Not so very long ago, the idea of “going out to work” would have astonished most of our ancestors. Most people lived & worked in what I’ve heard described as the “Domestic Economy” i.e. they farmed, they spun or wove, made buttons, kept a few sheep or hens, grew stuff & sold the excess. In town, they might have taken in laundry, or done a bit of dressmaking or knitting for cash. Shopkeepers, innkeepers, bakers & postmasters lived above or behind their premises, domestic staff lived in the nooks & crannies of the great (or middle-class) houses that they worked in. Only the middle “professional” class would have travelled to work, and for most of them it would have been a short walk. But now we’ve created a monstrous rod for our own backs of “commuting” to work; you are very lucky indeed of you can find well-enough-paid work within walking distance of anywhere you’d want to live.
So if you don’t want to lose weeks of your precious life sitting fuming in traffic jams, or standing jammed into wildly-swaying tube trains, or paying vast sums of money to be packed into trains that get you there late as often as not, and may not even run at all, you have to think outside the box & come up with something profitable that you can do from home. Or several tangentially-related somethings, as I have, though I’m the first to admit I’m lucky enough not to have to earn a “realistic” wage in order to keep the roof actually over our heads.
BUT, it seems we are so stuck in the “going out to work” groove now that it can be rather difficult for others, even your nearest & dearest, to get their heads around the idea that yes, you’re there at home, but YOU ARE STILL WORKING! People who wouldn’t dream of disturbing someone head-down at their desk at the office will happily ask you what’s for tea just when you’re trying to refine a particularly difficult sentence. Or yell from the rubble that used to be the ironing pile that they need a certain t-shirt RIGHT NOW, or ask for a lift to somewhere the bus could have got them to, if they’d thought of it in time. And it’s always delightful to see friends, but some warning of an impending visit would be a gracious idea, so that urgent tasks can be completed or rescheduled, and dangerous substances or valuable & fragile items aren’t lying around where your puppy or toddler can eat them. Although of course that does risk the possibility that I may say, “Terribly sorry, but could we do it another time?”