Like the dog, I’ve started taking morning naps. One of the things I’ll miss most about contracting is these times, taking walks with the dog during sun breaks or running errands on weekdays, staying on top of the laundry. I haven’t set my alarm in three years now (except for early morning flights), but the work has a way of waking you up, despite. Driving Lily to school…walking up the road with Charlotte…our goodbye routines when she gets on the bus. It’s time now to go back to an 8-5 work place, and I’m excited and sad at the same time.
I started contracting a year and a half ago, never thought I could really work from home. But I got a desk from IKEA and set it up in our bedroom, in the corner by the windows, and found I could do really good work through a mix of going into the office and working remote.
When I started working at Microsoft it was terrifying. I couldn’t understand anything anyone was saying; I tilted my head like our dog, pretending I did. “Pretend” goes a long way. I discovered that by being older somehow I was valued more, and that’s a narrow window of time to enjoy. I used my age, though at times I felt slower (most times).
When I interviewed for the new job the people interviewing me both said they’d read my blog, and I was glad and frightened by what they saw here. But like my hair stylist Donnie says, they’ve seen you naked, and now they see you for who you really are. And to be accepted or valued like that means a lot.
I used to view my work and creativity as two separate things, but I’ve worked hard over the past year to bring them together. Corporations need creativity — if you view creativity as connecting — and I still do my best work long-hand before prettying it up on PowerPoint.
I work odd hours and deliver whatever I need to, to keep my clients happy. But I take morning naps and afternoon walks and sometimes, Friday afternoons off. I’ll work Sunday mornings, or a few hours during the week before 9 AM. In a way it’s a more natural work rhythm, working when you feel inspired to work, or when you have to, based on the needs. I’ve enjoyed watching the seasons change vs. being confined to an office, and it’s possible I’ve done better work as a result.
What excited me most about the new job was the idea of working with young people out of college starting their careers in consulting. The firm needs help coaching and managing these people, and it will be hard, but rewarding. And I will be tired driving home in rush hour traffic, through Redmond.
I fit the eye pillow over my head and set my cell phone for a 30-minute nap, and fell back to the sound of our dog smacking her lips, to the laundry machine downstairs, the leaky shower head in the bathroom dripping into a bucket…the drip-drip sound that’s just like the days, it’s either a leaking or a falling away — or an accruing — depending on your point of view.