The unexpected joys of working remotely

After 14 years at my last job I was allowed to work remotely toward the end of my tenure there. First it was two days remote per week. Then after two years, three days remote. This took awhile for me to adjust. I wondered what working totally remotely will look like, thing it would be lonely, boring or stifling.

Four and a half months ago I was laid off that job. Being home for four months, I had a lot of time to make adjustments to being home full time. That’s a lot of alone time for a single gal out in the sticks. There were physical and emotional adjustments being made. And honestly, a whole new landscape eventually showed itself to me. It took time to unfold, but by the end of four months, everything looked and felt different.

During this hiatus from the daily grind I experimented with only getting groceries twice a month. Now I am a lady that needs my fresh veg and so do my barnyard fowl. Sometimes I went to a fancier more upscale grocery in town for things that I couldn’t get elsewhere. I took my time and really enjoyed my trip there even though it was 50 minutes away. I’m a foodie, and a place like that satisfies my craving for something different or exotic now and then. I decided I will go there once a month.

Since I live so far from town, the days I worked on my old job were the days I ran errands. With my new situation I have given much thought to how I’d get those errands done. I started slowing down and looking around. With only a little research much can be done in two small towns 22 minutes south of me, instead of the usual 50 minute trip to Albuquerque.

We make so many assumptions and fall into our daily routines so easily, that we tend to be blind to what is in front of us.

I usually ignored the small towns closer to me. I was so used to whizzing right by on my way to my old job, I paid no mind. When I opened my eyes I found much. There was a place to get my hair cut, my nails done, clothing stores, a UPS office, and lots of restaurants. There’s a great pet store there so I can get items for my dogs. And there is a nice, simple grocery store.

North of me seven minutes there is a medical clinic including dentist, doctors, pharmacy, and x-ray. I had no idea it was there! It is tucked into the heart of a reservation, and serves the general public. There are a lot of other services north of me. Who knew? I had ignored these services for years, making the assumption that I could only go to town for them. Things are shaping up for me to have a smaller carbon footprint. And I’m liking what I’m finding. This is wonderfully eye opening!

The good news is, I started a new job a few days ago through the insight, thoughtfulness, and generosity of a dear friend. We worked together in the past. In this position I would work in a totally remote capacity. Happy dance! As I prepare for this position, I have cleared a lovely space in my home totally devoted to work. A nice chair, a simple desk and a few plants to made that space my own. I am loving it!

I now have a coveted corner office!

It makes so much more sense to me to work from home, having zero commute I’m relaxed and ready for work. Socializing will now be totally when I want to, getting out only when I desire it. Errands are run when needed instead of when my work schedule dictates. On weekends I feel like getting out of the house to explore so meeting a girlfriend to go thrift shopping in Santa Fe is effortless. My dogs are thrilled I’m home more! I have no more guilt about leaving them alone all day. Home life is feeling so much more well rounded, and harmonious. I feel very complete.

Making my living at home suits me perfectly, in a way I never thought possible. That new landscape comes with a new level of unexpected blissful, centered, domestic harmony. The Universe has been supporting me this whole time, in a really big way. Now I can see that and I am deeply grateful.

(Left is Cochise or Goat Cheese, Right is Gypsy Girl.)

Dream that foretold events

Last night I had another dream about wanting a divorce and separating from a situation. I am divorced over 11 years and it feels good. But I thought I was over these types of dreams of release. I have felt the relief over and over of being out of that situation. (Well, relief like that never gets old.) I guess I had more to process. Or so I thought.

In the dream I am wearing conservative work clothing, but I am at home. I ask for the divorce and I want the separation. (There is no one in the room oddly.) I am granted my wish and I am relieved it has happened. There is a web-cam high on the wall and I cover it up, not wanting any more contact. It is done. Finally I am able to spend more time with my dogs and I am on my own once again. The dogs and I go into my room, close the door. We are all feeling reserved but also very relieved. Life is good and will get better. (Big grin.) End of dream.

At one point this morning, working from home, my email account closed down. This type of connectivity hiccup happens frequently so I was not surprised. However the message was a bit different. “Your gmail account has been deactivated.” Uh oh number one. Better call into work and see if they are messing around with new software or accounts. I have heard just yesterday they were switching things around. I call in and talk to the office manager, a friend of almost 17 years. I ask to talk to the IT guys, explaining to the office manager that I can’t get to my email. I can hear the CFO in the background saying “Tell her someone will call her right back.” Uh oh number two. About thirty seconds later my boss calls. BIG uh oh. I know what is coming. Oddly I feel fine.

My boss, a compassionate hard working woman, is crying so hard she can hardly talk. I feel for her. She tells me things have been hard at the company lately, and she has been going to bat for us for a long time trying to avoid this day. I say “Let me say it for you. I don’t have a job anymore.” She confirms I have been laid off after more than sixteen years. My boss and I talk about the details and I find myself comforting her. She should not carry this weight around and I feel complete and total relief at the news. I loved working there, the environment, the people. I felt like I was working out a soul contract with the owner and other people there. But I was tired and wanted to retire some time ago. Since I work for a very small company, this does not bode well for those that remain. I have dodged a huge bullet.

I hang up, and oddly my work ethic is to get back to work. I’m in the middle of a job and I want to finish it and email the owner of the company to check my work so we can publish what I have been working on. I go back to my computer and realize….where is my email? Oh, wait…I don’t have a job anymore. YIPPEE! I run out the door, hands raised and say “Free at last. Free at last!” I am ebullient, euphoric, and happy. I feel that 1,000 lb. weight has been lifted off my shoulders. At the age of 61 I reflect back on having been in the work force since the age of 14. At times I have had more than one job, while attending full time college. I have a good work ethic, and enjoy having my nose to the grindstone. I love being of service.

But now it is time for a bit of a rest. A time to regroup, rest, and heal. I have a severance package of a few months, three weeks of vacation pay, and may do ‘early retirement’ if at all possible. Health insurance…well that will be a tough one, but I have some resources for that. All my actions over many months to cut down websites, costs, sell items I no longer use—it all comes into sharp focus now. By a happy accident, I have many months worth of an expensive drug I cannot be without for even a day. The planets seem to have been aligning all this time.

I am not worried. I have many skills. Many ways I can package myself if needed. I am an excellent organizer, can clean hoarder houses, I can set up and help people with doing their monthly expenses, and help by supporting them in almost any way. I have been a graphic artist for over 30 years, but hope to not have to pick up that skill at this point in my life. I’d rather work at a greenhouse, a grocery store, or a stables shoveling poop. I want to work outside, if I work at all. I could do tarot readings, teach people about their intuitive skills, or how to dump drama. There is much I have studied and learned in my life on the planet.

Right now, I will spend a few months eating well, taking care of my body, and relaxing. My home and car are paid for long ago. I’ll go to the SS office next week. I will apply for Cobra and get my finances in ship shape order. All is well. My dogs are thrilled that I can kick that old basketball around the yard all day along. They are all for this new change. 😉

It’s like that dream I had last night. The work clothes were a big clue. So was the web-cam, as that is how I have daily meetings remotely. So is the ‘person’ I ask for the divorce from…they were not in the room. I was alone at home when I got the news. A breaking off from a long relationship. A huge relief, and a new beginning, with happy dogs spending more time with me. It’s all there.

To sum it up nicely, one of my brothers texted me after he heard the news, and I feel this says it best, “Congratulations on your promotion!”

Comments are welcome. “Likes” tell me someone is listening. Love and Light, ❤ Patty