I’m on vacation this week, and my home away from home is a perfect little corner room at Disney’s Port Orleans – French Quarter. After two days of hitting the parks hard in Florida-August heat, today I opened my laptop to write, while rain fell on the brick paved Jazz Alley outside. In the movie version of this day, they will film this scene on location from the little wooden table between the windows of room 7208.
I love a change of scenery! Attending to the tasks at hand felt different today. I took a lunch break and ventured out for a walk through a misting rain. I was free of the distractions (and bad habits) I wrestle with when working from home. I worked on a lot of things, although I didn’t finish any of them. But even that felt okay, due to the change of scenery.
For more than 20 years, my workday scenery was the same, day after day. My job required me to work from a specific location – a hotel that was open 24/7/365. Truth be told, much of the time I spent at work I was waiting for something to happen. It’s just about impossible to predict when the phone will ring, or when a guest will need extra attention, or when the evening front desk attendant is going to call off. As a result, I “worked” a lot of hours, but I was not necessarily “working.” I was often in limbo, waiting to be needed.
I’m still relatively new to this work from home lifestyle, and this is the first time I’ve packed up my projects and brought them on vacation. It feels somehow easier to work through my daily checklist while I’m sitting here pretending to live in a one room apartment where I can see boats traveling up and down the Sassagoula River. Here I’m not waiting for someone to need me, here I am creating a day that is filled with equal parts work and intentional down time. That’s a good kind of limbo.
Reality, of course, means that on Saturday I will leave my little pied a terre in “the Bayou.” My days will have a different structure (oh, I will miss wandering through these tree lined streets in search of chicory coffee and Mickey-shaped beignets!) When I pack up my projects, I’m also going to pack up some of this vacation feeling, and I plan to revisit it often. A change of scenery this week reminded me that a little limbo can be a good thing.
Do you ever feel like your workday is filled with too many hours when you are “at work” but not “working?” Maybe you need a change of scenery? Where would you go if you could pack up your projects and take them with you?