The magic of Zoom!

Written for Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday. Today’s prompt is the word:  welcome.

I’m an introvert but not a hermit. Still, it came as a bit of an unwelcome surprise when only four days into working from home, I began to miss my routine.  Yes, that routine that I so often gripe about. You know the one:  Wake up, make coffee, hop into the shower, dry your hair, iron a blouse, pack your lunch, have breakfast, get in the car and drive to work. I could and should do the lunch and ironing part in advance, especially since I’m a born planner, but years of having to do it for both myself and my kids in the past have made me rebel against this.

Day one, I felt a sense of freedom. I woke up later than usual and then did my home workout during the time usually spent driving to work. By 8:30 am, I was at my computer and ready to face the day. Day two was similar but the sense of novelty was already wearing thin. On Day three, the isolation of my home office in the basement began to make itself known, even while my husband worked in his own office upstairs. I moved my computer from my office to the kitchen table where natural daylight streams into the room. My colleagues and I stayed in touch by email and by phone. But, none them stopped by while on their way to the photocopier; we didn’t gather in the lunchroom while we ate our mid-day meal or meet up at the coffee maker.

Then on Day Four, we all attended a meeting through the magic of Zoom video conferencing.  We had just bought it the week before to offer remote activities to our clientele. Our boss configured it and boom!  All our smiling faces were visible on each of our home computer screens. “Are you still in pyjamas?” someone asked me because the fleece around the neck of the hoodie I was wearing makes it look like a housecoat. “I don’t wear pyjamas,” I quipped (I was kidding) but it was so nice to hear their laughter.  After a few minutes of exchanging updates, we got down to business but it was a welcome break to the social distancing I am finding harder than I thought it would be.

A Space to Call my Own

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

I have a friend who loves to take his laptop and sit in a bustling café to write or work. Well-known authors of books on writing recommend just that: Take yourself off to a place that will  generate ideas or kick writer’s block to the curb. That could never work for me.

I write in my office in the basement of our home, alone and in silence. The desk I use is my son’s from his high school and college days. The base is a deep, forest green that matched the shade of green he had chosen for his room. He’d also picked out a wallpaper border that showed the majestic heads of a trio of wolves with the same green background. I’d gone along with his choices but hadn’t been convinced the result would be great. In the end, it turned out beautifully.

 

We bought him the desk after he was admitted to a high school he really wanted to attend. He had worked so hard to pass the entrance exam and the desk was recognition of that work. He didn’t want it when he left home so I claimed it. The light, faux-oak top is scuffed and well-used now but it reminds me of the days when he sat at this very desk, tapping his pen against it and daydreaming instead of doing homework.

The lamp perched on the desk is even older. It was a wedding gift from an aunt and is made of heavy bronze with a rigid, pleated shade. I have to turn it on, even in daytime, because my office has no windows or natural light. The lamp bathes my work area in a soft pool of golden light, leaving a dusky darkness all around. It reminds me of scribes working by candlelight, their quills scratching against the paper as they write.

The bookshelf on the wall behind me is more recent. My husband offered it to me after he sold his business and no longer needed it. It houses books on horses, writing, personal development and a small selection of favourite novels.

I am happy writing in this space I call my own that’s filled with little reminders of the people in my life.