For the first time in 19 years, our family’s Spring break broke this year. Okay, maybe it was just me. And I guess it was really more of an uncomfortable contortion, than a break.
This is our inaugural year as 1/2 nesters, proud parents of two freshmen: one in college and one in high school. To underscore the dichotomy, their respective schools delivered separate–but equal–spring break schedules. Exactly one week apart from each other.
Add to that, a few key milestone events: the week before break was the wonderful, inspiring celebration of my 73-year-old mom’s marriage. And the following week was our daughter’s 15th birthday.
The final touch: a little real-time work/life rebalancing as my husband and I test drive the concept of two separate consulting businesses: same house, different specialities, different clients and different home office spaces. A lot of uncertainty and many spinning plates, but off to a promising start. That is, until one of those office spaces — the sunny, quiet and recently-converted guestroom/office that I have claimed–reverts during college break to a temporary teenage hibernation vortex.
So, with wistful memories of last year’s Spring break road trip down the California coast, filled with kayaking, biking and even dune riding on ATV’s, we all agreed to a plan-free, play-it-by-ear spring break season, 2014, anchored between a bride, two clients and a birthday. What I didn’t anticipate was my own long, strange trip within the walls of my home: in a quest for the consultant’s holy grail, a private spot with working computer and phone charger.
In one tragi-comic four hour span –with a bylined article deadline looming and two conference calls set right in the middle– I went from:
-Temporary squatter’s rights in my husband’s well-appointed den for an early morning conference call, until his pending video editing deadline got me booted to the
–family room table, where I wrote 3 marvelous paragraphs of copy until heart-warmingly rare sibling bonding over a video game prompted me let them savor the sweet shared moment of digital assassinations. So, I stole away to the briefly-abandoned, darker and messier
–office/hibernation vortex for about 45 minutes, before said college boy reclaimed it for his internship project and like a pinball, I went reeling back to
-the family room table where, in the blissful post-assassination quiet, I discovered that our very old Mac desktop was vomiting a trail of gray pixels wherever I moved the mouse, burying unsuspecting files and tool bars alike in its wake of gagging, gasping health.
Apparently, I must have emitted a bit of gagging and gasping myself, as my husband soon came downstairs without a word, crashed around in the garage for a few minutes, then disappeared upstairs, arms full, for some more scraping, crashing mayhem. Five minutes later, he collected me, a functioning laptop and an armful of cords, keyboards and accessories and deposited me into my new office: a folding picnic table set up in our bedroom.
Voila! A genius move.
Just as I got re-acclimated and finished the first page of my article, my lovely college boy peeked a look around the door. “Hey, that’s cool! Look at all that space! Can we trade desks?”
Suffice it to say that my son is back at college today, and the sweet little red writing desk that I assembled myself, stands unused in his recently vacated room, awaiting our reunion. But for now, on this cold rainy April Fool’s eve, I am content here at the big plastic picnic table in my bedroom.