A New View: Changing My Outlook

My new view while I work. This is the courtyard at the entrance to our house.

We are having houseguests for six nights beginning this weekend. My friend who moved from my Palm Springs neighborhood to less than a mile from us in Arizona is having a birthday party. She has four children who went to the same school with my two kids — K through high school. Although none of our kids were in the same class, they were like stepping stones, my two fitting neatly between her four.

These days there are a few spouses involved and she doesn’t have room for everyone — so I offered our two empty bedrooms. She took me up on it. I decided to get started de-catifying and cleaning Wednesday and not wait until a few hours before they arrive.

My refuge and work space is in our casita. Although I set up an office for myself in what was supposed to be the formal dining room, I’ve never used it — except the bookcase and to file paperwork. I have never sat at my desk and worked.

We knew right away that we didn’t need a formal dining room. We’ve never had one. I didn’t have one growing up, either. We’ve always had a table off the kitchen. We aren’t formal dining folks.

This is our dining room table and chairs that we moved from Palm Springs. I love the tree stump base. We acquired the table in the early 1990s when we bought our Palm Springs home. The prior owners of that house left it and it’s been our dining room table ever since.

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My husband works remotely and he is on the phone all day long — and he’s LOUD. The formal dining room/office is too close to his office and I can’t focus.

I found a work around. Headphones. I’m sitting at my desk in my office with headphones on listening to music and podcasts in the background as I write. It’s working.

It felt like moving again to get all my stuff out of the casita. I can’t believe what I squirreled away including snacks, books and papers.

At first I felt out of sorts working at my real desk, but I’ve decided it gives me a new outlook. A new perspective to my day. There’s also no sofa and TV to tempt me.

What is your work space like? Where is your favorite place to write and read?

45 thoughts on “A New View: Changing My Outlook

  1. I hope you enjoy having house guests. I write wherever I feel comfortable because I blog from my phone. But sitting on a desk must be more comfortable

  2. That’s a lovely new view EA! I would be distracted by that, not the TV or other things! I can gaze out at nature and forget everything else. Are you providing concierge services for your guests- mints on the pillows, in room coffee, fluffy robes, room service?? 🙂 If so I’d like to book a room for September please 😉

    • The view is at my back but I can’t help myself from turning around and looking out the window! No fluffy robes but I think I can manage the mints! September is a nice time to visit but I’m already booked 😊

  3. I work remotely from home, so I have a desk downstairs with both my personal, and work, computers. Like yours, my husband works loudly on the phone, so he has the office upstairs. I have two struggles when it comes to writing. The first is wanting to be on a computer beyond the 8+ hours I have to work, and the second is that the only spot my desk fits, puts my back to the windows. I stand up and wander over to look out many, many times a day! Haha! I like your view a lot!

    • My back is to the courtyard view but I turn around constantly! I can relate to working on the computer eight hours and then trying to write. I did that for 20 plus years in my PR career.

  4. I LOVED Deb’s question! Fluffy robes…when do you have vacancies, Elizabeth? LOL! I adore your tree stump table…super cool…and I’m with you – the hubs is very loud and I need to be as far away as possible which is problematic these days with remodeling going on…but thanks for the reminder to use my headphones! I forget…such an easy solution. 😉

    • I loved Deb’s question too. She made me laugh. That tree stump table has so many memories. Kids doing homework there, family meals. I’m so glad we had the movers bring it although they complained mightily! A neighbor suggested headphones. She is an artist who paints and her husband is loud, too. She’s asking him to build her a studio in the backyard!

      • Oh….I love that the table holds all of those memories…kids and homework, lots of meals. So good! And wow…a studio in the backyard, eh? Maybe she has casita-envy? 😉 I hope she gets her studio. Sounds wonderful!

      • 😁 I think you’re on to something. Last time I was at their house, she said to her husband, “Elizabeth works in their casita!”

      • …and what a beautiful thing to be in the natural environment you’re in…AND have the quiet space to contemplate and write. Thank you for sharing all of it with us and bringing us into your lovely spaces! 🥰

    • 😊 We’re booked up a couple years. I can put you on a wait list. 😂 When we walked into the casita while house hunting we were sold on this house. We thought our daughter could move in with us because during the shut down she got laid off. She’s have privacy. Then we thought we could move my dad in if need be. Finally, the plan for the casita is a place for our future caregiver in 20 or 30 years.

      • OK add me to the waiting list – winter time only. Wife hates the heat. Last time we were in Phoenix it was in October (maybe it was September) and it was 117

      • That’s too hot! We’re north of Phoenix at 3,000 feet elevation and cooler. I always check the temps in Palm Springs where moved from and our new area is 10 degrees cooler.

      • We have friends in Prescott and they get a lot of snow in the wintertime. I’m not sure what summers are like. We get away when we can when it get hot, just like we did in Palm Springs. We head for the beach.

      • Wow! We drove to Flagstaff last July to escape the heat and got caught in a hail storm on the highway. It dented our car from front to rear bumper and everything in between.

    • Thanks! I am growing to love this place. That’s after fighting not to move. I’ve known these kids since they were in grade school. I’d feel bad not to offer.

    • Thank you! I think these guests will be ideal. Young, I’ve known them their entire lives, and they’ll be at their mom and dad’s most of the time!

  5. I love that table! And your view (even if it is behind you). My work space is nice, but downstairs where it is always cold. Even in summer I have to use the space heater. It forces me to wander outside to warm up, which I don’t mind at all!

    • A break outside to warm up sounds perfect. I was freezing in our old house. My workspace, if I didn’t wander out to the round table off the kitchen, was in a room that was once a garage with no insulation.

  6. I have a little office with a view of the back gardens but my favorite place to work is just off the kitchen. My little nook. Beautiful table and home.

  7. What an interesting take on what happens when life forces us to change our view. Then we find all the things we squirrel away and have to find new solutions. I love your dining table – beautiful plus no one has to bump a leg at the corner!

    I have to work in different spots around my house as needed when my little ones are here. It does kinda force me to look at things differently. Hope you enjoy your week from a new angle!

    • I’m surprised at how my new workspace changed my routine. I feel more productive and harder working. Maybe a new view was what my outlook needed! And my table. When we first moved, I’d sit there when I felt homesick 😊

  8. Your courtyard is simply delightful! I’ve tried so many workspaces in my house and still move around, but I created a little nook in my bedroom that works when I really need to hunker down and not be disturbed. Honestly though, I get my best writing done in the van while my daughter is in art class.

      • Yes, aren’t they called, “snow birds?” Something like that. Midwesterners were known for going to Florida or AZ. My parents go to Scottsdale during the winter months, then back to Indiana. In fact, they just came back this week to Indiana.

  9. Ah yes, the chatty husband. I, too, have one of those who works from home [part-time now, but still] and his voice travels. I stay in my office, close the French doors, and turn on tunes to distract me while I write and read. He in the meantime works upstairs in a bedroom… unless he decides to wander around while on the phone.

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