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During the current stage of my sojourn I’m staying with some very kind and generous friends who live in a super cute little town on the peninsula below San Francisco (near where I grew up). One of my hosts works from home full time, so I’m mindful of making myself scarce in order to stay out of the way. Fortunately, I had already formulated a plan and it seems to be working pretty well.
The main focus of my weekdays is to set aside several late morning hours to work on my job search. I have other tasks, errands, and leisure activities that fill the rest of my time, but I make sure that each day I’ve done at least SOMETHING that feels like it’s helping me move the ball forward.
Even though my friends have great wi-fi, I conduct my job search from the library. This gives me structure, and keeps me focused. Sitting at a table in the library somehow seems more job-like or professional than sitting on the bed in the guest room (as I’m doing right now!).
There are three libraries within walking distance, so depending on my schedule, I pick one of those, walk there, and get my research done. The closest library (in San Carlos) is about a 10 minute walk and is located downtown by the nearby commuter train station. The next closest is about a half hour walk, and while it’s not really near anything, I go there a lot because the walk is pleasant and I like the building’s layout. The farthest library (in Redwood City) is more like a 45 minute walk, and has the most going for it — it’s near Whole Foods, an express commuter train station, and the downtown county civic center which is very charming, walkable and busy.
Of course, if all I want is to get out of the house and find free wi-fi, there are any number of restaurants and coffee shops I can go to. But I like the discipline of a set routine. And the library is usually blissfully free from noise and distractions.
I realize that structure and discipline might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s definitely how my mind works. I lost weight not just by being mindful of good food choices and exercising more, but by having a specific approach that kept me on track. Just as with my job search, I couldn’t be absolutely certain of the outcome if I stuck with my plan, but not having a plan at all would have meant certain failure.
View of my “workstation” at the Redwood City library.
It’s an interesting life lesson to learn to stay the course, even if the final result is an unknown. For me, finding comfort in a daily practice is the only way to go. And in almost any situation, walking sure helps.