This week I did a rare thing and left my desk to head out into the wide world.
The sun was shining, people were smiling and… there were people!!
I think I’d forgotten what they looked like.
It’s not just a myth that freelancing can turn you into a hermit. My day usually goes something like this:
Get up. After the usual morning shrieking, take daughter to school and husband to work.
Come home, pop on the kettle and go through any emails that may have landed since end of work the day before. Check out social media (I love my social media I do). Pop the kettle on again.
Lunch… oh crap. Now at this point I will, if I have actually remembered to have lunch, root around in the cupboards and see if there’s anything remotely healthy. Even if there is a lovely salad in the fridge I may end up with a crisp sandwich. Not always, but sometimes only ready salted on white will do.
Start work again.
School run time. Quickly put down work, nip out to pick up daughter then come back and…
Start work again.
Time to pick up hubby from work.
Now at this point it may be time to put down work for the day. If I have arrived at a nice natural end to a section I may well put down work, but some days I might carry on into the evening. But not too often… evenings and weekends are family time, or at least they are supposed to be, a lot of the time I’m down at our local theatre at rehearsals for whatever show we are putting on.
See, this is definitely hermit-like. Once upon a time, when I worked at the university, I worked among friends, I went out for lunch, I went to meetings and travelled between campuses. My day was full, but I rarely found myself talking to the wall. If I didn’t go to our theatre these days I probably wouldn’t see very many people at all.
It’s just too easy to stay within these four walls during the day. There is always work to be done – even if there is no actual work, there’s CPD, admin, housework and the like that will keep me indoors. Add this to the fact that when I’m outside any flying insects that bite will seek me out and feast, and we have a recipe for disaster.
After my daytime jaunt into the wild metropolis that is my local town I have realised that I really do need to get out more. So from now on I have given myself a few rules:
- Don’t find excuses not to go out… the housework can wait.
- Go out to a cafe at least once every two weeks, even if it’s only for half an hour. Yes, I can make the coffee at home, yes I will be tempted to eat copious amounts of cake, yes at the moment I probably can’t really afford it… but it will do me good.
- Set an alarm to remind me to move away from the computer, perhaps go into the garden (perhaps in full midgie combat gear) and get some fresh air. If it’s not raining take the computer into the garden and work outside for a while.
It’s difficult to get out of the hermit habit, but it has to be done*.
How do you cope when you realise you’re turning hermit like?
*This post has been written late, due to actually going outside and meeting people. It was a strange experience, but I liked it.