ready for action!

David's desk in all its pristine gloryAs my official Project of the Month, I’m getting my side of the office spruced up and decked out.

You may recall that David is pretty compulsive about keeping his desk clear…


… while my desk has historically looked like this:

Lori's desk is in there somewhere...

I sold that big desk on Craigslist a few weeks back and have a more reasonable-sized desk-and-hutch combo now, but the look was basically the same: a landing strip for piles with no open space to get anything accomplished.

I started by clearing every last little thing out of there and piling it neatly in the hallway upstairs. I was shocked – shocked! – by how many little things had wandered in and taken up residence on the flat surfaces of that very small room. Boxes and tubs of electrical cords and accessories. More boxes and tubs of office supplies. Even MORE boxes and tubs of random small things that had no homes. A quill and an ink bottle. An ocarina. Bookmarks from several foreign countries. A stockpile of Hudson Taylor CDs. Every Girl Scout badge and pin and doodad I have.

The hallway and upstairs landing are currently a disaster (and I thank David for his endless patience with my methods). But the office is looking amazing, and – even better – things are not coming in unless they have a place to go. No room? No home? No entry.

The goal is to make the office bright and attractive so that I actually want to work there. Having a computer on my desk (and space to use it) and my files all around me, I should be able to increase my productivity 1000%. That won’t be hard; I haven’t been very productive in the paperwork realm since we came back from Europe. I got out of my lifelong OCD habits while we were gone and truly could not seem to get back in the groove.

Until now. (Dum dum duuuuuummmm…) I’m hoping that by this time next week, I’ll be off and running. Organized papers, organized office, organized life – here I come.

Letting go of more than clutter

you’re moving to the basement
big high-school kid, setting up shop downstairs
ruthlessly purging all that does not fit
your room and your new vision of yourself
cool. mature. unswervingly independent
stylish and streamlined and uncluttered

every drawer, every box, every shelf
attacked with energy and excitement
boxes, bags, crates fill up with the leftovers
of your childhood, six to fourteen
every “you” you tried on and moved out of
now shrugged off as though it never mattered

to you it seems so long ago, so childish
but I remember that boy so clearly
how he loved origami and peace signs
wooden swords and lightsabers
crazy-cool earrings and face-painting playdates
pokemon and uglydolls and trains

and my heart breaks with each casual toss
of a plaything we once shared
a book we once cuddled up to read
a gift I once gave you, carefully chosen
guaranteed to light up your face
with your famous enthusiasm

your room upstairs is empty now
only a few traces of you remain
bright stripes of paint, stuck decals, memories
we sit on the closet floor, one weeping, one comforting
I’m aching with the loss of who you were
the boy who laughed and played and lived here

deep down, I’m oh so proud of you
that you’ll be the one who breaks free
of this cycle of gripping so tightly
that tortures me each time I look around
and see my past choking out my present
its upkeep stealing time with those I love

you pat my back and soothe me
assuring me that what is yet to come
will be as good or better than the past
ah, my wise boy. I’ll strive to be like you
to let go when it’s time and look forward
to this changing life with hope and joy


Letting go of some dreams

As it does so often, aspirational clutter is rearing its ugly head. So many of the boxes I need to sort through are filled with stuff I have been saving for “someday.”

  • Someday I will get to that quilt project.
  • Someday those empty journals will come in handy.
  • Someday, Quinland will decide she wants to a) dress like a pioneer; b) dress in my 80s drop-waist jumpers; or c) dress in … well, a dress.

I need to get honest with the fact that the first two “somedays” – quilting and journaling – are under my control… but I do not have control of what Quinland will do someday.

She may want to wear a dress in the future, but she may never want to wear one again. She will never, EVER, want to wear my old cotton jumpers, though they did come from Brass Plum at Nordstrom and one has the cutest lace collar. She just won’t. Nor will anyone else, probably. (I will never fit into them again, or I’d be parading around like it was 1986 in a heartbeat.)

This all came to a head about a week ago. My friend Deb was over and noticed that – in the wall of boxes currently stacked outside my bedroom – I had a box labeled “80’s drop-waist jumpers.” Yes, a boxful. (Am I excused if I point out that it was neatly organized and labeled?)  We dug in. Deb discovered that she had personally handmade half of the jumpers back in our college days, and we had a bit of reminiscing over each one. She took one jumper to use as fabric for a future project and then advised that I take photos of the rest and get rid of them. They sat out for this entire week before I have decided this afternoon that she was right. I’ll take a photo or two, and the jumpers can go.

The pioneer stuff is another story. I mean, there has got to be a way I can get that child to wear a coordinating sunbonnet with me, no?

What are you embarrassed to admit that you have saved?  Any long-cherished dreams that you have to admit will never be fulfilled? Comment and commiserate!