The End of an Era?

Starting tomorrow morning, after 16 months, my husband will be going back to commuting to work in his office full time. This is going to be a bittersweet transition for both of us.

When the pandemic began in March 2020, he was in no way prepared to work from home. It took adjustments and compromises from both of us to figure it all out. We have a very small home and while one bedroom is dedicated as an office, we could not both work effectively in it together. In the beginning, he thought he could just sit on the couch by the TV (in another bedroom), with his laptop on his lap and get by, but that thought didn’t last long.

We finally settled on him working in the living room with me staying in the office. Because I need more control over the noise and lighting in my workspace, and he preferred the natural lighting and stimulation of the front yard/street noises, it was just the natural choice. We went through a couple iterations of desk options when we finally settled on our spaces. First, we moved the dining table over and he placed all his computer, monitor, phone, etc on it. Eventually, we ended up finding a suitable desk and reclaimed the dining table for eating and mail sorting and the like.

I know he never really liked the commute, so that may be his largest challenge in re-entry to the office life. And remembering to pack a lunch in the morning. I am going to miss the companionship during the day most of all. Having had someone to share lunch with and talk about our days, ask for and give advice about our respective work challenges in the moment and to share in dog-out duties, it is going to be a loss for me should this situation persist.

Don’t get me wrong… I absolutely love working from home and do not plan on going back to the office myself. The physical space in the office as it was is something I honestly don’t know how I handled as long as I did. And since I don’t expect that situation to change, I see no reason to add commute time back to my days, in addition to the environmental stressors.

But I will miss having my husband around to share the day with. We really had come up with a great system that helped us be as successful as possible when the shit hit the fan last year. To me, this was an example of our resilience as working people and as a couple, in the face of incredibly challenging odds. In a way, it will be sad to see this era end.

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