Today’s Works-for-Me Wednesday is a “what doesn’t work for me” edition, so here is a problem I’d like to solve already:
I have a really nice computer at home, but I almost never use it!
I’m typing this on the computer at work. It’s a completely acceptable PC. It has high-speed Internet access, which enables me to spend my lunch breaks doing personal stuff online, and now blog software enables me to add articles to my Website during lunch break, so I can’t complain that I don’t get enough time online!
No, the problem is that I rarely get to do any personal computer stuff that involves any kind of files saved on the computer, because I feel it’s inappropriate to save personal files on my work computer. Also, at work I have to use a PC with Microsoft software, and while that’s not as gnashingly annoying as it used to be (both Windows and Office have improved since I first used them), it’s a constant minor irritation because I so strongly prefer the Macintosh way.
Well, why don’t I use my Mac more often? I stopped when my son Nicholas was about 18 months old. It got too difficult to use the computer when he was around because he wanted to push all the buttons! My time at home when he wasn’t around was reduced because he was sleeping less than he had as a baby, and my working hours had increased–so he no longer napped at home on weekdays, he was now awake during my breakfast time (I used to use the computer during breakfast some days), and on weekends he tended to nap only at the time when I felt most tired and his dad and I were eager to spend some time together.
Nicholas is 6 years old now and much easier to reason with, but he’s also a very persuasive nagger! He’s learned to play computer games and use drawing software, so if I am on the computer, he wants a turn. We tried giving him his own computer (we set up my old one for him) in hopes that he’d work on his while I worked on mine, but his constant clamor of, “Mama, look at this!” and, “Help! What does this box say?” was very distracting. After a while, his computer just got too old and became impossible to use.
Meanwhile, I’ve been feeling overwhelmingly busy most of the time I’m at home. My job is full-time now, and I never handled full-time employment very well, even when I wasn’t a mom and had two housemates as well as Daniel to share the household chores. Now I feel like I have hardly any time between getting home and going to bed, and in the mornings there’s barely time to eat and get dressed before we have to leave, and weekends are a constant swirl of errands and meetings and special events and trying to relax now and then! I can’t figure out how to get any regular computer time–especially not a chunk of an hour or two, which would be most useful–without cutting into something else, such as sleep. While I do enjoy staying up crazily late to do a special project like writing The Path at the End of the Road, that’s not something I can plan into every week.
Spending 8 hours a day in front of the computer at work also makes my eyes
tired and makes me stiff from sitting, so I don’t feel like sitting in a
chair staring at a screen when I get home. (I watch very little
television.) That’s one reason I tend to prioritize the chores like laundry and dishes and shopping that let me move around and look at real-life objects!
So: I need to work computer time into my busy schedule, I need to feel physically ready for it, and I need my kid out of the way while I do it! I’m hoping the wise people of the Internet–particularly the many Works-for-Me Wednesday readers who manage to write prolific blogs while caring for multiple children and being impressive housekeepers–will have fabulous advice for me.