Iâ€™m sitting at the desk in my home office â€“ the place Iâ€™ve worked for 22 years. My drink coaster is blemished with countless rings from the cups of coffee, soda and water I drink. My keyboard is prosecution Exhibit A for the filthiness of the grunge and ick amassed through years of use.
But the perch also is a snapshot of how intricate the home office is to modern life.
My pencil drawer has two spools of dental floss, nail clippers and ear plugs (why ear plugs, I cannot recall).
My pencil cup has the cancelled checks from the diamond and setting I bought my bride-to-be more than 24 years ago. And thereâ€™s the comb I use to groom our terrier Stellaâ€™s beard.
I even keep my stash nearby.
The meds I take each morning are within armâ€™s reach. My Excedrin bottle is nearby (whether for a headache, or a little kick in the afternoon).
Of course, picture of â€“ and by â€“ my kids line the walls and shelves, as do mementos, keepsakes (and some shlock) amassed during a life well lived.
Thereâ€™s a lot of stuff in this home office that has little to do with work.
But the home office, I guess, begins at home. Itâ€™s a picture of life being lived. Though itâ€™s a place of work, itâ€™s part of the home. In fact, Iâ€™d hazard that itâ€™s impact is more than the 5% it comprises of the actual space of our home.
Itâ€™s a place of work, where the kids gather in the morning or evening, our dog lounges during the day, the Itâ€™s the place I play music when the mood so hits.
And just so no one questions whether Iâ€™m breaking any IRS rules about whether my home office is more home than office: I donâ€™t deduct the space. Actual expenses, like the dedicated business and fax line, yes. But the space? No.
But this isnâ€™t a discussion of my tax situation. Itâ€™s an introspection of how the office and home fit like two tongue-and-groove boards joined seamlessly to create one larger plank.
Itâ€™s the place weâ€™ve raised our kids, my workâ€™s been done, Iâ€™ve lived each day for almost 23 years. Itâ€™s not the nexus of the home, but itâ€™s That Place where my kids know they can find Dad â€“ to catch up on the dayâ€™s events, ask a question, share a confidence, bond.
As much stuff in my home office is about life as the stuff that which reflects work.
The home office has been for 23 years a great place to make a living. Itâ€™s also been a great place from which to raise a family.