As I type this in late December of 2020, I’m admiring the view from my office desk. It’s been almost thirty years since I moved into 2012 H Street Suite 200 in January of 1991. Two-thirds of my working life has been spent here.
I had been working in an insurance office on El Camino Avenue for several years. My relationship with the boss had soured and I was examining my options. I was at Ross’ soccer game when I thought to ask a friend/architect/cheering father if he knew of office space in the midtown area. David didn’t know of anything, but a few days later I talked to Tony who shared a large office with two fund raising consultants. Their fourth tenant had just moved out. My space wasn’t large, but it had a big window and enough room for me to move in for a reasonable price. Our delightful receptionist/secretary worked for all of us and could type 100+ words a minute. The five of us mostly got along well.
A few years later, two of my office mates moved out, so Charlie and I divided the space into two separate offices. That greatly increased my rent, but I loved having my own space. Shortly after that I hired my first employee. I’ve had ten employees over the years, including my daughter, Sonya, who was the marketing wiz for my book, Tending Your Money Garden. Many of you know Vickie Valine retired as my office manager after sixteen years.
I just signed a one year lease for 2021. At age 72, most people my age are home and retired, but I still like my work and my clients and my office. It’s a nice change of pace from my comfortable home. I walk to work most days when it isn’t too cold, too hot or rainy. With my big windows I feel like I’m in a bird’s nest typing on my computer while I view the old colonial house and colorful maple tree across H Street.
And then there is my second office, Old Soul/Weatherstone around the corner on 21st Street. Pre-COVID-19, nearly every work day would start in the patio. I’ll sip an Americano in my cup with an image of my color-pencil drawing of my original Weatherstone mug. I’ll often stop by in the afternoon, too. In the summer I’ll have an iced coffee or a beer. When I was sketching like a maniac in my 60s I’d often draw unaware patrons for an hour or two, capturing their images on my little 4×6 inch sketchpad. I must have a thousand of those sketches.
I could move home while continuing to work, but moving would be a major undertaking and I just like having the work/home separation. Moving to a home office may happen in a year or two or ten, but I just can’t imagine moving out of my H Street office. When I do, I will dearly miss it.
HERE’S WISHING YOU A HEALTHY, HAPPY AND PROSPEROUS 2021.