I would really like to be able to work from home. I actually don’t mean that in a “I would really like to spend my days surfing Tijuana donkey porn with impunity” way, although clearly that would be nice, especially if you want to search up some of the more hardcore stuff that involves ping-pong balls because wow, talk about hard to explain to your unexpected office guest (“Oh, just doing some research on . . . expulsive physics”), and I realize there would be a lot of downsides to not working in an office. The tendency to allow certain personal ablutions to slide in a horrific manner and developing the shifty, gimlet-eyed gaze of the cave-dwelling hermit are just a couple that come to mind.

I love my routine of getting ready for work and being able to leave my house behind — transitioning, somewhat, out of one aspect of my life and into another. I like being around other adults a few days each week, none of whom require me to spoon puréed banana into their complaining mouths or explain for the hundred billionth time that big boys poop on the potty, not in their Thomas the Tank Engine underwear. I like my coworkers, my office, our building, the chef-prepared lunches and dinners, my hardware budget that allows me to occasionally buy a brand-new computer for home use, the fact that my company is so incredibly flexible.

I don’t, however, like my commute. I don’t like being so far away from daycare during the day, and knowing when I leave I’ve got an hour or more to fight my way home. I don’t like the hectic mornings and dinnertimes that always leave us scrambling and unable to relax with the kids. I don’t like feeling like the house is always a wreck, like between work and being with the kids and exercise and freelance projects I have no energy whatsoever for tackling the chaos in our home.

It’s also true that I often feel very . . . adrift at my office job. I think it’s a combination of me only being there part-time and the way my department is currently set up, but I feel like no one really expects much of anything from me these days. My role is nebulous: sometimes I work on this, sometimes I work on that, but sometimes other people do those things too and nothing is particularly within my own bailiwick anymore. It seems to me that if I were able to continue working for my company from home my role by necessity would have to be defined further, there would have to be concrete deliverables and a way to assess my performance other than “Yeah, I think she was here today. Or was this her day off? Meh, I forget.”

I’m pretty sure I could be about a thousand times more productive working remotely with laptop in hand, either from the ass-dent in my sofa or the local Starbucks. Eliminate my long commute and the need to be semi-presentable each morning, and I’d actually start work about two hours earlier. Give me free rein to complete a series of tasks and get rid of the endless time-wasting bullshit sessions? Who knows how much more I’d get done.

So here’s my dream for 2009: freelance from home. For Workplace, presumably on a contractual basis instead of the employment status I have now, for as many clients as I can sanely take on (edited to clarify: while keeping the kids in daycare part time — holy god, there’s no way I would even want to try and do it otherwise). Meet the new challenges that lifestyle change would bring, take better care of our home and family life.

How about you? What are your career ambitions for the next year or so?


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