Home Office – Part Two

So I relocated my home office yesterday. I moved from the dining room table to the desk. Normally the desk is home to Sandra and her at home activities (morning/evening devotionals, paying bills, using her computer) but now it is where I am doing my thing. She has moved to the dining room table and I have to tell you it feels a little weird.

This is a picture of the new set-up. BTW I have the same view out my window but the commute is about 1.8 seconds longer than before.

If you haven’t heard the story about the desk here it is. When we bought the RV it had a nice recliner-like chair in this space. Sandra said it had to go that she wanted a desk. I asked, “What if we have friends over, where will they sit?” She said, “We aren’t going to have any friends.” Now we have a desk.

I have discovered the desk chair isn’t as comfortable as I would like but I am working around that. Stay tuned and I will let you know how it all plays out.

The Home Office – COVID 19 and Keeping at Work

Earlier today I posted a photo to Facebook of the view from my “office” window.

As crazy as it sounds, I’m sitting within a foot of this window but when the shade is drawn it feels cramped. The shade is fairly transparent but the feeling is the same. So I opened it and then it doesn’t feel so tight.

I’m getting back my rhythm working from home. Routines are established and I am getting things done. A long time ago I learned how important it is to establish and maintain routines, particularly in uncertain or troubling times.

On July 31, 2001 I got laid off from a job. Every morning I still got up at 6:00 am, took a shower and got dressed. I chose clothes that if I had to go out of the house or meet with someone I could do so without having to change. Maintaining this was important I had learned, because treating every day like it was a vacation could lead to depression or worse could make a reintroduction back into the  workforce more difficult. Bad habits are easy to cultivate and very hard to break. After I got dressed, I ate breakfast. At 8:00 am SHARP, I started searching and applying for jobs. At 10:00 am I would take a break and try to go outside for a few minutes to refresh the mind and stretch out the muscles. 10:15 I was back at it until noon. At noon, I would take an hour break. Maybe run an errand or take a longer walk in the neighborhood. After lunch I would get back to it. Some days, I spent my afternoons learning new graphic design, video production skills or practicing skills I already had. I read lots of material to expand my mind and to keep myself up to date and relevant.

I repeated this routine every workday through August and into September. Occasionally I would get a freelance job and those days I would go do that. On September 10th I had a freelance job that kept me out late that night. The next morning I slept in a little. I got up and took my shower and after getting out of the shower I logged into my computer and then I saw on the television the attack on the World Trade Center. I remember turning to my ex-wife and saying, “Getting a full-time job, just got a lot harder.”

After 9/11 I kept my routine, then I got a call from a company I  had been pitching some work to. They wanted a video produced for a trade show they would be attending very soon. Originally they thought the show would be cancelled, like some many other things during that time, but this show was going to happen.

I did the video. They were happy and asked if I could do some additional print work for them. I did the job and eventually it became a full-time position and I was with the company for just under 10 years. Can I attribute it all to maintaining a routine? No, but I can assure you it placed me in a position where I was ready when the call came and I was ready when the work became full-time.

In the years since, I have never forgotten that lesson. My advice for dealing with COVID-19 is to keep your routines within the confines of the public health restrictions. Get up, get dressed as if you have to go to work or what ever you would normally do. If you are out of work, dress and act like you have a job. You do. Your job is to look for new opportunities and be ready to go when they come, because they will. refine your skills or learn a new skill. Keep yourself up to date and relevant. Don’t let this event slow you down. Use it to launch yourself into the future.

COVID-19 – Our New Way of Living and Working

The flow of information and the rate at which decisions have to be made in the face of COVID-19 can certainly be seen as arriving at an unbelievable pace. As decisions are made and communicated, new information comes in rendering the last decision almost out of touch. When I was in the military we would refer to this as being “OBE,” Overcome by Events.

Today we learned that in order to comply with the most recent public health order of the Governor of New Mexico, many of us that can, will be allowed to work from home. For me personally this is like a return to days gone by. I have been a remote worker for many years. For a long time my office was the living room or the kitchen table. For several years I camped out at a local Panera or Starbucks. I would tell my clients, I have a corner office, a lobby, a fully staffed dining area to meet all of your culinary needs, and I have branches located all over the country, in fact I have one with just a few miles of your place of business.

So starting today, I am back to working from the dining room table. It feels comfortable. From January 2018 – May 2018, Sandra and I both worked from the house in Colorado Springs. We were parked at an RV park just outside of Manitou Springs and had a great view of Pikes Peak from our window. We were both looking for work and I was doing some freelance work for a clients in North Carolina, Florida, Colorado, and Wyoming. The biggest difference between then and now is now Sandra is working away from the house and I am here alone. It is very quiet without her here. Don’t get me wrong she is not loud, just not present.

How will working from home go? I have no doubt it will go well. I miss seeing my coworkers and others. I miss interacting with visitors at the Museum and I miss doing tours of the Villa and learning about where others are from. This to shall pass and one day, hopefully soon, we will go back to life as we knew it. Or will we?

COVID-19 Update on our life

So the Governor of New Mexico has extended her public health orders so now Philmont Scout Ranch will remain closed to the public until April 10, 2020. Will that be the end of it? Who knows. How will it impact us and our time here in Cimarron? I don’t think it will have any significant impact on what we are doing. We aren’t looking to leave Cimarron. We like it here and we have established ourselves as part of the community.

Sandra is Secretary for the Cimarron Civic Club. The CCC used to be a Kiwanis Club until the national fees for Kiwanis got to be too high so they changed names but not their mission. As for me, I am now President of the Cimarron Chamber of Commerce. We have many businesses here in Comarron and the surrounding area and being able to represent them and help them grow is exciting and fits with who I am and what I feel called to do.

Looks like school life will change as well. Not sure what it means for me, as a contract teacher, and my students but we will see. We had lots of plans to do some very cool public service programming, but that will be on hold for the foreseeable future.

As always, stay safe and wash your hands.


Living with COVID-19, No we’re NOT infected

The Coronavirus hasn’t made it to Cimarron yet, but I am certain it will. As isolated as Cimarron might be, we still have quite a bit of traffic heading through town, with a significant number of them stopping for gas, groceries and other reasons. The licenses plates say they are from Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Colorado. Occasionally we will see a car, truck or RV from some other location. Have they been exposed, who knows? They may not even know themselves.

We just learned that Philmont will be closed to the public until April 1st. Many of the scheduled activities at the ranch have been cancelled, and we have seen our last visitors at the NSM for the month of March. We also know that Cimarron Schools will be on an extended Spring Break starting tomorrow and continuing through April 6th.

As you may recall I went back to college this spring to earn a Master’s degree. Spring Break for me was business as usual, at least as far as work and life are concerned. One challenge of all of this is getting a routine set. While I am totally comfortable with distance learning and the technology finding the rhythm has been a challenge.

I wonder what is next on the horizon? Only time will tell. Most importantly, I am confident that this too shall pass. Stay safe and remember to wash your hands.

Capulin Volcano National Monument

Most people don’t really give much pause to Northeastern New Mexico. Raton Pass is the gateway to Colorado but there is quite a bit of history in the area. Folsom, New Mexico changed the way we view humans in North America when a local rancher discovered bone and arrowhead fragments that upon further study moved the date of the first humans from 3,000 years ago to 10,000 years ago.

The area is also home to the only known T-Rex footprints in the world. Found near Indian Writings camp on the Philmont Scout Ranch.

And rising up over 1,300 feet above the plains is Capulin Volcano. Now a National Monument, this amazing geological feature helped shape the area surrounding it. Parts of the television show “Lonesome Dove” were filmed in many areas around Capulin and the storyline has been traced to stories surrounding the Goodnight-Loving Trail, a cattle trail that took longhorn cattle from Texas to markets in Colorado and Wyoming.

Here is more information on the Capulin Volcano National Monument.