Ragan.com by remote: A delicate work-life balance

Working from home proves challenging for a deadline-driven dad when school is canceled—for two days.

As I watched from the window, the blizzard slanted and the trees sought to uproot their feet and gestured theatrically overhead, as if throwing up their hands to say: “These winds! Can you believe it?”

But unlike Gabriel in James Joyce’s “The Dead,” whose soul swoons as he observes the snow falling upon all the living and the dead, my thoughts were less lofty.

“They’re going to cancel school tomorrow,” I said with foreboding.

“Yay!” said my son Lev, who’s 7.

“Oh, boy,” said Nonna, my wife.

It was Tuesday afternoon of Ragan’s work-from-home week, and school would be closed for the next two days because of the blizzard and extreme cold. On a third, children would get out at 11 a.m. because of parent-teacher conferences.

I have been a freelance writer for stretches of several years at a time, and even these days I often work from home as a Ragan employee. When I freelanced in the Russian Far East, I labored long hours, often e-mailing or calling sources and editors in the United States during the wee hours of the morning, when they were at their desks.

Snow Vikings

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