Clearing Spaces Within and Without


Last night, basically on a whim of “Okay, that’s it, I’ve had enough!” I cleared off the entire top of my desk, dropped all the clutter and junk it’s accumulated into a cardboard box, took down six million (slight exaggeration here) mini Post-it notes, unplugged all the cords and wires, and piled all my computer components and accessories on the bed.

Then I just stood there for a bit, my gaze wandering back and forth between the empty, dusty top of the desk and the box of crap I’d now need to sort and organize.

I feel like I live at my desk. The accumulation of junk on and around it confirmed that as fact. I work at the desk. I write at the desk. I sip my coffee at the desk. I eat meals at the desk. I spend hours and hours researching and internet browsing and jotting down random notes that eventually get pushed aside or covered up by newer notes, random notebooks, bags of trail mix, stacks of books, bottles of nail polish, nail files, cotton balls, coffee mugs, water bottles, protein bar wrappers, loose dog treats, too many pens, random recipes—I am not even kidding a little bit about basically living at my desk and doing everything at my desk.

It had quite literally become the tangible embodiment of the tangled, cluttered mess of chaos that lives inside my head. Bits and pieces of stuff everywhere, possibly connected in some way or perhaps not at all, strewn about absentmindedly and quite often lost in the shuffle as this neuron and that neuron lit up my brain matter like a Fourth of July night sky—a synapse here, a synapse there, then suddenly they’re everywhere.

I sometimes envision the tour bus through my brain working in much the same way as the bus in the movie Speed: just gotta keep it going (lay on the gas) because if it slows down too much, it’s gonna explode.

Messy. I’m messy inside. Sometimes (okay, oftentimes) that messy inside overflows and spills into the outside too. There are times when I’m so completely engrossed in whatever project I’m working on, be it professional or personal, that I don’t even realize the passage of time, let alone pay any attention to where I’m dropping or shoving things I’ve finished with. I can start something early in the day and the next thing I know it will be 3 or 4 am. At that point, I’m usually crashing and the thought of tidying things back up? Yep, that gets shoved aside.

Last night was an exasperated restoration effort. I’d gotten to the point where I dreaded having to sit down and work around the mess. It was blocking, in a lot of ways.

So, I sorted through the wreckage, salvaged what was salvageable and tossed away what wasn’t. Everything got wiped down, even the CPU fans and vents. Then I set it all back up—twice actually. because I wanted to try something different but it didn’t work out the way I envisioned—and spent way too much time trying to neatly route all the wires and cords behind the monitor stands.

When I finally finished, I had a tidy and inviting work space again. My hope being that the clearing of this outer space will help open up my mental spaces as well. A two-fer, if you will. At the very least, the channels in and out are less blocked and perhaps the ideas will flow a little more freely.

It was definitely a much more pleasant place to begin my day this morning than it had been the day before. ☺

I should probably work on the bookshelves and filing cabinet next, but one step at a time!


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