When life came crashing down on me back in 2010, I promised myself that I would live life a bit more like an otter and a bit less like Martin Luther.
To some extent, I have kept that promise, but old patterns are hard to wear out. I have very flexible work hours, but I find it tremendously difficult to leave early or come late. I work 8 hours between 8 am and 5 pm, Monday to Friday, every week (plus a few week nights and perhaps a weekend every once and in a while). On the rare occasions during which I manage to convince bony ass to get up from my office chair and sneak out of the office early, I literally do sneak: first, I squint at the hallway to make sure that no one is around to see me, then I run for the door like Forest Gump with my heart drumming in my ears. Once out of the building, I attach one rock of the size of watermelon to each shoulder and contemplate my sins.
I am a damned good girl.
Last week was no exception. Our precious arctic sun was putting on a real show that week, beaming down from a bright blue sky. A beaming sun is a scarce resource in Tromsø, but I spent my days dutifully glued to the computer. Eight to five. It wasn’t until Wednesday evening that I realized what I was doing. As an economist, I should know that you shouldn’t waste scarce resources. I was wasting away.
So I embarked on a massive campaign to convince my good girl head to change my plans. I succeeded.
A little bit anyway. True to spirit, my good head convinced me that it was best to do a mini tour, i.e., so that I could tip toe out of the office in the late afternoon and to work late on Wednesday to cover up my sins.
But then Pia-Maria high-jacked that plan.
And so all of a sudden, I found myself running from the office at noon with a mission to climb Skittentind.
But then, fate (or rather, our lack of focus) changed our plans. Because we accidentally got on the wrong approach, and equally accidentally headed up the wrong valley.
So instead of spending my afternoon banging my head at the computer, I found myself putting my head to the test to evaluate new terrain, to try to disregard the perceived safety of the beaten track and make my own judgments.
Needless to say, I had so much more fun.
Well home, I gave the rebel side of my shoulder a quick pat and started planning for a Friday chained to the computer. Good girls don’t just want to have fun. They need to be good and work too. But then the weather Gods along with Jon HP Franzén and Emma Barford changed that plan.
So at 7 am on Friday, I found myself standing by the side of the fjord putting on sunscreen (!!) instead of pedaling along Stakkevollveien to work.
At 10, I said hello to a startled moose instead of barking at the computer.
At 11, I evaluated the snowpack and our route options instead of the errors in my data code.
At noon, I, instead of showing some pasta down my throat in the office, slowly munched on a sandwich standing on a glacier.
And at 1 pm, I found myself working my thighs down towards the fjord. At work, I would have been squinting my eyes at the code on my computer. At 2 pm on Friday, I was squinting my eyes towards the sun.
As I opened my laptop to catch up on work on Saturday morning, and the rain was pissing down outside, I had a big grin on my face. On Sunday, when I continued being a good girl by the computer, both the rain outside my window and that grin on the corner of my mouth was still there. I definitely need a change of plans from time to time.