Solace, Solitude, and Salutations


An unusually thick swarm of Monday Messes threatened to throw me off my game. Fine. Tackling them one by one, I manage to get things under control by the weekly update meeting. The calendar is front-loaded, so at least I can get the odd stuff knocked out early. After Wednesday, assuming Monday doesn’t revisit me, things will be firmly in order. I can return to those important, back-burner items that were never supposed to be set aside. Getting back to what I am supposed to be doing instead of putting out fires brings a feeling of solace.

Working in Solitude

Since about December 2019, I have been working mostly at home. It started as a timing issue, requiring me to work more than I would have liked over the holiday that year. Then COVID hit and we were sent home for a few months. When I returned to the office, I started by moving to a new office. Upstairs and isolated from my usual circle of coworkers, my job had changed a bit. For months, it was me, an elevator, and the rare passerby who was not sure why I was there. It wasn’t bad. I enjoy quite time to work, but it was odd going to work to be isolated. I was literally making time to leave my office to go where I knew the people were just to remind myself I was not alone in the building.

Change of Pace

What I do has not changed greatly over the past few years. Where I do my work has, and for the better. I am officially working from home full-time. I do not miss the drive. The easy avoidance of idle, water-cooler talk means less time away from my desk. Certainly, I miss some of the people. However, the amount of time lost being professionally conversational comes at a huge cost. Mostly, my head needs to be down, knocking out important projects. The payoff is that no one blinks twice when I need to take a day and they understand when I call it a week at exactly 40 hours.

True Solace

Finding that real piece of mind does not come from working at home, though. It comes from the freedom to enjoy a nice sunrise almost anytime. No thirty-minute drive to work means I can stand at the window and observe for a few minutes. There is no fear of someone saying, “Hey, great to see you! About that report…” While the sunrise pictured here isn’t from my backyard, it is emblematic of the solace I can find now that is hard to find from an office with a north-facing window overlooking a roof and a parking lot.

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