I have been basking in the sunshine! It’s been gloriously sunny and warm for a few days now and it’s just the absolute greatest thing! It’s been in the 50s!
It’s been so nice for melting the snow and drying things out and lifting spirits around here. Of course, everything is sunk now in the mud, which is going to continue to be a big old issue for things like driving to maneuver out of my driveway and getting deliveries, but it’s a temporary problem. I have been trying to look at getting a load of gravel hauled in this summer maybe, to help fortify the driveway and to maybe build a drainage system.
I’ve mentioned this a bunch, but work has been pretty crazy lately, and I’ve totally let it get that way. The thing about remote work, at least in tech, I guess I can’t speak to it across the board, is that even the kindest bosses are probably not keeping track of your time like you are and are possibly heaping work on. They don’t mean to, but it’s simply not as easy to notice when the little slack “online” icon has been green for 14-16 hours. And even further in his defense, I’ve said nothing because I figured it was a temporary thing. But I’ve come to the conclusion that I’ve accidentally trained my lovely team that I’m around and working all the time, and that’s never a good thing, but especially not good as it’s getting closer and closer to seasons of outside chores and I can only sit at a desk for so long before the sunshine and soft nickers win out.
So, I’m trying to slowly work back into signing off after 8 hours, setting somewhat stricter “reachable” hours, and getting some of my free time back to be outdoors. It’s an ongoing cycle with me, seems like almost every 6 months I have to correct some sort of work/life balance issue, because when your work is always three steps from your bed, it can be hard to disconnect.
That said you couldn’t force me into an actual office role for anything anymore. I’m far, far too happy to not have a commute, to work on projects in sweatpants, and to be able to eat lunch whenever I feel like it. Remote work is definitely what I am built for, even more so when I can set my own hours (mostly) and work out on the porch. I’d be miserable in an actual office, I now officially can’t be away from my animals for more than an hour or two. Otherwise, I absolutely lose my mind.
Plus, it helps that, despite my complaining, I actually really like my job a lot. It’s not a case of “if you do something you love, you’ll never work a day in your life” because, frankly, I think that’s nonsense, but I think it’s about as close as you can get. I think the saying should be something like “find a good team, doing work you find mostly enjoyable, and work will be a manageable task each day of your life” …. but maybe catchier.
Because let’s be real, even when you love your job like I do, if you wouldn’t do it for free, you’re working.
Anyways, all that to say, I’m trying to arrange life around riding and farm chores again instead of work, and I’m so excited about it. I have had a few days now where it’s been heavy sweatshirt instead of a coat weather, and I am now thriving. When it gets to t-shirt weather, I’ll be unstoppable, and also never at my desk. Those are the days where I suddenly go “oh no, I was meant to finish the blog today!” And I quickly haul everything out to the porch, so I don’t have to go inside to publish it.
It’s also the season of listening to the doves coo, which is such a warm and nostalgic sound for me. We did not have doves in the pacific northwest so each summer when school let out and I got to come over here to my lovely valley, that first morning waking up to dove coos was the sweetest day of summer. Doves cooing meant I was in my favorite place on earth, where I can read under ancient ash trees, go play with baby farm animals, take long walks with my camera, and write on the back porch to the sounds of running water and twittering birds.
Now as an adult I’ve been able to add “can fall asleep in my own bed, cuddle my own horses, and have halfway decent internet” to the equation and frankly, sometimes I have to pinch myself. To think I was annoyed when I first moved here, because it wasn’t the plan after college, I had to give up friends and, at the time I thought, the career I’d just worked so hard for as well. I don’t blame past Amanda for being scared about those things, while I’m so happy to be here, it’s not always been peaches and roses, and it won’t always be peaches and roses going forward. But I wish sometimes I could go back and tell her how good it works out, that her friends stay around, mostly online but they do come to visit, that she ends up purchasing two amazing mares, that she still gets to have her career.
I guess, in summation, take this small piece of advice my dad always reminds me of: “your plans and Gods plans may differ, but it’s only because you don’t know to dream any bigger”. Maybe you and I can both work on going with the flow more, it really seems to work itself out each time better than we can imagine.
Until we chat again my friends.