make a break for it

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By my quick count this morning over breakfast, I’ve left the house a grand total of five times in the month of February. Only one of those outings was made alone. To the grocery store. Part of the issue is that my car has been out of commission for close to three weeks now. It took a while to get down to the mechanic because it was all we could do to keep the driveway clear enough to get the working vehicle out. My little RAV4 is at the garage now, for the third day, and I’m hopeful we’ll have a diagnosis soon. The girls and I don’t go out much once J leaves for work anyway, but with the unpredictable weather and no vehicle, it’s been impossible.

But the bigger reason is just the nature of not only working from home, but working from home on our crazy schedule. I know I’ve kind of glossed over what our days actually look like around here, alluding to the fact that we off-shift, but not really getting into how we make it all work. I’ve been thinking about writing sort of a “day in the life” type post – would that be of interest? Our schedule isn’t perfect, and it wouldn’t work for everyone, but I know that so many families feel stuck in the 9-to-5 grind, never seeing each other and only having their children for the two hours between dinner and bedtime. The flexibility of my job allows us to have breakfast and lunch as a family every day, and I’m really grateful for that. There are drawbacks to every arrangement and our own situation is certainly no exception to that rule. The very reasons for loving this schedule become the shackles that keep me in place: without an actual reason to leave the house, I wind up not leaving at all.

It builds and festers, and then I have a moment like this morning when I catch a whiff of fresh air off the dog’s fur when he comes in from doing his business, and suddenly I need to get out. To go, to drive with the windows open even though it’s only 42*, to make a break for it.

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So today I’m parked at Panera. I scored a window seat with an outlet so I can feel the sunshine and watch the people come and go. I’ve got iced coffee and Dispatch is playing on the in-house speakers while I answer email and promise myself to do this more often. To be intentional about a change of scenery so that it doesn’t feel like I’m escaping my life every time I pull out of the drive, because isn’t that the point of this whole endeavor? To build a life that requires no escape plan.

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