When I was 7 years old I had a paper route. It seems absurd today, when no one reads newspapers or allows their children to play outside. There are, after all, child molesters and serial killers. They’re hiding behind every tree and under every rock. As a teenage I did yard work, waited tables, and still delivered papers. Through college I had various retail jobs. I worked in warehouses unloading trucks, and washed dishes. Even as an adult I managed a bookstore for a couple of years, which kept me on my feet all day. The corporate world I chained me to a desk, and my overlords kept track of how many times I got up to go to the bathroom. I can’t do any of that any more. I don’t have the capability to either stand or sit for long stretches. My need to pee is not a clockwork function that happens at exactly 10:15 every morning and 2:45 each afternoon. It’s not possible for me to lift and carry things or engage in repetitive movements for 8 hours or more per day. So I write because I’m old and I have health issues.
Don’t misunderstand me, I have nothing against hard work or showing up when I need to. At the time that I’m writing this, I was in the chair pounding the keyboard until midnight last night. I was back in the chair at 7am. When there’s a deadline to meet I work until it’s done. I eat breakfast and lunch at my desk. I shut down social media. I don’t leave the apartment other than to perform essential tasks like grocery shopping.
You have to be realistic. Keep your focus on managing the work rather than managing perceptions. The key benefit of working from home is that I don’t have people staring at me, judging how I’m using my time. There’s no ¿quien es mas macho? nonsense. Managing my health is part of managing the work. When I’m tired, I rest. When I have to go to the bathroom, I do, When I’m hungry, I eat. I do those things so that when I’m working, I can focus. I’m not counting minutes until I can relieve my bladder. I’m not listening to my stomach growl. I’m not churning out gibberish because I’m exhausted and need some caffeine or a little bit of sleep. Taking care of yourself should be part of the job.
You can read more about Why I Write here.