I have been working at home for the past 3 days, connecting remotely to the office intranet, seeing snow falling in the morning, often until noon, the landscape white and clean, blanketing the neighborhood and back yard, watching the snow falling lightly to the ground. It felt good working at home, moving from room to room, watching the snow through the windows, drinking cocktails and trying to adjust to the environment. I was never comfortable working here, preferring to travel to the office, enduring the 30 minute journey to and from work, now thinking that it would be good to be here but careful to make good use of time instead of loafing and getting tipsy. I applied for telecommuting, going to work only 3 times a week, adjusting to the calmness and centeredness at home, away from the stress and office interaction which I used to like but now boring with friends moving to new locations in the building. One is starting to enjoy living a sort of mental nomadic life, adjusting to remote meetings and office intranet chat. Strangely one discovers that one can think better, discovering new features in software, impossible when attention is stressed by everyday work.
With the calmness of working from home, one discovers new things, or rediscovering old habits like making to do list in notebooks, wondering how sensible habits can be lost with the mind confused by thoughts, it is like a centeredness that comes from relaxation and serenity. I started to list down the things I needed to do, working from one task to another, not completing everything in a day, but content to save for tomorrow. One was stressed being in the office, without realizing it, enjoying the banter between employees, but losing the presence of mind that comes with centeredness, grounded with the everyday surroundings of home, no pressure except when receiving emails. One has a better chance to plan and send out invites, to arrange meetings and dial in and joining remote sessions, comfortable in the thought that everyone is also at home, snow bound by an unusual winter storm in the deep South, finally able to do some tasks long forgotten with the rush of the weekend, instead watching movies recorded in the DVR, listening to old music CDs, and discovering new features not thought to exist. One really needs to be here to improve one’s grounding in the present.
I was able to do my Tai Chi exercise almost every day since working from home, realizing that one has made his life more complex, exploring several devices and ending up not using any except for a few; thus contributing to mental stress. What was I thinking? Now I also get to listen to the radio while working, listening to a program called ‘Cognition and Aging’, appropriate considering my circumstances, realizing the mental churning going on in my mind, instead of stopping and getting a hold of one’s thoughts. This is a good opportunity to get better, to try and organize one’s work and life, avoiding the unclear thoughts plus a chance to correct erroneous thinking. One can also do other work, fixing and ordering one’s papers, trying to get one’s taxes in order, doing long term planning and hopefully going back and reading one’s emails. Listening to the radio program, I realized that I had dived into new technology like a drunken sailor, trying to be relevant and be adept in the new, instead resulting in mental confusion and stress, missing the whole point. Strange that I realize my mistake while being snow bound, left with familiar surroundings, unable to ‘escape’ as one normally does when engaging in the rat race, not being mindful in the moment.