A few posts ago I wrote about how I no longer have the job that brought me to Dublin. My professional life has definitely had a major shift and for the past couple months I have been working nearly exclusively from home. For the most part, I like it. I like being more in control of my schedule, I like that I can get stuff like laundry and shopping done during the week rather than on the weekend, I like that if I feel like working in my pajamas, I can work in my pajamas.
But there are negatives as well. When one works from home, the “off the clock” and “on the clock” lines are blurred. My home is my office and my office is my home so the work is always there and I tend to be someone who just wants to get things done as quickly as possible rather than leave them hanging. This past Friday, I was at a party and when checking the time on my phone saw that I had a bunch of emails. I (stupidly) took a peek at one email, which made me read another and then another. After reading those emails, I couldn’t get the issues I was going to need to deal with out of my mind and I pretty much stopped enjoying myself at the party and left just a little while later. I need to find a way for this to NOT happen again. But it’s hard.
Most of you know that I had a rocky start here in Dublin. I arrived a month before I started work and it was just me in my empty apartment thinking that I’d made the worst mistake of my life. The day that I finally got to go into the office was huge for me. There were people! People who talked to me! What a relief that was. And from that day on, things in Dublin started to get better. I can say without a doubt that if I had been working from home at that time, I would not have made it.
But things are different now. I love living in Dublin, I have friends here, I feel at home here. I’m also living in an amazing house in a great neighborhood. So, now I have a new problem – I am becoming a hermit. It takes a lot to get me out of the house now. St. Stephen’s Green, which is literally a 7 minute ride on the LUAS just seems so far away. A few weeks back, people from the office were going to happy hour and I was excited about meeting them out. I actually got dressed and put make-up on but when it came time to actually go, I just couldn’t do it.
When I moved to Dublin, I made a conscious effort to be social and really started to enjoy going out. After all, there is a reason Dublin is known for its pubs. But now that my circumstances are different I see myself slipping into old habits. I tended toward hermitry when I lived in Los Angeles and New York as well, but then, I was going into an office everyday and my hermity weekends were my way of recharging.
But I am consciously trying to fight the hermit. It’s an uphill battle, but one I need to win. What’s the point of moving to Europe if I’m just going to stay inside, not seeing anyone or doing anything? I can do that anywhere.
Hermit, you are not my friend. You are not good for me. You are on notice – I hope.