Leapdragon 2016 - Aron Hsiao Was Here

Like an episode of Parenthood  §

Ever since the building at 65 Fifth Avenue closed and our lives became happier and much more domestic, I've been trying—with very limited success—to work at home. Now Mirai is here, and she is the most beautiful thing in the universe, a thing that nonetheless requires rather a lot of attention, and as a result of the changing dynamics that this represents, "work at home" now becomes honestly and entirely "no work at home."

But of course since I have no other place(s) in life to be these days, "no work at home" quickly becomes "no work."

Between the needs of the baby and the needs of the rest of our little family and the easy access that I offer when I'm at the house (no matter whether I'm sequestered in a particular and separate room or not), there is simply no way, no chance, no how to get any work done within the framework of social norms, mores, and relationships that are the central structural pillars of my life.

Home is happy and home needs me and home is full of distractions and home owns me when I'm at home and these things are all the problem.

I am a thousand times less productive when I am at home. But of course, now that home holds so much value for me, I am fabulously miserable when I'm not at home, meaning that I'll likely increasingly be less productive when not at home.

Solution? I don't know. I think I need to find a way to set up a home office with boundaries that apply to it—hours during which I am (or am not) available, a door with a lock that is inviolable, etc. The problem is of course that we live in a tiny one-bedroom apartment in Queens. Someday when we have a nice, large estate this sort of "office" or "study" as a separate room or area in the house where only dad goes might make some kind of sense, but right now?

My workstation is right next to the nursing center, which is right next to our bed. I can't roll up and down my desk because the rocking chair (a wonderful and necessary thing) is pressed right up against the back of my desk chair. The living room is not ideal because of course my PC is in the bedroom. I could move the PC to the living room, but this would require a furniture and lifestyle shakeup that would take a week's labor, likely a certain additional volume of dollars, and so on, and these things are really simply not possible when there's a new baby in the house and so many things need to get done. How can I take a week off right now to renovate/redecorate? There's not a piece of furniture in that room right now that could hold a monitor and a keyboard, much less the rest of the PC.

And of course all of the books, office supplies, and so on are in the bedroom. Moving all that stuff to the living room would indeed require a wholesale remodeling of the house, given how many books I have and need. And in the meantime I'd have to relearn my entire workflow, not a great thing to be doing mid-late semester as crunch time approaches.

Basically, I'm freaking panicking and just can't seem to be productive and now with a baby here I feel twice the pressure (if not four times, or eight times, or sixteen times the pressure), and a sort of paralysis is creeping in around the edges that's more frightening than anything I've encountered in my entire adult life.

This has to be fixed, but I don't know how to fix it.