I recently told you about the many health benefits of working from home.
Of course, for most of my early career, I worked up to 60 hours a week in an office. Like almost everybody in the Washington, DC, area, I also spent several hours a week commuting. And I squeezed in time to do my writing at night and on the weekends and holidays.
I was able to take three weeks of vacation each year—two in August and one between Christmas and New Year’s day. (These were slow periods when little work got done anyway. And since I was the “boss,” they were the only times I could afford to be away from the office.)
Though, I noticed some seasoned employees took their vacations during October and April…the busiest times of the year. So, they got two or three weeks away from the office when work was the most hectic and demanding. Then, they enjoyed two or three more weeks of kicking back and relaxing in the office—when the boss was away.
Of course, even when I took vacation time, I still worked…
Writing full-time was always my dream
When we went on vacation, I would set up a small desk somewhere with a nice view. I’d write for several hours early in the day, while other members of the family were busy with errands or other distractions. Then, I’d participate in family recreational activities and meals in the afternoon and evening. It was the ideal life I envisioned leading all the time, year round.
My emancipation from office life eventually came when I turned 52.
It was during a trip I had taken to San Francisco in April 2005 to introduce author Dr. Deepak Chopra at a major luncheon hosted by Art Linkletter Jr. for the famous Institute of Noetic Sciences.
I was also doing a special book signing for the anthology I had just published with the Institute called Consciousness & Healing. And, afterwards, I had planned to visit my parents in southern California for Easter.
On Good Friday, while en route from San Francisco to Los Angeles, I got a call from a highly influential (of the “squeaky wheel” type) member of the hospital board who questioned why I hadn’t attended a routine hospital meeting in Philadelphia the night before—instead of traveling to introduce my colleague Chopra and visiting my elderly parents for Easter (a holiday that meant nothing to him anyway).
We differed in what my professional (and personal) obligations and priorities should be. So…I resigned on the spot, over the phone, without ever even going back to that my dark, dank, little office, off a dingy hospital corridor in downtown Philadelphia (with a nice view of an old parking lot).
In fact, I never went back to work in any office.
Needless to say, I’m glad I got to spend time with my parents, contemplating my recent liberation. And I’m still grateful for that relaxed Easter weekend, as I didn’t get many more chances to be with my father. And I finally realized, just now, how my liberation really came about.
Dr. Chopra always talks about liberating yourself from unhealthy habits and expectations (especially expectations set by others). As I look back on that moment 15 years ago, it was not only his teachings, but his actual presence, which truly influenced my own liberation.
It’s not so much what I read by Deepak, but what I did by him.
Not to mention, I now work from my home offices full-time. At this time of year, we’re at our summer beach house in New England. It’s near where I grew up in the mid-1960s and where we took annual family vacations all during the 1990s.
It’s also one block from one of the vacation homes of that same hospital board member who called me 15 years ago from Philadelphia. (I actually dedicated the book I had been working on at the time to him—the person “who taught me it’s better to be his neighbor, than to be his employee.”)
I tell you more about the many health benefits of working from home in my new August 2019 Insiders’ Cures newsletter. So, if you’re not yet a subscriber, now’s the perfect time to get started. Click here to sign up today!
Thank you, again, Deepak Chopra!