Wednesday, February 17, 2010

In Mourning for the Old Way of Life

On February 1, 2010, I drove away from the house that I have called home for the last nine months at 7 AM, and looked back at it, knowing that it would be at least six days before I saw the daylight through the windows. I cried.

The most difficult part about starting a new job - one that involves a 45 minute one-way commute - was giving up the flexibility and comfort of working mainly from home. The house I'm living in has an extraordinary view, and on fortunate days in the winter, is full of sunlight from sunrise to late afternoon.

Trading that, and the ability to put in a load of laundry or bake a loaf of bread while I sit at my desk in the sunlight, for a basement office locked far away from any natural light from eight in the morning to four thirty or later at night, almost convinced me I'd made a mistake.

That long last look back was subsumed by days of orientation, organizing the office, and evenings full of music rehearsals. Now, almost three weeks into my job, I know I haven't made a mistake. It is possible to make the basement world a bit more habitable, and I've found the other basement dwellers to be more than welcoming (maybe they're planning to fatten me up and eat me?). Many evenings I've had to kill time and haven't left work until after 5, and for the first week that meant I didn't come up until after dark. Now, I find it disturbing to emerge above ground in the evening to find the late afternoon sun blazing onto the parking lot.

Maybe next year you can hire me to be your groundhog.

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