Six years ago I started my independent practice as a speech and language therapist, working with children. I left the relative safety of working in the NHS to a new world where it was my responsibility to generate work and subsequent income to support family and home… initially both a daunting and exciting thought.
With two teenage boys, a husband who also works from home and a sprightly and somewhat balmy sprocker spaniel, it was a continual challenge to find what I needed when I needed it for my work; let alone a space to work. Trying to write reports when the children came home from school was nigh on impossible. Reluctantly ‘my work day’ would have to temporarily end and then resume later on in the evening. My work materials were all over the house and it was driving me crazy. I had not banked on the challenge of identifying and marking out a ‘workspace’ in our home when I decided to embark on working for myself. A space I didn’t want to share or had to double up as another function when I wasn’t working in it. Something had to be done… ‘Project Shed’ became a family mission to regain some sense of sanity in my life. Once we had researched and decided what we were going to construct; from digging the foundations in the garden to completion took six weeks with the help of family and friends.
In the garden I now have a treasured space to operate from. It provides an environment which is conducive to my working effectively and efficiently. The family respect that when I am in ‘my shed’ I am working unless I say otherwise and then they can come down to see me there. Over the years, since discovering a passion for painting, using pastels and drawing, ‘my shed’ has also become my ‘art studio.’ It is a space which gives me untold joy to be there and has a claim on it that it is mine. It provides that boundary between work and family life and makes for a happier me to be around!
Amanda Christie, www.artoftalking.co.uk