that your home is tidy and the dinner tastier. Great self care! Over-scheduled, under-staffed and short on money. I remember these times too well, like you said, working smarter does the trick.


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