Every week since working from home I’ve been having a picnic in the garden on Wednesday nights. I hope to carry on this tradition well after the pandemic. (Corey Bullock file)

Farm life: lessons learned while working from home

It’s important to slow down, be kind to one another, and enjoy the little moments in life

After nearly two months of working from home, my co-workers and I are back in the office (at a distance, of course). I missed the camaraderie. I’m glad to be back to my ‘normal’ routine and honestly, I’m just glad to be around more people again.

That said, there are some things I’ll miss about working from home. I’ll miss my dogs by my feet all day long. I’ll miss being able to bring my laptop outside and work in the sunshine. I’ll miss those leisurely mornings where there’s no rush to get out the door. I’ll miss the ability to step outside and look at the beautiful view at almost any time of the day.

I’ve learned a few things over the past several weeks and I’ve adopted some new things into my routine that I hope to carry forward well after this pandemic.

Out in our garden we have a table and two chairs and they are located in a nice shady spot under a tree. Almost every day while working from home I would go out to the garden and enjoy my morning coffee there. During lunch time, I would take my lunch outside and just listen to nature while eating. I slowed down those precious moments of the day, where as before COVID I would rush out the door and have my coffee in the car, or sit hunched at my desk eating lunch while working away.

E and I have also been having a picnic in the garden once a week, usually on Wednesday. We’ll put together a board of charcuterie or appetizers, make a few great salads and just enjoy dinner in the garden. It was a great way to break up the week and it was something to look forward to. I want to continue our picnics, whether they are in the garden or out in the field at the farm, or sitting by a nearby lake or stream.

Having that weekly pick-me-up reminds me of a routine that my family had when I was a kid. Every Friday night we had ‘treat night movie night’. We would walk to the corner store and pick out a treat. We’d then walk to the video store (back in the days of VHS) and we would pick out a movie or two to watch. We’d all head back and pile on the couch and watch our movie while enjoying our treats. I so looked forward to this as a kid. Even when my brothers started getting older and going to friend’s houses on Friday nights, my parents and I (being the youngest) still carried on our tradition. I have a vivid memory of sharing a giant plate of nachos with my mom and dad one Friday night. I don’t remember what movie we watched, but I remember laughing and seeing how far we could stretch the gooey cheese on the nachos. I remember looking up at my mom and dad with such fondness and admiration. Like I froze that moment in time – how lucky I was.

Another great thing I adopted while working from home is lighting a candle at the end of the work day. Lighting a candle was a great way to signal the transition between work time and down time. The first few days at home I would incessantly look at my computer and check my emails; sometimes I’d find myself doing work at 9pm, which almost never happened before. Once that candle was lit there was no more work allowed to be done (unless of course it was breaking news). My goal now is to light a candle while I make dinner, play some music or put on a podcast, and celebrate the end of the day.

I’ve also been choosing to shop at one local business every week. I’ve always shopped locally, but I am making a conscious effort to support a different local business every week. Whether I’m getting takeout from a local restaurant or buying my vitamins from a local health food store, I want to continue to intentionally make that choice.

I think my biggest takeaway from this time has been to slow down, enjoy all of the little moments and be kind to one another. My job requires me to work to a deadline and to get the news out as soon as possible so that can’t be avoided, but when I’m taking a break, enjoying my morning coffee, or simply taking the dogs for a walk I want to continue to slow down and truly enjoy that time. I may be back to the hustle bustle of life and it’s nice to see so many people able to get back to work, but I think one thing that we all can do is take time for ourselves and enjoy the little moments. Listen to the birds chirping. Watch a humming bird do its thing. Enjoy a meal outside and pay attention to each bite. Intentionally support and be kind to one another. Something I know for sure is that no matter the situation – global pandemic or otherwise – I’m always grateful for this community, for my life on the farm and the beautiful place that I call home.


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