Everyone has been affected in some way by the pandemic. Each of us has had to adapt and find new ways of doing things, from work to hobbies to exercise. Everything I normally did before was radically changed. Ceramics classes cancelled and then online, not workable for me. Triathlon events and training all cancelled, and I miss my team. Ten years of participation cut short for now. Gym closed. And work, which came to a screeching halt when the shutdown began was quite uncomfortable. But that was the beginning of my Great Reckoning. I had to look at my life without all the usual activities in it and see if from a new vantage point.
Can I still do my consulting and mediation work, which is mostly virtual anyway and change from phone to zoom? Of course. But where should I do that? The big question in my Great Reckoning: Do I really need to be in an office? Can I work from home? My name has been on the door of an office for 35 years. I identify work with going there. It was part ego, part necessity and part habit. As for the ego, toss that. Necessity, not so much. Examining what is necessary is the reckoning. Habit? Changing habits is good for all of us, lest we get stuck in our lives.
I have shared space in an office with my husband, clinical psychologist Dr. Mikol Davis for most of the past 35 years. He was upstairs in one office and I was downstairs. It was great. Then we were next door to each other with a common large reception area. We are business partners at AgingParents.com, offering guidance for families with aging loved ones. Conveniently enough for the decision. making, our lease was going to expire soon. We can still work together from home, no question.
Covid-19 showed me that I do not need to go to an office, except for mediation of family conflicts. I have trouble the idea with zoom mediations, though some are doing them. I like to see people face to face so as not to miss all the nonverbal communication. My husband also needs to see some clients face to face, as psychotherapy is so much about subtle emotional communication. He searched. He found a great spot where we both can do what we need to do, sharing space twice a week with others. For him, he has access to a therapy suite on a reliable schedule. The rest is telemedicine. And part of the package allows me to use a conference room, plus his therapy room there for family meetings and mediations. Problem solved! No more paying for the much higher cost of leasing office space, as opposed to sharing someone else's leased space part time.
It is a major shift to move everything that was in our lovely office to our home. Huge amounts of unneeded stuff are donated. Fortunately, our kids are grown and there are two former bedrooms that are now our offices. It's working fine so far. It's in many ways a relief. The view from one of the rooms we use as our home office, as you can see, above, is a lot better than looking at the parking lot of our former offices. This evolution is good! I'm sure I'm not alone in finding that work at home can be just fine. For anyone who has the space, the interest in giving up an office, and willingness to part with habit, go for it.
Sigh. Now I have to purge my closet of a lot of no-longer-needed office clothes. Getting rid of what we don't need is part of the reckoning. For me, it's one identifiable good thing that came out of this very difficult time we still face. There's a certain freedom in it.