Wisdom: What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out? (Author: Susannah Conway)
Shortly after the new year, I approached my supervisor about the possibility of working from home on Fridays. I had been taking occasional days at home to work and it seemed to go well for me. Lisa and I had taken a long look at our finances and set some budget goals, most of which focused on each of us getting out of debt so that we could move toward sustainability at the farm. As we looked at where our money was going, I quickly noticed that one of my biggest monthly expenses was gas and toll associated with my 100-mile round trip commute to work each day. The possibility of dropping that item 20% by working from home one day per week seemed like a good plan. It also felt as though it would get me one step closer toward living out the values I hold around sustainability and environmental impact. When I approached my supervisor, she readily agreed and immediately noted ways in which she thought the seminary would benefit from me doing it.
It's hard to say if that was the wisest decision I've made this year, but as I sit here in the comfort of my home this morning, having milked the goats and done other chores, enjoyed a good breakfast with Lisa and am now ready to settle into the day's work, there's no question it was a good decision, and not just for the money saved.
Working from home gives me back the hours I spend commuting each of the other four days a week that are taken away from time spent with my favorite person in the world. While she does farm things on Fridays and I do seminary things, it's great to take a break together and go for a walk or to slip outside for some fresh air and to give her a hand with a quick project that really requires two people and not just one. I'm able to get laundry done and some other things, like occasionally fixing dinner.
The thing that really surprised me, though, is how much more I'm able to get done on some of my projects at work. Early on, I noticed that one day per week working somewhere other than my office allowed me the option to organize my work a bit differently and to start thinking of what tasks require me to be in the office and which ones benefit from the fewer distractions I have when the only one stopping in to visit with me is a dog who is really just interested in laying down next to me to sleep. The space I have to think on Fridays, I believe, is helping me be more creative at work.
You'll excuse me, now, while I go put another load of laundry in and start on the web analytics for the seminary.