Thursday, April 5, 2012

Stand-up desks and working from home: a match made in Heaven

I'm as giddy as a schoolgirl huffing nitrous oxide. My stand-up desk is under construction!

A pic:

It's your funeral if you don't get one of these.
The deal is that I build a stand-up desk website for my office landlord, and he builds me a desk. Well, we're both WAY behind schedule on the various deliverables for each other, but he happened to have a client reject the design he commissioned, meaning there was this big hunk of unfinished wood just taking up space in the storage room.

"I have an idea..." I volunteered.

So, since the design is perfect for what I have in mind, he's just going to complete it and send it home with me. The timing is perfect because as my wife gets closer to her due date, chasing after two little boys gets more and more difficult, meaning I need to cut back on my work hours and attempt to work from home. Normally, I laugh -- LAUGH, I tell you -- at the idea of working from home. My boys are probably literally angels, but of a species that can fall and come back to grace at will. They destroy your home, then melt your heart. Let me just say it -- they're kind of evil that way.

Anyway, the problem I've had working from home is that my (old, antiquated) sit-down desk is downstairs in the basement. In other words, out of smacking range of the kids when they misbehave. (Come on, I'm kidding -- I don't smack my kids. I chain them to a stake in the ground out by the beehive.) Also, there is nothing more frustrating for me than having to get up, sit down, get up, sit down, get up, sit down a thousand times while I chase after the boys for some reason.

The solution, in theory: With a stand-up desk, I'm already in a fast-response posture. They may think they're getting away with something, but not while Daddy is working in a coiled-power-ready-to-spring-in-a-second's-notice mode. Also, since the desk will be on the main level where the boys have more access to me, they'll likely want to stay in what I call the "interdiction zone," which is roughly the length of my arms.

A stand-up desk will also be useful for all those sleepless nights coming up in a few months. Little baby Cecilia will be here somewhere around the end of May. This is my third time around this block, so I've learned a few things, logistically speaking. One of those things is that one should abandon all hope of relaxing with a baby in the middle of the night. Think you can find that "perfect spot" where you can relax, the baby can sleep and/or work on a bottle, all at once? Haha, no. Especially if you think you can watch a movie on an iPad or something, or even just play around on your phone. When you have a baby, phone, bottle, beebee (blanket) and spit rag in your orbit, nothing is "easy."

At least not with my kids. Our second boy, Kolbe, has only fallen asleep in my arms, while I'm sitting, twice in two years. The rest of the time, that little (redacted) ONLY falls asleep while I'm standing up. And did I mention that until recently, 9:00 PM is not too late for him?

So, I have great hopes for this desk. Since I'll be on my feet about 18 hours a day, at home, wrestling boys, cleaning bottles and helping my wife up and down stairs, I might as well just forgo any false hope of relaxation and work those calf muscles.

I've been putting work on top of any high surface I can lately. Standing up while working WORKS for me. It works for the desks' creator, Jeff, as well. He's got one stand-up desk in his office, and he put everything else on top of cinderblocks. I don't think he even has a chair in there anymore.

Maybe he read the latest piece on how sitting all day will kill you.

Gotta run. My back hurts.

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