Saturday was spent driving around, mostly to the East Bay area, Danville and Pleasanton. (I said, only partially in jest, that I wanted to drive to visit fall. I suspect I'd have to get into the Sierras to really visit it, though.) Not too surprisingly, I found a restaurant or two that I'd like to visit. Pleasanton is--I hate to say it--a very pleasant place.
Mostly, though, I was engaging in what I've dubbed (again only partially in jest) "driving zen," clearing my mind and thinking about what I'm accomplishing, what I'm not accomplishing, and just what I should expect to accomplish. What I realized is that there's one thing I've lacked in the year I've been living out here: a real personal work space.
When I was living in Riverview, my bedroom was just my bedroom; I had my computer set up in the living room, to one side. I only slept in the bedroom and I lived in the living room. Since I've been out here, I've been doing the same thing, but I've been working in the living room, too. And the living room isn't good for working in. It's hardly an ergonomic wonderland and it's full of distractions, and I am an easily distracted person.
And the other thing I realized is that if my problem is at least as much space management as time management, then trying to cut back on my office work load means I'd just have more time to fail to get personal work done in. Realistically, I shouldn't be having much less time during the day now available to me then I did when I was working back at NetPoodles.
So I'm going to stop trying to "fix" my current job for the moment and start trying to fix my living space. I've been letting "get real desk and chair" be much lower priority than it should have been. I'll fix that, and get better lighting in the room, and maybe get some closet organizers.
I realize this doesn't mean my work-driven angst is illusory. The stress is still going to be there, with my boss gone it's still likely to get worse, and the possibility of them telling me they no longer need my services by year's end doesn't get reduced by me getting a nifty desk. I also realize that there aren't likely to be second chances with the company looking for the part-time Excel guru if I tell them (honestly) that a change in circumstances at my office makes me more critical in the short term and that my damnable sense of work ethics would make me less inclined to leave them now.
But, I realize that I've got to get a lot better at being able to work on my own side projects even with a full-time job. I think I was able to do this once, but I've lost the knack. It's time to find it again.