evolve – noun | \i-ˈvälv, -ˈvȯlv, ē- also -ˈväv or -ˈvȯv\
: to change or develop slowly often into a better, more complex, or more advanced state
“It’s good to rearrange the furniture a couple of times a year just to clean out from under everything,” I said too loudly, as my husband shut off the vacuum cleaner. The two of us and my oldest stepson were dripping with sweat after not only moving the furniture around in one room, but swapping desks for sofas between the front room and the back room, moving the stored recliner back upstairs from the basement, and moving the six-foot bookshelf from the office into the living room.
Why all the change? It’s a good question.
In fact, why would a self-employed writer who works at home give up her office so that the whole family could finally enjoy the “best room in the house,” the one with the fireplace and the big bank of windows looking out to the backyard?
I think the idea started more than a year ago when I realized that being home for work, home for play, home for sleep, home, home, home all the time isn’t good for me professionally, personally, or even spiritually. I love my freelance life, and the work I do brings me great joy. But being home all the time has become a threat to my long-term success and satisfaction.
So about a year ago, I joined a coworking studio, which I really loved, except it was too far from home to be practical. I’m busy enough already, why would I choose to add a 90-minute commute just so I could take advantage of free snacks? Then last spring, I learned of a coworking studio opening up right here in my own small city. With summer just around the corner, the timing couldn’t be better since otherwise I would inherit three “coworkers” for the summer while the boys were on school break.
But the new coworking studio wasn’t available in time, and as summer came, and the boys and I tried to share the house all day, with me working while they developed a renewed passion for Netflix 20-feet away, I knew something had to give. Plus, the older the boys get, the bigger they get, and the more space we all need to coexist peacefully even during the school year.
An answer began to emerge: if my office could be turned back into the family room it was designed to be, we could all spread out a little more. But where would I work?
“Maybe I could work in the basement?” I suggested to my husband, who just stared at me for a few seconds. I’m not exactly what you might describe as “flexible,” and the thought of me being cooped up in our damp, cool basement with hardly any sunlight seemed like it probably wouldn’t last through the summer, much less become a long-term solution.
“You’re right,” I confessed, before Steve even had a chance to respond.
I thought about becoming a coffee shop hopper or joining another coworking space even further away from home near Steve’s office. “We could commute together,” I suggested. Again, the stare.
“You’re right,” I said, again before he could even respond.
“Maybe I could just rent a little room in someone else’s office here in town?” I suggested several days later. Steve thought it might be a good idea. By this time, the local coworking space was about to open, but based on my changing needs, I wasn’t sure it was the best option.
Eventually, I contacted my accountant, who happens to own several local commercial properties here in town to see if she knew of anyone with a room to rent. After a few emails and a couple of site visits, I found my solution.
On September 1, Charity Singleton Craig, LLC will hang a shingle and become a brick-and-mortar business in my own two-room office (plus a bathroom!). One room will be a place for me to spread out and work uninterrupted. The other room will offer a place to meet with clients, hold small gatherings, enjoy a few planned interruptions, and … well, let’s just say I have all kinds of plans for that room. And in the next few weeks, I’ll look forward to filling you in on all the details.
By yesterday evening, our house had officially had a living room and a family room for only about 30 hours, and already the five of us had thoroughly spread out between the two. One room is now dubbed “the TV room” and the other, the one that used to be my office, is “the quiet room” for reading or headphone media use. And that seems just fine with everyone; I think we’re all just happy for the extra space.
And even though I’m not yet moved into my new office and all my work stuff is shoved under the “family” desk, which is also where I’m working today, I’m already sensing the excitement of seeing my little one-woman show evolve into something more.
What’s YOUR word of the week? Drop it into the comments section, or share it on this week’s Facebook post. If you post about your word on your blog, please slip the link into a comment below so I can stop by and join you.
Definitions of my word of the week are from Merriam-Webster Dictionary Online.