Friday, June 27, 2014

hi-ho, hi-ho, it's off to work I go

A week ago I strutted happily out into the sun. It was later than I'd planned, but still early enough to count as morning.

I was happy because I was heading to work. In a way all the world could understand. I had donned nice clothes, packed my computer tote with the day's tasks, and was commuting by foot to my office building where I would climb the curving stairs and spread the tools of my trade across a desk surface larger than any available flat spaces in my tiny home. And later, I could even take a real lunch break. Delightful.

I love it when a plan comes together.

I've had this plan before, but it never worked out. So I wasn't very hopeful this time when the plan wandered back into my brain a couple weeks ago.

The plan: to have an office somewhere outside my home.

You see, freelancing has lots of perks, including working from home. Except that sometimes working from home loses its perkiness.

And lately, that's exactly what had happened. I was not being productive at home. There always seemed to be dishes to wash. And taking work to some sunny café or other isn't really an option here most of the time. The café culture in Aix is not the pretend-this-is-your-office culture of Starbucks. And besides, even when Starbucks is just down the road, sometimes you just really need a real office for the task at hand.

I've been working from home for a long time now - in the U.S., in London, in France. And now that my formal French classes have ended (I do not yet speak perfect French, lest you be fooled by that phrase) and my excuse for leaving my house multiple times per week to interact with other human beings in person has evaporated, I was beginning to feel the tension of needing to be around people while also needing to get work done. Chatting with friends in sunny cafés every afternoon wasn't an option.

So I searched. And I found. It was one little ad listed two months prior on, the French equivalent of Craigslist. The proprietor is a super nice French woman. The other office-mate is a bilingual South African. The space feeds my creative soul. So I decided it's worth the financial risk (the part where I don't really make enough extra to pay for this space - YET) to invest in a little corner of the world that I can refer to as "my office."

Thus, two days per week now, I get to go to work. And it leaves me feeling immensely grown up and professional.

The building entrance.
Heading upstairs!
A note welcoming me to the two-room office digs on my first day.
The mother of the pigeon family that lives across the street.
If one must have a view of a wall, this wall works.

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