No, my friends don’t put it exactly that way these days. “Let’s hang out” is also passé. The brilliant weather calls to me wordlessly. The birds call, the sun shines, hoodies and jackets are shed. Friends call, and I dutifully stick to my work schedule. Usually, that is. Right now I am as bad as a high school student with “senioritis” when invited to come out and play.
On an typical day a friend may ask whether I am going to the gym, the pool, taking a walk, want to have a cup of tea, or a drink in the garden. There are even a few with whom I work collaboratively. I also receive invitations to concerts, to parties, to celebrations & ceremonies as well. But neither obligations nor preplanned events are daily temptations.
Everyone who works from home is subject to many of the same temptations, interruptions, joys, and frustrations. Kids who normally have no interest in mom suddenly have important information to convey. If I snap that I’m in the middle of something, I’m beset by guilt moments later. If I drop work and engage, likewise. The kitchen table office just isn’t working that well, but that’s where I work most of the time.
Friends are more understanding when the reply is “busy working.” It was always more tempting to hang out with friends than with parents as a kid. Some things don’t change. The family reconvenes at dinner and night time, but as an adult, it is more difficult to find friend time.
The temptation to spend time with a friend who also leads a semi-solitary creative life writing, composing music, creating art, as a university professor, or running a business from home is always there. Yet we almost always resist. We all work, or at least attempt to work, more than do those who “go” to work. We simply never finish because we have allowed ourselves the dubious luxury of doing the dishes or laundry, or the definite luxury of reading or listening to music for pleasure and because we have the kind of work that is never done. Like parenting.
The lettuce is wilting again though I watered it twice yesterday. It is so hot and sunny that I must hang out the laundry to bake rather than using the dryer. Be right back!
Two friends texted me about swimming in our community pool yesterday. Lap-swimming is hardly the most social occupation, but playing chicken is strictly forbidden at our public pool, so we have a hasty exchange or wave before or after we swim laps. Maybe this is my summer of learning more than a back dive! At 6:15 yesterday, I missed one friend who came & left a little earlier. The other–a swimmer, as opposed to someone who can swim–was swimming when I arrived and still swimming when I climbed out. We did catch up on a few things while rinsing off in the locker room.
Today our glorious Olympic-sized pool and diving well both open for the first weekend of summer. Not only will I bring goggles, cap, and lap suit, but a beach towel, sunglasses, snack, phone, earbuds, & a book. But what I really plan to do is unabashedly hang out and play. The time has come to rouse my inner child. I hope my friends can come out and play, too! Still undecided about working on those bikini lines :/)