|The Great Outdoors|
It's funny, when choosing careers most people do not place serious consideration about whether they'd rather work inside or outside. I'm sure our high school and college career counselors would probably have scoffed at putting this requirement at the top of our lists, preferring to merely tailor the skill set to the individual.
And yet indoors versus outdoors makes all the difference in the world to me. I can honestly say I was never happy at a job which left me inside from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., no matter how actively my skill set was utilized. I am just not an Indoor Girl.
When I was in my 20's, I took a short break from college but worked on campus in a secretarial capacity, serving as an in-house temp within the different departments, including at the medical center attached to the university. At the medical center -- with its multistory office complex and hallways with no windows, you could easily pass your eight hours never even seeing the outside. This was especially challenging in winter, when you could go into work before it was completely light and only emerge once darkness was setting in. I never thought about it until today, but while I was working there I'd usually spend my lunch hour in the nearby botanical gardens to soak up some greenery and nature.
|The Great Indoors (UCLA Medical Center). Note lack of windows.|
It's easy to see looking back that I was indeed an "outside" girl, and have been since I was in grammar school and always tried to snag a desk near the door or windows so I could look outside and daydream while I was supposed to be studying. Actually, it was more than just being outside; being on the playground or asphalt meant nothing to me. I wanted to be on and in some kind of greenery. Our school had a beautiful back lawn and I often looked out the door in Mrs. Mark's 4th grade classroom and dreamed of sitting under the shade trees of that lawn. It's probably why I didn't properly learn my multiplication tables until junior high school but, hey -- priorities.
Once I actually became a teacher, I always made sure my class and I took our books outside to the grass area when we did our independent reading, knowing I was not only helping myself, but also any other budding "outside" boys and girls.
Not much has changed for me since, except the fact that my main job now takes place almost entirely outside, which has made me so happy. It does amaze me how such things as a preference for being indoors or outside establishes itself early on. It is probably something we are born with. My neighbor remarked the other day that as soon as I come home from working in the garden at the winery, she observed that I tend to head straight outside to care for my own garden here. She commented that I was obviously more of an "outside" girl than she was.
Damn right. And it only took me 54 years to realize it fully.
|Bringing the outside in.|