Cabin Fever (& books, lots of books)

This week I did something I’ve not done in a very long time. I frequented a library. In fact, to be entirely accurate, not only did a frequent a library, I became a member of a library. Yep, I’m now the proud owner of a library card. I know what you’re thinking, how very eighties. So, why the return to the kingdom of books? Well, working from home is ok, it definitely has its benefits, but I realised I needed a change of scene. I needed to get out of the house, you know, see other humans, interact, speak, that sort of thing. Home has a lot of distractions, most of which reside in the fridge and as much as I love getting my grove on to Spotify, it can get a wee bit lonely. And, I’m not going to lie, I really rather liked the library. Plus, I mean, it’s not just any library, it’s Surry Hills award-winning-architectural-design-library. It’s where the hipsters hang out. It’s a far cry from the mobile library we used to go to when we were kids. Literally a mobile van filled with books which used to rock up at the bottom of our street. Why go to the library when the library can come to you?… I think that’s now called a kindle.

I was still sick for most of the week, and if you know me you know I don’t do sick very well. I don’t get sick very often so when I do I feel rather sorry for myself. Woe is I. And because I wasn’t well, I hadn’t really got back into the swing of it with the business. Between jet-lag, chicken soup and blowing my nose, I didn’t have the energy for much else. I wasn’t sure whether I was using being ill as a bit of an avoidance tactic to doing work but what I did know was that my body needed a rest. So rest I did and when I started to feel slightly more human again I started contemplating that maybe a change of scene from my apartment might be just the cure for lack of motivation and a fresh start. Oh, and perfect for spreading germs. Cough cough, splutter splutter.

While the library couldn’t quite provide the office banter type scenario or compassion for my cold that I might have been craving, it was indeed a welcome change of scene. I think there is something quite nice about the vibe of a library (yep, I actually just said that!). Everyone doing their own thing in the hushed whispers of library talk and rows of musty smelling books. Libraries all smell the same. FACT. You never know what each other are doing but you suspect that it’s probably something quite important because it demands library quietness. I also got to enjoy a rather adorable interaction while I was signing up for the aforementioned library card. An old(er) lady was being served next too me and was apologising profusely for the lateness of her library book. “It’s the first time in 40 years…I feel terrible….it wont happen again” To make up for her criminal library activity she’d also brought in a DVD to donate to the library. Which despite the librarian assuring her absolutely was not necessary, she was adamant to make amends for her sins. The DVD in questions was Along Came a Spider “It’s a good one too, although that Morgan Freeman could read a bus timetable and make it sound interesting!” – I had to agree. That voice! How sweet of her to do that. Library people have good hearts. If I’d have stayed at home alone that day, I’d never have had the chance to observe such a sweet interaction. The other thing the library had – in addition to people with a conscience – was free wifi. Cha-ching. I probably should have considered this service when I was creating that ridiculously high phone bill from an earlier blog. Maybe I should have offered to send Virgin Broadband a free DVD and we could forgotten the excess charges altogether. Hmm.

The other library patrons  (I think ‘Patrons’ probably sounds better than ‘library people’, although not very hipster) were predominantly students. It took me back to my Uni days, when we used to queue at the front door for the library to open very morning during exam leave, so that when it did we could then break into a jog / run / frantic stair climb to secure one of the “good tables” for a day of studying. I use the term “studying” loosley, as I seem to remember lots of shenanigans taken place on those library study visits including a dare which involved one of my friends doing a forward roll in one of the aisles which sounds entirely immature now but it really was extremely funny at the time. Hours of silent study can do weird things to people. I wasn’t an early bird on my visit to Surry Hills library so I had to take the only seat which was available. However, this visit was just an initial reccy. This week I plan to attend early enough to scope out and secure one of the “good tables” – which I reckon is probably one looking out to Crown street, offering ultimate people watching opportunities for those moments of procrastination…that or a forward roll, I’ll see how I feel.

During the library visit, I even got out a few books. REAL books, BOOKS! made of paper and everything. PAPER BOOKS! Imagine. I’m actually still a fan of a real book. I’ve dabbled with downloading the odd book to my iPad and I’ve friends who adore their kindles but for me, it’s just not the same. No, call me old fashioned, but I like a book. While deep in thought at the only seat left in the library (damn those early bird students) my gaze happend to scan the shelves of books directly in front of me and what should I see? Right there in the middle? Books on Feng Shui. Which is rather interesting as it’s something which keeps cropping up.

Serendipity (n.)- finding something good without looking for it.

So, given my eagerness to learn all things interiors and what goes where, and also because it seemed like a bit of a sign, I thought I’d take a couple out. I’ve since started reading one of them and while only at the ‘clearing clutter’ stage – I got rid of a lot of stuff at the weekend and my space feels better already. Like a spring clean (in Winter) that was much needed if nothing else. It’s really interesting stuff though. Watch this space, literally, to see where that goes! Volunteers for experimentation welcome.

So other than hanging out in libraries and reading Feng Shui books, I’ve also been offered and accepted an Internship at The Wedding Nest – a wedding registry service for bespoke and rather beautiful homewares. I start tomorrow. No doubt I’ll want one of everything. Opportunities like this, I think, are to grabbed with both hands. I see it as a massive opportunity to learn. Both from a business perspective, from other creatives. And also from an Interior Design perspective. To meet new people. To share ideas. My intuition told me I had to do it. So do it I shall. Simple as that. Why would I turn down the opportunity to learn from like minded entrepreneurial spirits who share the same passions as me? You just wouldn’t. So, I’m excited to see what it brings and hopefully I can add lots of value back to the business in return. It’s also another way to start to create that sense of routine which I think I’m missing at the moment. Several people have given me the advice to schedule certain days of the week to different business activity and I was reminded of that this week. So when I get back from my next overseas trip is going to be something I start to do. Obviously one day will be my ‘hanging out at the library day’.

Seriously though, I’m realising that connection is SO important. It’s important that I make sure I’m spending enough time in an environment with other creative types. I think there is a bit of a niche in the market for one off desk space hire in Sydney. Most that I’ve looked into require month subscriptions. But, for the moment, I’ll trial Sydney City Libraries and once the money starts rolling in, some shared office space (complete with top quality banter) will be on the to-do list. I actually found another one this week when I went to get my pic taken for my website, so they’re definitely out there.

My parting advice this week is join a library, it will change your life. Just kidding. But, if you haven’t read a book in a while, I highly recommend it. Make time for you, switch off the telly and cosy in with a book of choice, I’d forgotten how nice it is to simply read. Have a great week and if you have a friend who works from home, give them a call this week, I know they’d love to hear from you. x

Not a hipster in sight.
Not a hipster in sight.
Chicken soup for the Soul (and the cold).
Chicken soup for the Soul (and the cold).

You know the script, if you like what you read, share away…

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