Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Avoiding Isolation

One thing I don't miss about working in an office with other people is, well, the other people. I didn't mind some banter and I made some good friends back in those days. But after a half hour, I craved privacy, which in a cubicle world, you rarely have. I'd put on my head phones whenever possible so I could shut out other people. If I had a door, I'd often push it shut. I'd cringe if someone came to see what I was doing. And nothing bothered me more than having my back toward someone. I had one job where I was at a desk closest to one door, so I could see who was coming in, but it meant my back was toward everyone else in the office. I got stuck there because I had the least seniority. I transferred out of there within five months.

So here I am in my own lovely office, in my own lovely house, and despite all the stressful things about the freelance business, I've never been less stressed. I attribute that to leaving my biggest stressor behind -- the regular 8-hour face time with lots of people.

But yesterday, because I was on a tight deadline, I knew I had to skip kickboxing class. I was going to go to the local writer's group meeting, but I was too worn down. I did make it to bell choir practice because if I'm not there, there isn't someone to cover me. When I got home and crashed on the couch, mentally exhausted from writing all day, I realized that I had been out of the house for a whole hour that day.

Granted, yesterday was unusual. A typical day sees me running off to one activity or another in the evening, often with the gym squeezed in there. I'm out among people while on my terms and for short periods of time that don't sap my energy. But still, yesterday was an eye opener for me on how easy it is to get sucked into being too isolated.

As summer approaches and all my school-year activities wind down (I don't know about other places, but everything here is pretty happens during the school year and goes on a three or four month break for summer), I'll need to find reasons to get out of the house more often. I'll pick up more gym hours, but I think it is time to plan more lunches with friends, especially writer friends, find someone to go walking with before I get too busy in my day. Any suggestions?

1 comment:

The BIKE Lady said...

Sue,

Just stopping in for a bit. The Blogathon brought me here. Cool, yes?!

Anyway, thought I'd post a comment on how to avoid isolation. You got it! Make appointments. Get those lunches scheduled now. While I love the isolation this writing life provides, I also know there is more to life than writing about it. We have to get out there and live it, too. Gulp. With other people. LOL

If I lived near you, I'd schedule lunch with you. I don't get out enough with friends, either. But my work involves a lot of travel, so at least I get out and am meeting new people all the time and doing things. It's the "friend" time I crave.

Anyway, book that first lunch today, while it's on your mind.

All my best,
Jackie