An unexpected benefit of being without Wi-Fi is having an excuse to go to Starbucks. When I moved to the Oklahoma City area from Virginia in March, I was working on a blog with friends and it was essential that I log in and contribute to editorial discussions. While I grumbled at how long the cable company was taking to hook up my internet, I liked packing up my laptop and entering the world to do my work. A change of scenery can be refreshing.
Before moving here, I had an office job. Now, I’m a freelance writer and editor, which is a fancy way of saying I blog in my pajamas. I don’t miss the schedule or the long commute, but I miss the sense of structure going to my old job gave me. Working from home comes with distractions. I lose track of time, rearranging things on the kitchen counter or checking social media. The boundaries between work and personal life are blurry.
Last year, a friend had suggested a coworking space in Virginia as a way for me to meet like-minded people. But because I’m good at making excuses and resisting new things, I never got around to it. So, as I was checking out my new surroundings in Oklahoma, I noticed Rise Coworking in Moore. I put Rise on my mental to-do list. But the weeks went on, and I made excuses for not going in or even contacting them. When I recently saw they were offering a free week, I knew it was time to stop procrastinating.
I had no point of reference for the goings-on at such a place and I wondered what type of people I’d find sharing the office. Would the other members be successful graphic designers or computer programmers? Would they be firmly planted in their seats from eight to five, every day? I hoped I would not be out of place.
The sign on the front door put me at ease: “All are welcome here. We are a workspace for the business owner, entrepreneur, creative, you."
Founder and co-owner Jordan Mobley showed me around and assured me that all sorts of people use the space for a variety of reasons. I assessed the modern area, which was decorated simply with messages like “good people are all around you” on a main wall and “we rise by lifting others” on a sign in the kitchen.
I settled alone at a table large enough for several people and opened my laptop. I wasn’t distracted by my household clutter or interested in social media. I was there to write. After a few hours, though, I was ready to get home to my own coffee maker and pantry full of junk food. Of course, members can bring their own snacks and drinks and keep them in the kitchen area. There’s even free coffee. But I wanted to be back in my own space. I also like to run a load of laundry while I write.
The next day, I had some editing to do. I was tempted to do it at my kitchen table but I decided to get dressed. After receiving a warm welcome from a Rise staff member named Tyler, I got down to work. I was aware that the simple change of scenery had helped me make a mental switch from homebody to professional. But again, I found myself restless after a few hours. I’m fickle that way. I think that’s the beauty of a coworking membership. You have the option to spend the entire day if you’re inclined or an hour if it suits you. Like at the gym, people come and go and nobody cares what schedule you keep.
I haven’t decided whether a membership is right for me at this moment in my journey. In addition to being a fickle homebody, I can be pretty stingy with my money. But for a more reasonable freelancer or entrepreneur, I think a membership could be a justifiable business expense. Bottom line: If you’re curious, a one-day pass and a tour will give you a pretty good idea whether it’s right for you. Getting dressed never hurt anyone.
About Me (and my cats)
In January, 2018, my sassy tortoiseshell cat Oliva hijacked my blog. Padron, my easygoing tabby cat, soon followed her example. I did nothing to stop them because I thought they had some pretty interesting things to say. In April, Oliva died. To say we miss her is a pathetic understatement. She was sweet and bossy and unforgettable. And while I'll allow Padron to continue blogging from time to time, I think he needs to share this space with me. It's my blog, after all. Stay tuned for posts from me, the human running this site.