My brand new desk at home.
As it turns out, it has been years since I’ve had a proper desk of my own at home. The computer table that functioned as my desk for the last year of my chemistry studies pretty much became community property once the sprogs arrived. (You’d be amazed at how quickly babies become territorial about computers.) This means that much of my philosophy dissertation was hammered out on my laptop at the neighborhood cafe.
Since the sprogs, much of the work I’ve done at home has been accomplished with the laptop actually on my lap, or with the aid of clipboards (for grading). But I decided that wasn’t going to fly for the semi-scary project of trying to hammer out and polish a couple books. So I have seized a corner in the living room at Casa Free-Ride and installed a desk that will, I hope, establish a physical locus for my important brain work.
This will not be without its challenges. While Virginia Woolf may have gotten a room of her own, my desk is in a room of the house that is considered shared space. And the sprogs have a sense of justice that makes sharing central. A few years ago, I torqued my knee pretty badly (dancing at a party my thesis advisor was throwing to celebrate his departure from the area; sadly, I had left the party by the time the cops arrived to shut it down). I came back from the doctor’s with a cane, and at the door, the younger Free-Ride offspring snatched it from me and ran off to play with it. The elder Free-Ride offspring issued a stern reprimand: “That cane is for us to share with Mommy!”
Which is to say, my admonitions that the new desk is a sacred space in which Mommy will be doing Very Important Work haven’t completely kept their grubby mitts off of it so far. Nor has the clearly visible fact of my sitting at the desk and working been enough to discourage them from playing loudly two feet away from me. We’re going to be reviewing what it means to give someone space to do her work.
In related news, I discovered that the teenager who lives next door has a rock band that practices in the garage. I hope he has a summer job lined up.