We Need Our Own Office Hours

I'm pretty sure that most of you try to set aside time each day for what I call, "office hours." Whether you are still working away from home or not, you still need your own time. For me, this time pays off with fewer interruptions to personal time. If someone asks when they should call or when to set an appointment... I automatically answer, "After 11am would be good." Why? Because my day begins when The Price is Right ends.

This makes my office hours from 11am to around 2pm. Between 11 and noon I try to get all my calls made in case I need to talk to someone on the East Coast. From noon until around 2pm I usually do housework and spend time on the computer because it's in the laundry room. I enjoy having friends come by during this time and sometimes I actually go visiting. I like this time.

Think about one of your typical days. Move every task that you can into your own "office hours." What will you do with the time that's left? Once you establish your office hours, you can take a nap, spend time in your garden, read a good book or simply sit in the sun because the office will protect you from the world... but only if you let it.

Once you establish your office hours, you've got to stick with it. This is the time for doctor appointments, getting your teeth cleaned, shopping or taking care of business. These will be the hours you have to give away. You can even put in time for volunteering, visiting with friends or doing nothing. These are your hours and you are the boss.

How did I learn this? From the master, Mr. S. He arrives at his office every day between the hours of 11am and 12:30pm. In his younger days, while he had a real job, he went later in the day but that's about the only difference. His office is located at Upstairs Bar and Grill. It has also been known as Monty's and Michko's. For the record, his office time was, and is, "playtime," but there's always plenty of talk about serious matters (?). We had our first date there.

The folks in the tavern are his (and our) friends. More importantly, it's his "away" time. This is where he holds court, tells bad jokes, laughs a lot, shares with old friends and makes new ones. This is his place. Like the television show Cheers. Everybody knows his name.

Our grandsons call the tavern "Grandpa's Office." They have done so for 20+ years. It doesn't matter to them that he never really had an official office. They know their Grandpa well enough to know that an office couldn't fit him in. They know he was a strong man and a good worker. They know he's funny... in office or out.

Our family office hours are pretty much the same because we both watch The Price is Right. He goes there. I stay here. Our world spins on greased grooves so long as we keep this balance of time. Why? Whether it's a tavern or a computer... personal space is still important as we grow older together. We each need an office with no boss but ourselves.

Old married people were not meant to be together 24/7. Most of us have already been together for many, many years. There is no question that we love each other... that we care... that we are committed to our relationships. It is also possible that we can make each other crazy.

Face it... we need time alone and time together, time with friends, time with children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. We need time with our parents and other family members. We need to laugh in a chorus or sit in total silence. You can't make time for any of these things without office hours.

The moral to our story is to make time for yourself by opening your own office and setting up the hours that will work best for you. It doesn't matter where it is. It matters that you put all necessities there and get your "work" done... whatever that is. This will leave you with guilt-free personal time because you've already taken care of business.

Be strong. Open an office and learn how to use it. But if you get a better offer during office hours... put up the "closed sign" and go for it!

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