Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Change of Scenery

I want to work outside. For work today, our whole department went for an all-day retreat/planning session at the university-owned farm, less than a 20-minute drive from my house.

Even driving out to the farm, I felt myself decompressing as the landscape became more green and pastoral. Instead of tensing up, heading into a stressful day of work, I felt my shoulders relaxing as I enjoyed the view and lack of traffic.

Parking at the farm and walking to the building, I listened to birds singing and wind blowing in the trees.I squinted against bright sunshine to watch squirrels and chipmunks running through the gardens. I smelled clean, fresh air. I felt the wind in my hair and grass and gravel under my feet. It was amazing.

All day long, I kept thinking: What would it be like to work out here all the time? Or at least, all of the part-time that I'm currently working. There's a cross-country path through the fields and the woods, and a shower in the bathroom. I could go for a run at lunch. While working, I could take my computer or notepad out and sit in the grass for a change of pace. When I needed a break, I could take a brisk walk and try to identify a few different birds by sight or sound.

I need to think about this some more. I'm tired of being stressed out at work all the time. I barely leave my desk and the tiny office lit by soul-sucking fluorescent lights. I have a tiny window that is more like one of those arrow slits in castles, just wide enough to stick out a bow and shoot. If I want to get outside right now, there's a picnic table on the concrete by the loading dock. It overlooks a busy street that is full of noise and traffic.

Work is such a tricky thing. The work itself is only one small part of it. The people you work with and the atmosphere is so important, too. I like my job, and I like the people, but ... wow. I would really like to see a bit more nature throughout the day.

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