For most of my working life, I haven’t had my own office. I work from home, but in the early days I traveled a lot. As newlyweds, with my husband still in college, it made more sense for him to occupy the second bedroom in our apartment as his office since he was home far more than I was. I had a desk in our master bedroom, with not much on it other than my laptop and maybe some drawers to file things.
Flash forward to the condo we bought a few years later. I was no longer traveling and working from home after our first son was born. I bought this beautiful desk — small in its footprint, with the ability to fold up the desk part so that it looked like a bookshelf. It was in our living room, a complimentary piece of furniture in the space. My husband still occupied one of the bedrooms in the condo as his home office, even though he now had a regular 9-to-5 job that took him out of the house every day.
We moved again…. and again… and again, finally settling into our current home. Each time, my work desk landed in the living room and my husband in an office to himself. I never really thought much of it — I was used to my living room desk. In the evenings when the kids were tucked in at night, I would often read or watch Netflix in our master bedroom, whereas he would play video games, so his nightly downtime made more sense to have his “own” space than mine.
It has only been in the past year or two that I began to want a space of my own. I began spending a lot more time writing, and found I had no place to do that. I tried a tiny secretary desk in our master bedroom, but found myself too distracted in the space by thoughts of the “household.” I moved the desk out into our sunroom, but the temperature fluctuated a lot, and the kids could easily draw my attention — even with my husband’s stern instructions to them to “leave Mommy alone.”
I would wake early and seize the time to myself, turning the kitchen table into my space. But I had to transport everything with me each time for my morning routine: journal, pen, the book I was currently reading, notebook, Surface and mouse. By the time the kids woke, I would clear everything off of the table, usually leaving it in a pile on the counter.
When our third child was born, we began talking about an addition to the house and it included another bedroom. This was not going to be a room for one of the kids, but rather an office for me. Our bedroom situation was fine, but I needed that space, as the kids were growing older (therefore more invasive…) and as I wanted to focus on cultivating my own interest in writing.
We began the expansion six months ago and just this week, I moved into my new office.
I picked out the color of the room, the hardwood floor, the fancy light fixture, and the french doors. I have a large desk for work, with two huge monitors, and my small secretary desk for writing. I can close the doors and feel very removed from the rest of the house.
This morning, I woke up early like I always do. I made my two beverages — one cup of coffee with heavy cream, and one cup of hot water with honey and lemon — like I always do. Except now instead of the kitchen table, I am at my little writing desk in my new office, with my journal, notebook, and Surface waiting for me.