Over the Thanksgiving break, I redid my office. I decided that since this is what we’re doing for the long haul, I should shift it from a storage unit with a desk into a functional space. So I did. It took four days and was a TON of work and swearing at Scandinavian flat-packed furniture (one piece of which I still haven’t obtained the missing parts for).
And it turned out beautiful and organized and exactly how I thought I wanted it.
And then over the Christmas / New Years break I didn’t set foot in the office once despite doing quite a bit of work across both my day job, and Chris’s business, and a ton of schoolwork to try to get a jump on a super busy Q1.
Instead, I spent almost the whole time camped out at our kitchen table.
At our kitchen table I can stand (it’s counter-height) and put my laptop over there then spread out my paper and post-its and note-cards and binders
(much to Chris’s dismay).
It’s warmer (the central heat doesn’t really reach my office very well so I have to rely on a heated blanket and space heaters). It’s closer to the coffee pot. It’s easier, I notice, for me to wander while I work — folding laundry in the living room while I listen to a recording for school, or doing the dishes while I take a call.
I don’t know what it is about The Office that I feel so tethered to my desk
oh wait a minute
Could it be: that I enjoy being at the table because it’s a table? And I struggle with sitting at my desk because it’s all about my computer? My office is literally set up with a work desk that is a computer desk. I have a little spot of space for the clipboard I take daily notes on, but that’s it. Otherwise it’s all computer. With its huge external monitor and its notification alerts and its infinite scroll and all the apps full of other peoples’ needs
inbound demands, not space to doodle and play and think and create
and I can’t get away from it to think.
And that’s when I realized I set up a beautiful office for the convenience and enjoyment of people on the other side of my conference calls and messaging channels.
It doesn’t serve me or how I work best, at all.
Luckily, the changes are edits, not rewrites. I have a plan for a little switcharoo with what I noticed: my current desk will ultimately become The Computer Desk and that’s fine — it’ll be repositioned so it’s easier for me to get up and out of the office to wander and do chores while I’m on calls. It doesn’t have to be my only workspace.
I’ll add a standing-height table to the other side of my work area and it will have almost everything I love about the kitchen table (it’ll be literally six feet away from the kitchen table, on the other side of a wall, facing the same direction so it’ll feel a lot LIKE the kitchen table)
except it also features a door I can close when I need to and it won’t bother Chris as much when I spread my binders and papers and tablets and post-it notes all over it.
So my question for you today:
What have you set up in your life that’s really for the benefit of other people that doesn’t actually serve you and your needs?
And if you think that question would be helpful to someone else in your life, you know what to do:
Take care of you, friends. Let’s notice our needs a little more about our own needs this week, shall we?
P.S. A reminder from @Eni.Abioye and @morganharpernichols on Instagram that I saw because of the amazing and talented @dr.reneestjacques (who is a must-follow for excellent self-care and well-being content):
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