The weight of traveling light

Last week, I brought a flatscreen monitor into the office to hook up to my new MacBook Pro. Well, more accurately, it’s the company’s new MacBook Pro that’s my new work computer. The fact that I once again have a “work computer” that’s different from my personal computer is kind of a minor milestone. This may be as close as I get to having a “desktop” work station.

My whole office basically fits in a messenger bag. I don’t own a mouse pad. I lost count of the number of times I changed workspaces at my last job, and I was only there a year. For the last year or so, I’ve made an art out of not being tied down. And that mostly works best for me.

It’s tied to the mountains of clutter and junk that I’ve removed from the Grey Cottage in the last year. I really don’t want more “stuff” than I actually can enjoy and use. Whether that’s at work or at home.

This has been easier for me than I thought it would. I actually don’t get too attached to stuff. Unlike The Girl, who I fear may end up on an episode of Hoarders someday. It’s pretty bad when you don’t want to tell your kid bedtime stories because you’re afraid to walk into their room. My daughter gets emotionally bonded to empty food wrappers, if the snack it held was “special.”

But I digress.

Trying to carry everything you need with you, all the time, has its drawbacks. You sometimes cut back so much that you find you’re missing tools that might not be essential, but would be really helpful. And no matter how light you try to keep that portable office, it gets heavier than you realize over time.

Sure, a turtle or a snail who carries her house with her wherever she goes is at home everywhere. But she sure doesn’t have a lot of closet space, does she? And how do you go on vacation if you can’t actually leave home?

I like having the option of a portable office, and a change of scenery that a coffee shop or other wifi spot offers can help whenever your brain is stuck. But it’s also good to have a “designated work space.” It’s good to have routines, even if they’re flexible routines.

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