I was a good kid. A really good kid. Mostly because I had no impulses to do anything risky or dangerous, since a great day was one when I was left alone to just lay on my bed and read. Consequently, I rarely got in trouble.
Okay, I lie. I frequently got in trouble, but for only one thing. Not cleaning my room.
I was the despair of my father. He and my mother had a beautiful house designed for them (okay, and us) when I was eight or so, and they created it with lots of open spaces, tons of windows with an ocean view, and light colors. All of which would have looked like something out of architectural digest, if it had stayed neat and tidy. Mostly, it did.
Just not my room.
So, why, these days, is it nearly impossible for me to work in a messy space? My dad would argue with this statement, especially after looking around my office at the piles not cleaned up from Xmas, the boxes and wrappings and gifts sort of pushed to the edges. We had a guest in November, and I’ve got more coming this month, so why should I put the futon back up into couch form? Why should I get rid of the pillows and comforter piled on it, when it’s such a cozy place for my son to hang out? Obviously, I’m still not perfect.
But my desk is different. Yes, I make piles, but they have to be stacked up in a small space at either end of the desk. And–here’s the thing–if those piles hang around too long, well, I start to get nervous. Edgy. Stressed. I become sure, especially at 4:00 in the morning, that the piles hide something critical that I’ve forgotten about, something that is sure to be a real pain to take care of, that will have extra consequences because–by now–it’s overdue.
I’ve spent the past couple of days clearing out the piles. I did find a couple of those somethings, but luckily I’m not late, just…close to late. Guess what I’m doing tomorrow?! And, of course, since I finished tidying up last night, there are already a few new things in the stacks.
Life was easier when the only piles were books on the nightstand and, okay, clothes on the floor. In those days, I needed only a path from my door to the bed and the current book to be happy. Luckily, yes, life is also more fun now, with all the risks and possibilities woven into it.
But I wouldn’t say no to a butler/personal assistant to get rid of that new pile. 🙂
What does your workspace look like? Are you neat or cluttered? Do people peek in and wonder how you get any work done, or are they in awe of the empty, sparkling surfaces? And however it works for you–may your workspace be happy and productive!