A year of working at home…

There’s a lot I didn’t say in the Open Letter (which I cross-posted here for your commenting pleasure) about the year I’ve spent working out of my home as a cartoonist.

At the top of the list is how much more I appreciate my family. I’m with them all the time, these days. As I write this I can hear Patches and Gleek (2-year-old son, 4-year-old daughter) playing together in the family room. Patches keeps saying something about the “Daddy Car,” which is one of the two green “new beetle” toy cars we have. I think he’s playing a game where Daddy drives very, very dangerously. I’m afraid to go look.

Speaking of driving dangerously, I totally and completely do NOT miss commuting. The pleasure I get from my automobile is now unmitigated by hundreds of hours of my life spent wasted on the freeway. Driving is more fun these days — especially when I take care to not hit certain roads between 4:30pm and 6:30pm.

Another pleasure is cooking. We can’t afford some of the really fancy ingredients I used to love (it’s hard to go wrong with fresh tiger prawns, for instance), but with the money we save not buying pre-packaged crap (you know, that stuff YOU are eating, RIGHT NOW IN FRONT OF YOUR COMPUTER) we can still afford things like olive oil, rice vinegar, and coconut milk — key ingredients in some of the fun things I’ve learned to cook since leaving Novell. Often my “lunch break” here at home is 90 minutes long, and involves cooking something complex, aromatic, and delicious. Equally often I do something simple, like grill burgers on the back deck. Sandra and I get to eat together a lot.

There are things I’m not doing right. I waste a lot of time in front of the computer. I don’t get enough sleep. I’ve not gotten decent exercise in several months. But these are all things over which I have complete control. My schedule is my own, and if I want to create better sleep and exercise habits, I don’t have to clear it with the VP of Product Marketing first.

And now, I need a shower. It’s almost 9:00am, and I’m still in my underwear.

19 thoughts on “A year of working at home…”

    1. I’ll do you one better. I’m the bread-winner, and while Sandra helps with the business, her REAL full-time job is Mommy. She’s been doing that for ten years now.

      I don’t know what the attraction of dual incomes is. More money? Hell, once you have enough to get by, what you need is more TIME TOGETHER.

      –Howard “enough of this soapbox” Tayler

      1. Alison finds work fulfilling as well. I’d LOVE to see me making dough as a cartoonist and Alison finding a job she loves that she can do 20-30 hours a week. And between the two of us, making enough to live comfortably.


        Who am I kidding? I’m gonna be a slave to a pharmaceutical company. A very very well paid slave…..

  1. Most times I know EXACTLY what you mean. Setting my own (often hectic admittedly) pace to my life. Waking up when I want… cooking more (though I’m no where near as skilled as you in that department).

    Here’s to sitting around in PJs at 11am 🙂

  2. And now, I need a shower. It’s almost 9:00am, and I’m still in my underwear.

    And that, to me, is the whole reason I’m striving to get published with my novels and write for a living. I want to be able to realize that it’s 9:00 in the morning, and I haven’t bothered to get dressed… because I don’t *HAVE* to.

    Glad to know that some people have made it. 🙂


  3. I am eating fresh baked from scratch banana bread! Neeener!

    There is a lot to be said about having time to hang out with the people you love and cook and bake a lot and not needing to make lots of money because you can do just fine with what you’ve got.

    1. Secret Underpants.

      It’s not like he’s in holey briefs or anything. Remember, Mormons have special, secret underwear, so it’s probably more like holy briefs.

      I just had to say it. =D

  4. Having more control over my schedule is one of the reasons I’m enjoying being back at college. I still have to teach to afford food, but other than the 8 hours I’m actually teaching, and the 9 I’m sitting in class, I chose when I do things like eat or research. And living with others, I have people to help me eat all the food I cook (I prefer to cook soups, which seem to be difficult to scale to one person eating).

  5. I am NOT eating junk… I am about to go have some delicious Sleeping Snake Pie… homemade with phyllo dough, cheeses, eggs and fresh grated vegetables. (I can get the kids to eat eggplant and zuchinni if I put it in Sleeping Snake Pie!)

    So take back your slander right now, sir!

  6. Man, I envy you. But I also plan to do the work from home thing. I spent a whole month living entirely off my costuming work this summer. I learned that a.) I love doing that. Being able to set my own schedule is so wonderful, b.) that sadly I can’t quite make it go… yet. Give me a few years to increase my skill and reputation and I plan to actually do it.

    *grins* You’re my inspiration. If somebdoy can make a living off of a web comic, I can make a living making costumes and selling them on the net.

  7. Hi Guys,
    Knew you would make it, the money will come, you already have what others dream, that’s each other all the time 🙂

    I’m in my tenth year and I still don’t spend as much time as I would like with Christine, as you know my business is different, the only way I could spend extra time with Chris is to sell the business and retire.

    Selling out at the right level will be hard, as you know the big N recently announced they will provide server sync “out-the-box” and this wont be Toffa.

    So that leaves me with a real task, replace the $1M income with non-gw sync and no-sync gw products within 6 months. Yeah it’s going to be tough, I need to bring in at least $700k to avoid reducing overheads.

    Doesn’t look likely I’m be visiting SaltLake in 06.

    I have a couple of new non-sync ge products hitting the street in Oct as well as a big non-gw web based sync project due out Dec.

    Keep you posted.

    Again well done to you both

    Love Chris.

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