I work from home. I feel very fortunate that I am able to do that. Working from home does have certain challenges (like actually working…) but also has many, many advantages. I am home with my little boy, I’m here when my girls return from school, I can take a time out to ‘play’ in the kitchen, and numerous other advantages. In order to get all of my ‘for pay’ work done, I do have to follow somewhat of a schedule but even that is flexible.
If you have read this blog much, you may remember that in the past I’ve done some temporary work away from home. Fall of 2010, I had several assignments with one lasting 7 weeks and the others a few days to a week. During that time I also worked from home as a bookkeeper (a position I still hold) and seemed to be able to ‘keep up’ pretty well with both jobs and the meals. I shared via blog as I went along (archives Oct & Nov 2010) during that time and also did a ‘recap’ as a guest post.
In January, I started a business that (among other things) involved contract work. I was fortunate again to have this from home. Doing just the bookkeeping and the business worked great. And I should have said ‘no’ when the place I had done the 7 week temp job for asked me to ‘help them out’. But I didn’t. At first it was okay. I worked 16 hours a week for them and did my home stuff no problem (well, for the most part). But then they asked me to work full time over the summer. That was when everything fell apart for me. 40 hours plus travel time there, my bookkeeping (I average 15 hours per week on that) plus my home business with a contract that I had to fulfill (15 or so hours each week) caused me to about lose my sanity. And during this time my husband worked full time (still does), my 16 year old worked full time and my 15 year old was our ‘nanny’ caring for our toddler. Plus we still had all of the regular fun stuff needed to still continue such as chicken tending, attempting to garden, housework, etc. It was a busy time.
Where we had been in a very comfortable routine prior to that as far as our food stuff was concerned, it all seemed to fall apart. We had tried to stick to the 80/20 rule before (80 % real/whole/traditional, 20% we didn’t terribly worry about) we were doing good to hit a 50/50 during the summer. And as I’ve mentioned several times, my health suffered.
Even though my summer experience was less than stellar, I do believe that a person working a sensible amount of hours can provide healthful, nourishing foods without causing undue stress.
A New Series
With that thought in mind, I’m going to kick off a new series “Someone Else’s Shoes” with my first installment spending a week ‘working’ outside the home. While I won’t actually go out and get a job outside the home (I still work from home as a bookkeeper and running my business) I’ll spend my week with a schedule that would be reflective of outside employment. This experience (or experiment, if you prefer) has been done before by Cara at Health, Home, and Happiness so is nothing new and considering I have actually worked outside the home and was successful in continuing our real/whole/traditional meals, I too have already had this experience in some ways.
You may wonder why I would choose this experience since it has been done before. For the series “Someone Else’s Shoes” I think it is an important piece. I’m sure we’ve all heard the phrase “Don’t judge someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes” which is the basis for this series. While I try not to judge people in the first place (try, I’m not perfect by any means), it is easy for me to say “oh, yeah no problem doing ________” from my own perspective and experiences. But by spending some time in “Someone Else’s Shoes” I hope to be able to gain a better understanding of how real/whole/traditional foods can play a role in a variety of circumstances.
Since this blog focuses on Real Food for Less Money many of the experiences will be budget/money related. Each will last for the duration of only one week (the amount of time my husband agreed to) which is probably not nearly long enough to get the full experience but rather a sample.
I have to say, that when I first considered doing this series I rejected the idea. But it keeps coming back to me. I really do wonder how/if people could thrive with a real/whole/traditional lifestyle when certain challenges are presented. While our food budget isn’t overly large could we continue this on less? If our circumstances changed in other ways (not just monetarily) how would our food be affected? I already know that I cannot work 70 hours per week and continue in this manner from my prior experience (so we won’t be repeating that one!) But what other factors might affect our ability to enjoy real/whole/traditional foods?
One of the main reasons I’ve rejected doing this series is because I do not want to come off as condescending. When I share with you (blog), I try to share things as they are. I don’t want to come off as someone who knows it all (I don’t) or has all the answers (still don’t) and I fear that by sharing these experiences it might seem that way to some. Like “if I can do this you can do this” or “I’m better than you are”. That will never be my intention. And to be quite honest, some of these experiences may not turn out the way I expect. Perhaps some might call an experience a failure in that case. I think it is important to share the good and the not so good. Not so good, doesn’t necessarily mean failure. Keep in mind, my entire family will most likely be participating in these experiences too (I can’t ship them off on experience week).
So that’s what it is. “Someone Else’s Shoes” kicks off on Sunday with the first experience focusing on time. Can both my husband and I work outside the home and still continue with our current dietary standards? On Sunday I’ll share the ‘rules’ of this challenge, the schedule and how I hope my plan for the week might go. I hope you’ll join me!
To go along with this exciting new series, I’ll also be announcing a great giveaway tomorrow! This giveaway is something that I know will be a huge benefit and introduce you to many great, time saving skills. Come back tomorrow for the giveaway announcement and your chance to win.
Resource: Cara at Health, Home & Happiness-Traditional Food in Real Life
Photo Credits (Top to Bottom): Slippers tracy the astonishing, Comfortable shoes dibytes, Ballet Slippers shutterbugchef, Beach shoes @Doug88888, Cowboy Boots rarejacksonholerealestate, Dance shoes gwilmore, Work Boots Egan Snow, Converse jaclynjanai