Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Starting with a Clean Desk

I'm not good at change. Seriously. After all of the military moves into brand new unknown places, new houses/apartments, even new weather patterns over 20 years, I'm still not good at change. Even planning a two week trip is emotionally strenuous.

So, when it's time to change my work space, specifically the desk I've used for the past 10 years since we moved in here, my emotions act like the flipping world is ending. Okay, slight exaggeration.

And it's not really the desk. The desk was a trigger for the bigger things that are changing, for much bigger uncertainties. But that's how it works. It may seem like a really little thing sets people off and leaves others looking at them as though wondering what demonic spirit suddenly crept into their otherwise pretty normal demeanor. It's never actually that little thing. It's always something bigger, something deeper, something possibly unsaid, pushed aside. Maybe it's even something we didn't know was bothering us so much until the trigger happens.

The thing is, if you face that trigger, go ahead and clean off all of the piles of to-do stuff, to-save for later stuff, unmarked CDs that might have something important on them, the menagerie of writing utensils, bits of small pieces of papers with quotes written on them, or story thoughts, or music you want to look up, the drawings a sweet little one brings in while you're trying to work that get set on a pile somewhere, the coins scattered here and there for some odd reason, paper clips, receipts that should have been tossed forever ago... and the dust, of course ... if you go ahead and face it, clear it off, put it away, that emotional response turns from a trigger into an inspiration.

It'll be fine. It'll work out. Clear away the old dust and such, take the plunge, and the blank slate on which you can start again will feel far more manageable than your beloved mess of comfort. The fear of the task is almost always worse than the outcome. Sure, there is still an adjustment period. One desk is absolutely not like another desk. They all have their good and bad points, their design issues that have to be worked around. Still, there is the clean slate. The new start.

It's tough to consider. It's tough to get started. But forging on through it feels better than running from it or pretending it's not there.

My desk is only one small piece of the to-redo and reorganize and purge pie that is about to come. A big task lies ahead. But the image of the cleared off space makes it feel worth the effort.

So fine, the world is not going to end because I update my desk. Or because I get rid of stuff sitting around here for no real reason other than that change is hard and letting go is hard. Really, it's not. Stuff is stuff, and stuff constantly changes. It's fine. It's not easy, but it's fine.

Here's hoping you can find the courage to clear some of the decks that are holding your ship down farther into the depths than it needs to be. If this pack-rat "don't change anything!" mass of anxiety can live through it, I imagine most anyone can.

Thanks for still being here through my "write a post as it comes to you" off and on blog adventure. And remember, knowing the rules (such as "you must write a post every week to keep your audience") is a good thing, but so is knowing when to break them. Nah, you don't have to. You have to do it the way it works for you, whatever "it" happens to be. Some will stay, some will go. It's all fine.

I'm wishing everyone who stops in here, and everyone who doesn't, a very nice, creative, warm 2018.