So here I am, tap tap tap on a computer. But, now when I go outside it's to do the things I want to do, not the things some manager thinks I need to (dig a waterline anyone?). Is it easy? Nope. I see my former co-workers heading to the field and I am envious. Rain, snow, beautiful sunny day, it makes no difference--I'm stuck inside.
|A quick lunchtime walk that takes five minutes to reach|
How to deal? Maybe you aren't in this boat and are independently wealthy, or are lucky enough to be able to balance an outdoors life with work. If so, stop reading and go outside (but leave me a comment. I love comments. And I am always looking for new blogs to follow). If you're like me, though, here are some survival tips.
1. The obvious: Put a block of outdoor time on your calendar. Everyone should get a lunch break. If I don't put it on my online calendar, someone will plop a meeting in there. It's easy to fall in the trap of thinking that if I only have time for a 30 minute run, then it's not "enough." But it's something. I sometimes change into my workout clothes a few minutes early--that signals to me that I am actually going to go.
|Luckily, some hiking pants can look like "work pants"|
3. Don't let co-workers guilt you. Once, someone I supervised loved to snark on the fact that I left "Early" (4:30) to go outside and exercise. One day I was still at work and he said, "You're still here!" There will always be these people, those who feel married to the job. Don't marry the job. There are people in my workplace who lose their vacation time! Don't be them. Ignore the haters and stand your ground. To me, planning little mini-hikes throughout the year is much more rewarding than taking all my time off at once. And as the saying goes in my workplace, if you can take 30 days off, your job isn't really necessary. (I know, I know..)
4. Pack the weekends/after work. After a day of the computer, the struggle is real. I want to just sit and stare blankly into space. Darn you, Excel formulas! But move you must. I try to reserve the (boring but necessary) gym and bike trainer for weekdays and do longer adventures on the weekends. I've been known to backpack on a Sunday and run down the trail at four in the morning to make it to the office on Monday morning. It's good to show up at work kind of tired from the weekend's activities. The gym, though tiring, isn't as good of a feeling.
5. Avoid adventure envy. This is a hard one! There's nobody else's life that I want, but there are times when I read blogs or see posts about multi-day or even day long trips people are able take on a random Wednesday. Some are my local friends, too. What I do is count up the things that I am lucky enough to do. I have weekends off. I have a living wage. I probably won't have to work as a Walmart greeter. I can retire at a (relatively) young age, unless Congress adopts the current budget proposal. I'm not suffering from a terminal illness. And so on...
|I get to hike about 300 miles of the PCT a year. That is not a bad thing.|
7. Walk around! In a cubicle prairie, this may be hard. Someone may be waiting to trap you into a fascinating conversation about rivets. But try to get up once an hour at the very least and pace. Maybe do a walking meeting; I have been known to entice co-workers outside for this. No need to sit in a conference room!
|This is my office burning down. As much as I hate office work, this was not a good thing to see.|
8. If all else fails, quit. Nope, I am not brave enough to do this either. But you might be. I am not willing to go back to bunkhouses with 20 year olds, paying rent, and worrying about running out of money at 75. I have friends who think social security is going to save them. Oh honey. No. But if you can overcome financial woes to go back outside, more power to you.
Despite this list, I still suffer. There are tradeoffs to everything. Would I rather wake up with a backpack to grab for the day? Of course. But eyes on the prize. Or, pick a lane, as my friend Ellen would say. Make a choice and make it work.
Any indoor working tips to share?