I Keep My Brain in My Office
I am very tired today and I have learned an important thing about myself; I store parts of my brain function in the organizational structure of my house. Once I got the correct desk installed in my office and set up my computer on it, much of my inability to prioritize vanished. This effect increased as I moved my books and projects into their new places in my office. I depend upon visual reminders to help me keep track of what I need to do during the day. I post school notes on the kitchen bulletin board and on my fridge. My old computer hutch was papered with post-it notes. A business card sitting at the foot of my monitor would remind me of an email to send. With all of that stuff packed away in boxes I carried a level of stress and internal confusion. My written to do list has all of those reminders as well, but apparently my back brain requires spacial orientation to the tasks. It is fascinating. I may get more analytical about why this works for me at some other time. For now I am very tired.
In the last two weeks I’ve been to IKEA four times (Howard once), Home Depot six times, Lowe’s twice, and I think there was a Walmart run in there as well. Each time I was making expensive purchasing decisions or returning the results of last trip’s bad decisions. I helped three kids keep track of their work so they could get it done. I kept in touch with my parents (Grandma is better, moved back into the physical rehabilitation facility). The prom dress was altered, not perfectly, but well enough. Kiki was sent off smiling to prom. Gleek is into the middle of her time swap. All of this week’s critical tasks are done all of it despite multiple nights of insomnia followed by mornings where I had to get up early. Next week has a new list of critical tasks, I am not going to think about them tonight. Instead I’m going to show you pictures of my remodeled office, because it is pretty.
This is my office before.
It was kind of a mess. My new office will probably enjoy similar states of mess, but it will never again feature that horrid grey carpet, nor will I have to use a portable sewing table as part of my work surfaces.
Here is my new workspace:
It sits where the white cubes were sitting in the before photo. It is stocked up and ready for work on Monday. There will be a bulletin board on the wall next to the chair so that I have a place to pin all those post-it notes. I’m going to embrace the “store my brain in my office” approach. The walls above the desk will probably have more sorters, storage, or perhaps a pretty picture. For now they are yellow. They are not quite as yellow in real life as they show in the photo. I’m too tired to figure out how to color correct. You can also see the crafting desk, which currently contains a sewing project. Also flowers. My office has space for a vase of flowers, a small happiness.
Across from my workspace is the newly created library:
It has a couch! It is probably silly how pleased I am to have a couch, but there it is. It hides a sofa bed, so I have a place to put guests. The walls above the couch will contain bookshelves, but first I have to find some more money. Sadly, this couch is too young to have sprouted money under its cushions.
Here is a close up of the entry with a much more accurate color balance.
Through the doorway you can see our storage/shipping room, or at least a small sliver of it. It is a mess worse than the one in the office before picture. It is also unfinished concrete. I’ll be hanging a curtain so that it is hidden from view. Pay no attention to what will be behind a curtain. Look at the pretty wood flooring instead. I’ve loved this flooring for years, I loved it every time I passed it in Home Depot. Now it is lovely inside my house. Note the trim around the door frame and along the top of the wall. I love the trim. It was this project’s serendipitous discovery. Once I saw it, I knew it belonged in my office. The dark colors on that trim are hand-painted with wood stain.
Yes, painting the trim took a lot of time, but it let me own the remodel project in a way that was important to me. It also gave me a simple task during the period of time when my brain was dismantled and boxed.
The remainder of these photos show the remodel from start to finish showing the wall we removed and the eventual creation of a space with a couch.
Gleek is standing there because she is drawing something inside the wall space. You can also see some graffiti on the concrete floor. It was a fun family thing, all invisible now.
And there it is. I have an office.
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