Monday, February 15, 2010

Beautiful Day

Aster flower blooming in the Everglades (January)

Good morning everyone! I'm off to the great swamp again this morning. Mondays have never been on my favorites list, but Mondays in the Everglades are about as good as they could possibly be. I find myself completely at ease with the muck below my boots, water around the calves of my chest waders, and the sun shining down on me. There are no houses or buildings in view. The only sounds I hear are the wind gusting through sawgrass, birds gracefully winging over my sampling point, the occasional desperate horny gator mating call, and of course, the randomly entertaining stories from my coworkers.

What a transition. Mondays in the corporate world had always been so frustrating for me. There were usually some technical difficulties that had occured over the previous weekend that awaited me once I turned on my laptop. There were long organizational meetings used to determine my fate for the week. There was a slight letdown when I found out that I was spending that week working on tasks that confined me to my cubicle where I had no idea if the sun was shining outside, the air was tainted with termite dust and mold (seriously...they did air quality tests in the office to determine why everyone was developing allergies!), and there was the consistent "white noise" of lights, electronics, and air conditioning. Office Space's "case of the Mondays" scene would run through my head about 10 times each Monday. Now, don't get me wrong, my corporate job was amazing and gave me invaluable experiences in the industry. But if you've ever worked in an office you know how Mondays feel. Mondays in the office made Fridays seem like an eternity away.

But being outside changes so many things about my attitude. Even on mornings where I dream of more sleep, the natural crisp air wakes me up immediately and I forget about my bed. Fridays almost seem too close. I check the weather repeatedly to see if there will be rain. For the first time, I find myself hoping for a very dry spring/summer season because it means more suitable field days. I typically spend 4 days a week in the field and one day in the lab. But if there are heavy rains and the South Florida Water Management District decides to hold more water in the northern water conservation areas of the Everglades, our sites are too wet to sample and we spend additional time in the lab. After a weekend in the hustle-bustle, high-stress, high-energy east coast towns of Florida, Monday is a welcome reprieve and a breath of fresh air, literally!

I hope you are having a lovely Monday too! If you are in an office, see if you can find a few minutes to step outside, walk around the block, breathe some fresh air, observe the weather first hand, and take in some natural light.

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