At the Duck Pond

I’ve said many times before that I’m not sure I would have embarked on the same kind of career path if it were not for the Internet. My first freelance writing client was not local to Vancouver and it was actually some time before I had a client who lived in the same city as I did. And even then, the overwhelming majority of work that I do is online in the form of blogs, feature articles, product reviews, and web copy. But even then, I need to step out of that sphere now and then.

We all need a special place where we can disconnect from the matrix and physically remove ourselves from some of our everyday worries. It is in this personal sanctuary that we can be alone with our thoughts and attempt to let go of life’s quibbles. This is one of the many reasons that I believe just about everyone, but particularly work-from-home entrepreneurs, need to go outside on a regular basis.

The personal sanctuary can’t really be a quiet corner of the home, because you’ll still be surrounded by reminders of what you have to do. You’ll still see that the dishes have not yet been washed. You can see that you need to buy some more groceries. And you can see your home office, churning up those feelings of guilt, reminding you that you’re not working when you could be working.

Back when I still lived in East Vancouver, I had the good fortune of being within walking distance of Queen Elizabeth Park. The main part of the park could be very busy with tourists taking pictures and local folks playing sports, but I always gravitated toward the less-traveled area with the duck pond. You might remember the picture above from my Flickr photo post a few years ago. Sure, I would still encounter the odd tourist or young family, but it was mostly a quiet escape, located right in the heart of the city. Here, I could sit on the bench and watch as the ducks and geese went about their business.

Now that I live in North Burnaby, I very rarely visit the duck pond in Queen Elizabeth Park and I have yet to find a similarly tranquil location near my home. There are a few parks within walking distance, which is part of the reason why we chose this home in the first place, but none of them provide me with the same kind of instant connection that I had with the duck pond. Maybe it’s the lack of a pond or other similar water feature.

What about you? Is there a special place, either near your home or your workplace, where you go to get away from life’s daily stresses?