Time to Work

I remember.

I remember arriving to work at a specific time, settling in to my cube and starting my day. I had routines, an overflowing inbox and a clear understanding that, at a certain point, I would leave.

THIS is work

THIS is home

I remember rock-paper-scissors with my husband for which of us would pick up the child from school.

School was over THERE.

Now all the things are here. With a few more added on. There are intruding news stories and contagion reports.

I met a new friend on Zoom last week. I told her I was working on a new book, but…Covid.

“You must have so much time for writing now.”

Well, I do have time.

But whose time is it?

My job happily takes every second I give it and asks for more.

I find the starch to draw a boundary when it comes to my kid. She needs me!

And what is left?

Used to be I could leave the house for some uninterrupted time: a “break.”

Breaks are broken. Those cheap seats at Starbucks are illegal.

So, I’m nowhere. I’m not the only one.

We had a system. We had a lot of systems this. And every last one is unavailable.

This whole thing has gone on long enough. There is a lot I can’t control. And there are some things I can.

Repeat five times fast:


I am not available at that time. I have a previous commitment.
Leave mommy alone. I am doing work.
MY work.
This is my time.
Other people cannot have it. Other people will have to wait.

In a blaze of irony, it’s going to take work to take a break. It’s still worth it. We’re going to be here a while.