All of this changed today, my first day of a new job. I'm working on some interesting projects across the country, and I get to work at home, finally shedding the dreaded "Cube Farm." True, I can listen to Pandora Radio with impunity. I can take my laptop outside when it's warm. I can eat lunch whenever I want and I don't have to share a bathroom (oh joy). It's pretty much the perfect setup. But..it's not fieldwork.
The sunlight slanted in through the windows, the temperature soaring to a freakish 50 degrees. The mountains beckoned. It took serious willpower to keep working away. It did at the old place too, but my fellow cubists kept me honest. There was always some meeting to attend or a discussion to have (although to be honest, all conversations did seem to end up being about William Shatner). In this new job, I have to...gasp...be a grown-up.
"Going to the field" is the great divide in my Firm. It is what makes people labor at jobs well below their skill level into their fifties because they just can't face the awfulness of pushing a keyboard indoors. It is what holds some of us back, because the weirdness of working for a natural resource agency means that if you want more money, you have to go indoors. Sooner or later it's easy to forget just why you work there.
In my field going years, I paddled twelve foot seas in the Gulf of Alaska. I backpacked with a seventy pound load, off trail into some of the wildest country I have been fortunate to see. I've built bridges. I've set prairies on fire. I've gathered pungent cones from trees and planted new trees. I've cleared trails and slithered through caves. It has been a glorious run.
But every now and then a person needs a new chapter, a chance to change things up a little. The mountains aren't going anywhere. They'll wait for me.
If you work 9-5, or some version thereof, how do you deal with the reduced outdoor time?
|First hike of 2012. NOT on a work day.|