I went downtown today to get some work done before I go leaving town later this week. I could have just worked from the deck out back, basking in the sun and trying to enjoy it a bit, but I'm never nearly as productive when I'm doing that. Instead, I went into a lifeless little shell of an office building, and hammered on a conversion for a few hours.
I'm making it more miserable that it actually was. There is a charm to being the only one on the floor, lights mostly off to save money, ventilation completely silenced. It felt like my work became a big secret all of a sudden, like I was some kind of data ninja. This is a delusion of course, because I became so bogged down with problems after a while that I couldn't work productively anymore. But it was steps in the direction of sewing up my outstanding projects, and it's not very often that I feel like I'm actually making headway instead of slowly drowning in my own incompetence. As much of a bummer as it was having to work on a Sunday, I certainly felt better than I would have sitting around the house doing nothing.
I wandered out of the building for a cup of coffee a few hours in. The loop on a Sunday afternoon is blatantly quiet. The usual pile of cabs sitting outside the building had evaporated almost two days ago. The only people wandering the street were folks just off a train in from somewhere, dragging their luggage around aimlessly until they discovered a bus or something. I felt like I was the only one there who really knew what this place was really for. The last remaining insider, deployed for reasons unknown.
The previous week of oppressively muggy weather had given way to cloudless skies and bright reflections. I took a walk around the block just to see what the world looked like in this new, shiny configuration. It's a romantic notion to be sure, but I'm so often caught up in the business of business that I don't afford myself the luxury of ever looking at things that way. It was a reminder that there actually is another world out there, close enough that I could reach out and touch it if I would only give myself the chance.
I wasn't expecting today to take such a good turn, and I'm counting myself lucky that it did. It was a breath I needed to take.