Just to the right of my desk sits a window I can gaze out of to savor the weather, daydream, think and process, or to giggle at our flock of seven chickens. It helps keep work/life balance in some ways, but today, as I study the sky from Propel’s control center, I’m in a mellow mood thinking about a beautiful pet we lost last weekend…
Like a plant needing sunlight, when I rearranged and redecorated my office early 2021, I knew I needed my desk close to the window. Seeing the rain drizzling down or the sunlight pouring in, the change of seasons in the trees, and watching the hens peck and scratch for grub helps my brain decompress or provides a quick break from the screen.
It was mid-2020 that we decided to get half a dozen laying chicks. We were told one would definitely be a rooster, so we got seven expecting such, and when none of them ended up as a male, we knew we were meant to have seven. They have free range run of the back and side yards and are happy, healthy, beautiful birds.
For breeds we have: two Cuckoo Marans, two Sex Links, and three Brahmas. Yes, we named them all (even though we were told we shouldn’t get too attached) and have had a lot of fun getting to know their personalities and collecting eggs for the last year or more. They have really become our pets – part of our family.
Our friends have even been surprised that we haven’t lost a single one. With green-space behind us, our house cameras catch all kinds of critters: raccoons, opossums, skunks, coyotes, and even owls, but our girls have been resilient and watchful, staying out of harm’s way.
But our luck finally ran out last weekend when our beautiful white Brahma named Mellow met her Maker. There was no blood, no feather flurry, and fortunately Kevin was home and found her. I can’t imagine if I had been home during the week only to take a break in the sunshine and find her under the hedges – lifeless.
Did she choke? Could it have been a heart problem? We’ll never know. But we hope our friendly Mellow bird went quickly, painlessly, and without incident. Her six sisters all seem fine, but Kevin’s sure they miss her.
Truth be told I’m holding myself together and haven’t shed a tear – yet. Compartmentalizing is good when you’re pregnant. All the emotions are real, but realizing she is just a bird (even though we considered her a pet) with a short lifespan expected is helpful.
Back to our work spaces though… with this loss of life at our little home I’ve realized how important it is to choose our work area well. I have thoroughly enjoyed watching our girls as they hunt and gather around the yard. Personally, watching and delighting in nature and life outside is calming and grounding for me. Much more so than staring at a screen or walls or cubicle space all day.
So, I’m curious… please tell me what your work space is like. Do you need sunlight and nature? Are you more productive and focused if you don’t have windows to distract you? Are you posted at the same spot each day? Or do you mix it up? How do you keep your space/area balanced so you’re not grinding away to burnout?
Everyone is different and we all work better in various ways. Have you found your sweet spot? Please share in the comments below.
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