Finding a happy place

I don’t know about you, but for every job I take, I must have a happy place. An escape. A ritual. Just something for those moments when you need a mental breather.

At one of my previous jobs, it was a walk around a nature trail near the office building. At another job, it was grabbing a cup of coffee and a snack and pulling up the comfiest chair.

So now, after my first full week on my new job, I am starting to figure out what my refuge here will be when I just need a break. Thankfully, today, I discovered that the Nashville Farmers’ Market (website here, if you plan to visit) is very close to my office.

Today, I decided to spend my lunch break checking out the farmers’ market, and I can tell it may well be a nice little “happy place” for me to escape to when I need a break. The first thing I noticed on my stroll over to the market was the ample parking for bicycles, which I love. I honestly wish this city were more pedestrian and cyclist friendly.

The bicycle racks were even done up like stalks of corn, to portray the focus on homegrown produce here!NFM bike rack.jpg

Once I went inside, I was immediately delighted by the plethora of food shops and kiosks full of goodies. Unfortunately (thankfully, for my pocketbook!) I had already packed my lunch, otherwise I would have been even more tempted by the pastries at this little coffee and pastry shop.


Finally, on my way out, I saw this adorable little stationery shop that had the cutest handmade cards, notebooks, and writing implements. I am an absolute fiend when it comes to stationery. Seriously, I cannot be trusted not to just buy all that I see!


I must say, I am quite proud of myself for not walking out a hundred dollars poorer than when I embarked on my mini-adventure!

All of this is to say that I think I’ve found a lovely little happy place just a few minutes’ stroll from my office. The fact that my newfound happy place happens to sell coffee and baked goods is an added bonus!

Tell me, what is your happy place at work?

Until next time,

xoxo Charlotte


  1. Siiiighhhh… I miss Nashville sometimes! Sounds amazing! Currently I have no such place as I don’t yet have a job in my new town… But in Australia when I worked at the hospital my happy place was a small Vegan Asian restaurant called “The Tea Shrine,” they had all sorts of fancy loose teas and amazing food, bubble teas etc (I ALWAYS got Korean citrus iced ‘tea’)… the outdoors section was shaded and cool – when it was Summer they had misters overhead. Then, after I ate I’d usually get another tea and walk a couple doors down to the used book store and browse before having to stroll back to work.

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  2. I work at a university, so I usually head to the gym at lunch. However, if the weather permits, I will wander through campus. We have a traditional campus that looks absolutely beautiful, and a river and nearby park to make for some gorgeous strolls! Also, there is no way I could have passed up on that stationery!!

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  3. I’m so glad you found a happy place. In my last job that was very stressful I found a haven in a small Peace Cafe run by Buddhist volunteers. It was a wonderful retreat once a week. I think it’s important to pin down a happy place at work.

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    • That does sound like quite the wonderful retreat. It sounds incredibly peaceful, which based on the stress of your previous job, sounds quite needed. And yes, I will definitely be taking advantage of my proximity to the farmers’ market.

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  4. This market looks amazing! I love the stationary shop… I would probably have bought everything in sight! πŸ˜‰ Since I started working in town (I use to work deep in the countryside), I go for a walk around the Cathedral Quarter and enjoy the view from the top of the only hill in my town… It’s nice to get out of the office.

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  5. I don’t currently work at present, but in my last job (I wasn’t there long at all) I didn’t have time to discover a place of refuge. It was an office block full of people on every floor so the only escape was pretending to go for a number two! At that point, I was finishing writing my novel so I’d sit in the canteen at lunch working on it, but I’d invariably get somebody come and sit with me and disturb my peace.
    The job before that was half delivery driving, half warehouse work. The driving side was great for solitude and I’d always get to hook up Bluetooth and listen to some of my music really loud. In the warehouse there was nowhere to hide (apart from the toilet again).
    Then there was Manchester Airport before that. For the first year or so of working there, I found solitude at the roof of Terminal 1 car park where you got a view of part of the runways and the gates at T1 and T2. I always loved going up there on a night shift. It was a really nice break for the mind. Then one day it stopped fulfilling me, perhaps because the airport itself stopped fulfilling me. Instead, I’d go to one of the many car parks we used (I was a valet driver, so there were loads of private ones only we had access to) that was away from the glaring lights and do some stargazing. Most people were scared of that particular car park (it was known as Males) because there was apparently a ghost, you’d apparently get mugged or whatever other horror stories people fabricated. For that reason, it was always devoid of people at night so a great place to spark up a cig (when I still smoked) and look at the sky if it was a clear night. Towards the end of my working there, I couldn’t go anywhere for mental peace because the job and the place represented nothing to me other than pretty much everything I hated about my life.
    Oh look; another essay of a comment on your post. Haha. Sowwy!

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    • Paul, you are such a gifted storyteller. You do know that, right? I certainly hope you know that. I am in awe of anyone who can take a simple WordPress comment and turn it into a narrative that takes the reader to another land. Your description of the airport job and the various places you worked there was so vivid that I could see it!

      As for doing writing in the canteen over lunch and being disturbed, I hear you. I am quickly learning that at my new job, everyone loves to eat lunch together. Which is fine, I suppose, if that’s how you want to spend your lunch break. But I am very judicious with how I allocate my exceedingly rare free time. For me, I am literally away from home at work for 12 hours each weekday, with of course one hour of lunch time sandwiched in the middle. After accounting for cooking, cleaning, grooming, et cetera et cetera, that leaves only about three hours each day to devote to marathon training (there is always another one on my horizon) and blogging/writing. So I am having to kind of assert myself as the lunch time loner at work in order to carve out more writing time. I imagine my new coworkers think I’m a bit antisocial, when really all it is is being judicious with time.

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      • I’ve been called many things as regards my storytelling (thankfully, most all positive), but gifted is a new one and arguably my favourite superlative so far. Thank you for the ego boost πŸ™‚ Especially from somebody who’s a massively talented writer themselves.
        I feel a lot of emotion towards the airport I worked at because I always loved the place even before I started working there. I’d go for pleasure drives to it just so I could walk around and soak up the ambience (me and my friend Tony would stand on the travelators and tell people “oi, this does the walking for you, y’know” as they rushed past. Funny times). When I started working there, the love for the place only increased. The job was tough, but so much fun. But then everything changed after about 18 months of being there and I saw an ugly side to the place that I’ve never gotten over. It’s with real bittersweetness that I regale stories of the airport now. The identity of it was destroyed by men in suits. Isn’t that the story of most everything nowadays?
        I hear you where writing time is concerned and that is partly why I’ve been unemployed for so long. I’ve said that I’ll only take a job that’s worth me surrendering my writing time and those jobs are very few and far between. Writing is about the most important thing to me after my immediate family and employers expect you to make them the most important thing once you start to work for them. I certainly won’t put a minimum wage retail/customer service/dogsbody job over my dreams. When I do start working, people will have to accept the fact that my time is my time and I don’t go in for idle chitchat and small talk. My lunch will be taken up by doing what I want, just like you do now. I have no problems making friends at work, but I won’t put that above my dreams either

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      • From what I can tell so far, I think that your airport tales deserve their own narrative on your blog, or in a book! Just reading this takes me instantly back to childhood memories of my parents driving the family out to the local airport on a Saturday morning just to park by the road and watch the planes take off. It was truly magical, and your words bring back that memory so vividly. It is a shame that men in suits ruined that — and yes, in a nutshell, that seems to ruin a lot of things.

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      • I have considered my airport story before as there is a lot to tell in terms of the blatant nepotism and corruption at play there, but I worry about the position it might leave me in if I do. They’re not beyond taking legal action against a small man if their name is sullied. That very thing was the cause of my being unceremoniously fired despite my proven clinical depression and having a new born son at home. I agree that going and watching the planes is great fun, especially when you’re young and I will certainly suck up my ill feelings and take my little man to go and see them some day over summer

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      • It saddens me but does not surprise me that a corporation (whether it be an airport or anything else) would retaliate a writer like that. There’s a very good reason I’ve kept all the juicy tales from my former employer off the blog, even if they would be excellent fodder for a comedic narrative.

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      • I may well write it one day while not divulging the name of the airport and using false names. The hierarchy at the airport I worked at a very petty and egocentric people. The nepotism is the worst thing about it though

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  6. Since I work in a school, I must admit being around 4 years olds is in itself my happy place….of course the school also has 9 year olds, but they can be delightful too. So even when lunch time comes there is a playground out back to watch the children play that brings the joy too.

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  7. Oh I love the bike racks! I work in the middle of almost nowhere (they’re currently building 2 housing estates nearby though) 😒 From my office window I can see sheep in a field so close that I could go right up to the field. As I arrive at work there’s a field of cow’s (which occasionally block you in your car in the lane if the farmer has decided to move them to the next field if you’re unlucky to find yourself in this situation it can take a long time for the cows to manoeuvre themselves into the right field so I’m always beware going down the lane in a rush)! There used to be rabbits hopping around too but I haven’t seen any for a while.

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    • Hi! Thank you so much for stopping by, following, and commenting! It sounds like you have quite the pastoral scenery where you work. I think I would love being near sheep! Our neighbors down the road have goats, and I can occasionally hear them bleating.

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