Of all the things I waste time on – and as I confessed recently, there are a few – one item missing from the list is cleaning my office. Behold:
These are my book shelves. They are a bit over flowing with all my books. I need to get rid of some of them, but it’s too hard to part with most of them. I need to rearrange my office so that I can have a little more space to add another book shelf. What I really need is a new desk, a new filing cabinet, and possibly a feng sheu coordinator to help me get a better Zen going in that room, but I can’t afford any of that at the moment.
As if you needed further proof, here is what another view of my office presents:
There are more books, a few craft items (for my knitting and crocheting addition – from which I am suffering withdrawals this summer), papers and extra handouts from last quarter’s teaching, and the odd shoe here and there – not all of which are mine.
Unfortunately, my office becomes the toxic dumping ground for anything that no one in the family wants to claim. Pieces of mail belonging to the previous home owners (who haven’t lived here in 10 years) wind up tossed on my sofa; catalogs (with one corner turned down to mark something that someone thought for five minutes would be nice) wind up on my floor. If my house were to buried like Pompeii, future archaeologists would be baffled to insanity trying to excavate all the surprises hidden here.
Yes – it is frustrating at times. So why don’t I clean it or do something about it? I have! This office was impeccable just four months ago. Now, I don’t have the time or the inclination to do much about it. If I’m not teaching, preparing to teach, or working on lessons for my ICLstudents, then I am working on my own writing. The down time I do have I spend with my husband or my kids, and occasionally doing something for myself. So I live with the clutter. I’ve learned how NOT to see it any more. I can still find the things I need, and other than the periodic comment from my husband that my books are mating again, no one seems to mind the mess.
But it can only go so far . . .
At some point in the very near future, I’m afraid, I will need to take action to become better organized and stop stubbing my toe on the Complete Works of Shakespeare that tends to leap out at me feet once a week. I really hate the thought of cleaning my office, and not because it’s such a huge undertaking. Big projects don’t scare me. I write novels that are over 300 pages long (one is pushing 600, but it hasn’t been revised yet). It is the thought that I will spend many hours getting it the way I like instead of spending many hours writing. This is further aggravated by the knowledge that, once it’s done, it won’t stay clean forever. It took more than one person to contribute to the chaos, but there will be only one person cleaning.
Yeah, yeah, I know: I could do it in small doses and achieve the same result over a few days rather than all in one day. I don’t work like that. I’m one of those obsessive cleaners when I finally get around to it. I can’t start it and then not finish. That would drive me bonkers. So it’s all or nothing, and right now, nothing is working just fine for me, thanks so much.
At some very near point in the future, however, I’m going to have to sacrifice the time necessary and just get it done. I know it will be worth it – even temporarily – when I’m finished, and maybe it will even help my family to learn not to dump in my space. If I can demonstrate to them that I am serious about getting organized and NOT wasting the time it takes to do the major disaster area renovation, maybe they will stop using my office as the “I don’t know where else to put it” file. And maybe pigs will sprout wings and take to the air.Hey – a girl’s gotta have a dream, right?
Until such time as time allows, and motivation strikes, and all the planets and stars align, everyone begins singing the Age of Aquarius by the 5th Dimension, I guess I’ll live with my office as it is. I don’t have the time to waste on making passable by other people’s standards, nor the time to spend doing it again just a few months down the road. As I’ve been reminded so often in the past two days – “It is what it is.”
Of course, if things change, I’ll let you know.