I’ve long ago stopped pretending that I could make any new changes to my life on January 1st. Even in a Lockdown, new years day happens in a strange time of disorientation, alcohol and chocolate.
Then the first Monday could count as a new start but the first week back at work is a bit messy and muddled and you’re still putting away Christmas.
But today, the second Monday in January, that’ll do as a new start. And for me, it happens to be the day of MY NEW HOME!!!! I’m trying not to squeel in too much delight, I’m trying not to be inconsiderately joyful on this day of national and global crisis, but it so happens that the universe/a really good friend has answered my request for a space of my own, and after a year of living in a very cosy corner of my partner’s one bedroom flat, I finally have a home.
Because the other big change for 2021 is that after a year of working only 15 hours per week (to allow for all that writing, learning, exploring and discovering that I had planned) I am now lucky enough to go full time, a commitment that immensely reduces my time for introspective creativity (and blogging, did you notice?), but provides an income that ironically allows for more space to do it in. I understand the paradox – the harder you work, the more lovely a home you can have, but the less you can enjoy it as you have to spend all your time at work.
Except that this year, many more of us are working from home. And if I’m working full time at home, I really need a decent home from which to work.
I’ve always said I don’t need much space to work – just enough for a laptop, a cup of tea and a pot-plant. Today I discovered that when your work space has a proper full size desk, with actual ELBOW-ROOM, when you can swivel the chair around and stretch your arms and have two separate notebooks open AT THE SAME TIME, that your day is just better. So much better. I can breathe, I can think, I can throw my head back and laugh at the ceiling. And most importantly, I can close the door on my work space at the end of the working day and go to a separate room for the evening.
Which of course leads me to think about the upward cycle of privilege. If you have wealth you have a better home, you have adequate distance between occupants, you have space to think, work, be productive, make good decisions. It’s an upward spiral. But if you’re not lucky enough to have the set of circumstances that allow for enough space, you could get stuck in a frustrated loop of stress, confusion and disadvantage.
Too many big issues wrapped up in the fact that I’d just like to say hello again. And while I have far less time, I’ll just have to find more discipline, and I will hope to see you here more.
Thank you x