August 20, 2012
My “Perfect” Space
I’ve been busy redoing my home office of late: putting together furniture, organizing the closet and shelves, sorting through books and – overall – trying to create a space that both inspires and encourages creative productivity. It’s a sweaty task; the temps lately have been quite hot by our standards, and I’m without air conditioning. I hunker down on the floor with a fan blowing full blast, piles and piles of books around me, and spend hours alphabetizing, ordering, and placing each volume perfectly on its designated shelf.
I know this isn’t creativity in the traditional sense, but I can’t help but feel a great sense of accomplishment. In the first weekend, I put up all the major pieces. Mom, who was visiting from out of town, graciously gave of her time so I might finally rid myself of my cheap dormitory-style bookshelves for pieces that make me feel like a grown-up. We spent two full days working and when the weekend was over, breathed a sigh of relief because we had done all we could do.
That was Phase 1. Phase 2 occurred this past weekend, when I burned oodles of calories working alone. I bought the next bunch of shelves, put them together with much cursing, acquired more than a few nasty bruises, and finally, after all that to-do, filled them up only to discover I still needed more shelves. Gah! Back to the store I went!
This saga hasn’t ended, but at 10 PM last night, I stood in the doorway, surveyed my handiwork, and felt a great sense of pride for what I’d achieved. Yes, I still need more stuff. Because with all the stuff I already have, I need more stuff just to contain it. The irony isn’t lost on me, but let’s not get caught up in details, okay?
If you know me at all, then you know you should be laughing. Why? Because I am forever getting lost in the details. My office is not unlike my writing. I started with the broad strokes, put down the initial ideas, and did some basic organization to ensure there was proper flow. Then, I went a step further – added more pieces, took away items here and there, shuffled things around. Now, as I face the final phase, I’m about to be struck by tweakitis – a disease that drives me to perfect all those little details and basically prevents a project from ever being done. Once I get struck by tweakitis, I never want to let go. It’s a dangerous business, but a rewarding one (in its own way).
Luckily, tweakitis comes in waves, which means I might actually reach “perfection” and enjoy my little office for awhile – a few weeks, maybe even a few months. And then I’ll start itching for some tweaks here and there. A few new pieces of artwork … a new book sorting system … a reorganized closet …
The possibilities are endless.