It’s easy, when you’re buried in emails and to-do list tasks, to focus on all of the stressful parts of freelancing–running your own business, paying tax estimates, pleasing all the clients, marketingmarketingmarketing–and forget to take advantage of the amazing parts. And there are so many amazing parts.

Just another day around the office.
Just another day around the office.

Getting the most out of the work locations freelancing allows is something I often overlook. Like sitting on the porch to work. Or rotating from couch to cozy chair to my desk. Or, appreciating that this morning, while walking from my break room (the kitchen) to my office, the scene I nearly rushed by too quickly to notice was my husband playing with my three-month-old daughter on her gym mat. So few people have the opportunity to happen upon that between emails.

Later in the day, I left that delightful location to meet friends for co-working downtown. We met at one of our usual spots, Zingerman’s Next Door. When circling the block looking for a parking space, I watched

Co-working at Zingerman's. No big deal.
Co-working at Zingerman’s. No big deal.

a small group of people taking selfies and other touristy photos in front of the Deli sign. People do travel from all around to come to the Deli. It’s that special. And we just bumble up the stairs with our laptops and pint glasses of gourmet coffee to click on our keyboards and occasionally burst into giggles like we’re at any old neighborhood coffee shop. Just because it’s our neighborhood coffee shop doesn’t make it ordinary.

Sure, there are advantages to working in an off-site office every day. At least, I’d like to think so for the sake of those who have to work there. But let’s be honest: this is the life. It’s on us, however, to not only delight in our unique work environments, but also to soak up as many of them as we can. Maybe we should go to the new coffee shop above the bookstore next time. Or maybe we could try working in a downtown bar on the patio some day this summer. We should work from the botanical gardens one day! Or the beer garden! Ann Arbor is a pretty great place to be a freelancer. But only if we take advantage of all the city–and the freelance lifestyle–has to offer.

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