Archive for October 15, 2021

Metaphorical Cleaning

My house cleaning and office organization project continues. So far, I’ve got the downstairs except for the kitchen cleaned (the kitchen is going to take extra time, not so much because it’s dirty but because there’s more to do, like wiping down the inside and outside of appliances, cleaning the oven, etc.) and I’ve organized the area under my desk.

My desk is deep and doesn’t have built-in drawers. It’s basically an L-shaped table with a keyboard drawer, and that means there’s room under it for storage. I’ve got a stack of plastic drawers on one end. Under the corner is a unit with a big drawer/bin and a shelf, and then I have the printer cart from a previous desk, from back in the day when you would put your tractor feed printer on top and your paper below, and you’d feed the paper up through a slot to the printer. That cart is now where I keep my printing supplies. I sorted through all that stuff, so now I can easily find the printer paper, writing paper, and all the various kinds of stationery I’ve amassed, including notecards and postcards that can be run through a printer. I also organized and sorted through all the notebooks that go on the shelf of the corner unit. The area looks so nice now that I find myself just gazing at it.

Then I made a big change on the top of my desk. My desk is a bit tall for me. I put my laptop on the keyboard drawer and it’s more or less at the right height if I keep my chair high enough, which means I need a footrest. But I was feeling really hemmed in by the desk and was pondering if I needed to get something different. Then it occurred to me that the problem was really that one of my printers, the inkjet that’s also a scanner and copier, was sitting right in front of me on the desk, making the desk look even higher and blocking part of my view out the window. I’d put it there because when I was using my office previously it was before I got Wi-Fi, so I had to be able to plug the printer directly into the computer. Now it doesn’t matter where the printer is, so I moved it to that cart behind my desk.

And it was amazing the difference it made. It cleared a lot of space on my desk and opens that whole area up. I have a clearer view and feel a lot less “trapped.”

I think there’s a metaphor in there. I was feeling trapped by something that had served a purpose at one point in my life. Things had changed so that it no longer needed to be where it was, but I hadn’t realized that or thought about it until I looked at things in a new way. I think we tend to do that in life a lot, let something that doesn’t have to be the way it is anymore keep us feeling trapped because we don’t stop and think about why we’re doing things the way we’re doing them. It’s worthwhile to question things every so often and consider whether a change would work.

Or something profound. I just know that now I can see more of my plants and out the window instead of having a big, black thing right in my face.

Since I have a book releasing next week, my progress on the office is going to have to slow down. But I’m determined to get it done this year, even if I do only a little bit every day.