After experiencing the Houston traffic, it’s easy to understand why Dorothy knew, there’s no place like home. The Houston traffic is chock full of dangers. Our recurring flood waters have brought us international fame, however, we also have all the other usual traffic frights of a big city. If Interstate 10 was the yellow brick road, the exploding tanker trucks and road rage would be the flying monkeys and wicked witches flying around on their brooms. If you’ve ever seen the way tow trucks hover and lurk around an underpass, waiting like vultures to be the first one to a car wreck or breakdown, it’s pretty creepy and unsettling. The deadly poppy fields really don’t look that much different from the deadly coronavirus. I don’t miss any of that one bit. I love an adventure as much as anyone, however, adventure can be found in better ways. I often say ‘let’s watch a movie where a lot of stuff gets blown up,’ but I don’t want to actually be the movie. Working from home is an adventure in itself. It changes your life in many ways.
Since I started working from home, over the years, I would have spent over 10,000 hours in the car, commuting back and forth to the office, navigating my way through the dangers of the city. With my portable, work from home job, I missed all of those hours sitting in traffic and replaced them with a different kind of adventure, at home with family and working from home.
So why is there no place like home? We know it’s true because that’s how we feel, but why do we feel that way? There are many songs and sayings about home. Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home – lyrics from Home Sweet Home, a very famous song from the 19th century, and then Motely Crue made a more modern heavy metal version of Home Sweet Home famous again in 1985. When we are away from home, we use the expression of being homesick. So, what is it about Dorothy’s sentiment, there’s no place like home, that resonates so strongly and deeply with all of us?
Sanctuary. One reason is the comfort, coziness and familiarity of home that makes us feel safe and secure. When you are working from home in the quiet morning hours of 5 a.m. and the kids are asleep just in the other room, it is a warm feeling of comfort to know that your family is safe and sound. Knowing where they are and that they have what they need is priceless. Peace of mind is priceless. You get to see your kids off to school and know that they arrived safely. Your home is your sanctuary, a place of refuge and safety. You do not feel safe and sound driving on the freeway. So as Elton John would say – Goodbye yellow brick road. And good riddance.
Priceless moments. Another reason is priceless moments. We moved to a small town in 2010 to take care of my mom when my daughter was in 3rd grade. I will never forget the look on my mom’s face when her little granddaughter asked her in earnest “Do you think you will get married again?” Picture a frail little old lady with white hair, 80 years old, sitting in a mobility scooter because she could no longer walk. You gotta love how kids see anything as possible. I wouldn’t have wanted to miss that moment for anything, but I probably would have missed it if I had not had the portability to pick up and move without having to change my work. There are many priceless moments like that, that we can and do experience when we work from home. All I need is a good, fast internet connection and my laptop and I can take my work with me.
Love. A third reason is love. Many positive memories are made at home. Home is a place for hanging out with friends in the backyard, playing games, visiting with neighbors, enjoying dinner parties and birthday parties. Home is a place where we cook delicious meals and break bread together. We go to great lengths to make a house a home. We surround ourselves with things we love, pets we love and people we love at home. Home is a place that brings loved ones together. Home is a place to rest and relax. Home is a place to hope and dream, and fortunately, we don’t have to leave home to work and earn a living.
We’ve heard so many people tell us how hard it is to find professional, legitimate work, working from home. That’s been frustrating to hear because we’ve been here all along, since 1996. Although I started the business at my kitchen table, in the early days I thought it was important to get office space and drive myself to the office almost every day. The rest of the company worked from home except for me. It wasn’t until I became a mom, when I really needed to work from home, that I realized I could work from home too, like everybody else. I can still go to the office when I need to, but I don’t have to drive to the office every day.
When Dorothy said she just wanted to go home to be with Auntie Em in Kansas, Glinda, the Good Witch of the North told Dorothy – You’ve had the power all along. You just had to learn it for yourself. It took me awhile too, but I eventually learned, there’s no place like working from home.