The Good Life Is Anywhere: My TN Tax Free Weekend

“We tell ourselves that we need the right setup before we finally buckle down and get serious. Or we tell ourselves that some vacation or time alone will be good for a relationship or an ailment. This is self-deceit at its finest.

It’s far better that we become pragmatic and adaptable—able to do what we need to do anywhere, anytime. The place to do your work, to live the good life, is here.”

— Excerpt From: Ryan Holiday. “The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living.” | | IndieBound.orgWorldCat.

Dear Friends,

This weekend I both fully embraced and completely rejected Ryan’s quoted admonition. It was a beautiful weekend here, and a tax-free weekend to boot. Tennessee allowed a bunch of item categories related to back to school to go sans sales tax (VAT for the non-U.S. readers). I took full advantage to improve my workspace for work as well as to prep for my impending return to collegiate life (I’m going back to finish my degree; more on that later).

My workspace is a cobbled together collection of my travel gear, 90’s era power strips, cardboard boxes, yogurt crocks, and broken bits of tech pressed into service with what functions still work or as stands for other, functioning kit. It all somehow worked for the first few months of quarantine. Going into month #5, it is all showing its age and ramshackle-ness. Thus, replacement! The new kit is geared toward working in-place but still augments my travel gear for the day I return to my road warrior ways. I can’t wait to show pictures once the new stuff is engaged.

Here’s the thing: I’ve been more intentionally productive over the last several weeks while relying on my jury-rigged workspace. Sure, I planned and sketched out what kit bits I’d need come the tax holiday, but I didn’t stop doing things or put anything on hold waiting for it all to come. For example, the monitors in the picture were oriented landscape – like most are. I read an article where Bhalla Kunal switched to portrait mode for his writing setup with pleasing results. Some desk cleaning and 90º rotations later and I have to say I am pleased as well. I don’t need to pivot my head to see the far edges of the screens, it’s far easier to read documents – which I do a lot, I can see my window much better, and it’s helping with my focus though I’m not sure why I think that.

If all goes well I will post post-workspace-upgrade pics with some exposition in the coming days. Enjoy!

p.s. – if anyone really wants to know the details of my current, pre-workspace-upgrade kit please do let me know. I’m not sure why one might want that, but everyone is on their own journey and this I am keen to find out.



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About Paul

I’m a Detroit expat recently returned from Tokyo living in Chattanooga. I’m a consulting security professional and father of two. I promise that my views and politics are mine; not yours or my employer’s or anyone’s. I follow no party or affiliation or anything. My things are released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license unless otherwise stated.

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