Time to retreat! You know how hard it sometimes is to do paperwork or bills or writing (or anything that requires brainpower) in the luxury of your own home? Especially if you’re always working in the luxury of your own home? You can get sidetracked by the Keurig, the toast crumb under the table, the cat glued to your leg, the Christmas tree lights, the mail delivery – even the laundry…the list is as endless as your imagination.
I had some Important Long Term Planning I wanted to concentrate on and remembered how I used to go to a local coffee shop to grade papers back in my teacher days. I thought I might head off to Panera but was worried that their alluring beverages and sandwiches would keep me from accomplishing my tasks. I also thought I might check into a B&B for a little quietude, but I own one and somehow that didn’t seem quite right – kind of like going to a barbecue restaurant when you already do all the cooking at Harvey’s down the street. I decided to retreat to the peace and quiet of the library instead.
Well, who would believe that the library was a hoppin’ place at 1:00 on Monday afternoon? And it wasn’t just full of homeschoolers and retired people. It was like sample day at Costco; the place was a buzzing beehive. The Nice Me wanted to think, “Oh, how great that people are using the library,” but the Other Me thought, “Don’t you people have jobs?!” All I wanted was a Quiet Place to Work without being surrounded by snacks or cats or something I had to clean.
Looking around I saw that they had these little conference rooms with doors you shut for your Quiet Place to Work. There were people in almost all of them, but I found a little tiny one that was empty. It had big windows so you could look out at the rest of the joint and not feel that you were stuffed into a closet somewhere. You could maybe feel like you were one of those amphibians in the reptile house at the zoo, but I chose not to. Instead I slipped in, closed the door, turned on the light, sunk into a comfy chair and pulled out my work.
It was going on 3:00, and at that point I had watched video conferences, made notes, read manuals, organized my notebook – totally on fire. I was ready to watch the next conference when there was a knock on the window and I looked up to see two big faces scowling into my private conference room/reptile house. They knocked again. I got up and opened the door as if I was welcoming guests to an Inn or something.
Me: Hello, can I help you?
Them: You have to leave.
Me: Is there an emergency?!
Them: No. It’s time for you to leave.
Me: This is a library. You’re not closing at three, are you?
Me: Then how do you know what time I have to leave?
Them: Because you didn’t check this room out at the front desk.
Me: Oh, sorry. I didn’t know that, and anyway, nobody was at the front desk when I came in. Can I check it out now?
Them: No, and anyway we were busy helping other patrons that’s why you didn’t see us. You’re not allowed in here unless you sign out the room at the front desk. And look! Now it’s 3:00 and it’s reserved for someone else who signed it out with a library card. Do you even have a library card?
Me: Of course I have a library card!! What kind of person would just come in and use a conference room without a library card?
Them: It’s reserved for somebody else right now.
Me: Yes, you mentioned that.
Them (talking between themselves): Well, at least she has a library card….Yes, at least she has a library card, but it’s 3:00…whisper… whisper…
By that time I had my bag packed and my coat on.
Them: So you’re going?
Me: Well, yes! You said this room is reserved for someone else at 3:00.
Them (cheering considerably): Well, thank you for using your public library! Next time just stop at the front desk and we’ll be happy to help you!
I could have easily used another couple of hours to work during my tiny retreat, so I did head off to Panera after all. Didn’t get much done, but the sandwich was really good and I didn’t have to make it myself.
While I might be going online to reserve the Reptile House at the library for my next mini work session, I invite you to come out to the Inn for your next retreat – when you need to get away from the toast crumbs, the cat, the laundry, or when you just want a fun getaway or relaxing breather. And you don’t even need a library card – just click here to pick and reserve your favorite room. See you soon. I’ll be the one at the front desk haha!