This week I enjoyed one of the biggest benefits, and pitfalls, of being a work-from-home writer—the bathrobe.
The week started with a full load of projects for me. One magazine page layout, a poem, a short story and a newspaper article were all due by Friday. No problem… I had hours of work time scheduled. The week began with a snowfall.
“How cozy,” said my bathrobe. “Since no one will see you working in your living room, you can skip getting dressed and just hang out with me.”
I buzzed through the first items on my list. I made a celebratory pot of coffee and took a break sitting in front of the window to watch the snow. With my phone as entertainment, I soon drained away the pot and the afternoon. When I noticed the sky darken I realized I’d spent an entire day lounging in my bathrobe.
“No big deal,” said my bathrobe. “You still have three, full work days scheduled and have already gotten so much done. You can afford to relax for a few hours.” Bathrobe was right.
The next morning I got up early, downed my coffee and sat down to work. I again skipped getting dressed and stayed in my bathrobe. At the computer, I opened my project for the day and started… listening to my bathrobe.
“Just leave your work tab open on your desktop and you can go back to it anytime. Let’s surf videos of funny dogs instead.” I titled the short story page and popped over to Youtube to watch dogs. Bathrobe knows best, right?
Before I knew it, evening had fallen again. Me and my bathrobe had rediscovered old bands, caught up on music gossip and learned about the hundreds of cat mummies just found in Egypt. My story tab sat untouched, title only.
“Don’t worry about it,” said my bathrobe. “You still have two entire days and you’re a fast worker. You needed this break after all the moving.” I agreed, but I couldn’t help thinking I also needed to get all those assignments done.
The next morning I woke up determined to get back on track. I wrote out my essential task list for the day over coffee, balanced my checkbook and set in. I left my bathrobe hanging on a hook behind the bathroom door. I got a few projects done and went for a cup of coffee and a break. I heard my bathrobe call me from the next room.
“Hey, are you feeling chilly out there? I’m just hanging here by myself, all warm and fleecy. Let me know if you need my help.” I fetched my bathrobe and snuggled in. I was back in work mode anyway. Nothing was going to distract me.
Cup of coffee down, I sat back at my computer and dug in to the unfinished story. Half way through I wondered at the proper usage for some word and I tabbed out. My bathrobe started muttering to itself.
“Working all the time will just make you sick. What’s the point of work anyway? To create quality of life. If you’ve got that, why work so hard?” My bathrobe is made of fuzzy, grey fleece with a hood that cradles my neck like a thick scarf. It wrapped snug against the back of my head like a pillow and started singing soft lullabys.
“You should go sit in the big leather armchair, pop the footrest out and watch the sun melt away the snow…. just for a few minutes. You’re just about caught up.” I conceded and my bathrobe and I spent much of the third afternoon watching deer pick their way through the falling leaves. I composed poetry on my phone. Suddenly, it was night.
“What the Hell, Bathrobe? You tricked me!” Now I was behind again. My bathrobe didn’t say a word, just nestled me in the ample folds and I forgot why I was mad.
“Go to bed early and make a fresh start in the morning,” said my bathrobe. “I promise not to distract you.”
The final morning of my work week, we broke up. I folded my bathrobe and tucked it in a drawer so I didn’t have to see it waiting to envelop me. All morning I heard muffled murmurs from the bedroom as it tried to entice me back, but I wasn’t having any of it. I’m done with listening to the lies my bathrobe tells me.
…and I got all my work done.