Welcome to my blog. I write about fitting in, sticking out, and missing the motherland as a serial foreigner.

My new office

As you may recall, our housing here in Sharjah is completely furnished by the university. However, when we moved here almost two years ago, we rearranged the furniture distribution from its default setup. Originally, the two non-master bedrooms upstairs had one desk and one bed each. We turned one of the rooms into an office for Jeremy and put two beds in the other for the girls' room. The extra desk we moved downstairs to the living room, for my "office." It was a big desk, bigger than I needed, but it was free and nice (and did I mention free?) and so we forced it to fit in the living room even though it made the furniture arrangement down there more awkward than it might have otherwise been.

Over the last year, I've increasingly felt that the desk-in-the-living-room wasn't the ideal situation for getting work done. One of the reasons we did it in the first place was so that I could work while still being with/taking care of the kids. Do you see what's wrong with that sentence? I do. There were times when it magically turned out that way, but usually, I was frustrated and trying to work while the girls were frustrated that I was there but not there there, you know? Neither work nor taking care of the kids was really getting done in an efficient/loving way.

So we finally got over the fact that this big nice desk that messed up my work efforts and our living room furniture arrangement was FREE, and gave it back to the university. I went to IKEA and got myself a nice, small desk and we set up a new office space for me, out of the living room.

Where did we put it, you ask? Well. There was this space at the top of the stairs - I guess maybe you'd call it an upstairs landing? A foyer? A wide hallway?
It was a no-man's-land outside the master bedroom and it was a completely unused space except we walked near (not even through) it every time we went upstairs. For some time, it had been bothering me that we had this wasted space in our house but I could never think what to put there. One we got rid of the huge desk, it suddenly became clear that I could fit the new, smaller desk in this space.

And now it is my very own. I feel like the captain of the whole house, sitting at my command post, perched at the top of the stairs. It's close enough to downstairs that I can keep an ear on what's going on and be there in a jiffy if I need to. But I'm out of sight and in a quiet space, which is priceless. Plus, I like being closer to Jeremy when I'm working on the computer (his office is just down the hall). Maybe this will mean fewer Gmail chat exchanges...but probably not.

An unexpected bonus is that I'm on the computer far less often for non-working purposes, like dinking around on the internet. When the desk/computer were in the living room, it was so easy during a lull in dinner-preparation, or child-raising, or cleaning, to just step over really quick and "check my email." Now, with a flight of stairs between me and my computer, I find that stifles the urge enough to keep me engaged in one task until it's done.

It was hard to give away free furniture and spend money on a replacement, but I am so happy with the change.
Funny things said by Magdalena

Funny things said by Magdalena

June 1st, outsourced