You'd Better Move
After the new year I was really excited to jump back into the books and write all the words. I took two delightful weeks off where I did nothing but craft, bake, beer, and eat. Notice that I didn't say drink and eat, because drinking beer is an activity in its own right—I digress. So, January 4 came and went and I wrote a bit here and jotted a bit there, but there was no catching the wave of a recently rested intellectual push. Eventually after taking an inventory of what was going on in my routine and my environment, I figured it out.
I hated my office.
And I didn't know why I hated my office! It's a great room, with these awesome built-in cabinets, and sliding glass doors onto the deck. There's a fantastic closet organizer system. Frankly, between the two of us, my husband and me, I got the far better office space. Yet here I was avoiding it and opting to sit on the couch [*read slouch on the couch, eventually lie on the couch, yes, ok nap on the couch.]
Recently I was complaining to my mom about how I hate my office and she reminded me that I really love the Coffee Cottage in the next town over. I do love this little cafe. It's an old creamery with multiple little rooms with country chic tables and chairs and real Canadian small town charm. Plus, wifi. When she reminded me of that place, a part of my stomach unclenched, like when you suddenly realize you're clenching your teeth. I really do love working there, and I have been going more often since that conversation. I also love their cinnamon buns, sandwiches, soups, and coffee.
It's good for my productivity, hard on my bank account, straining on my waistline. But most importantly, sometimes I just don't want to shower. On those grubsmacky days, I want to work from home.
Today I started combing through everyone's favourite therapist, the Internet, in order to find a solution. I was determined to Pinterest or Feng Shui my way out of this problem. Turns out I'm a water element according to the Chinese zodiac and I should stick to blue, black, or grey and avoid yellows, reds, and oranges. Yeah, have you seen my colour palette on here? I'm not really a black and blue girl, unless I've just been to high intensity interval training—am I right, gym novices? Anyone? No? Just me?
Another thing the Internet told me was that in an office it's important to arrange your desk to face the door. I was facing the wall. Truth be told, it did feel like going to my office was a punishment. Like I was in the time out corner. Today I rotated my desk and rearranged some things and it feels like an entirely different office! After the great Feng Shui-ing of 2017 I happily sat at my desk. I ate dinner in there and had a 2 hour conversation with a cousin I hadn't spoken to in years!
So, yes, I didn't make progress on the thesis today, but I sat in my office and enjoyed it. Moral? I don't know if there is one, but it did make me think about minds, bodies, and the hard work we do. That feeling of release in my stomach was real. When I remembered the coffee shop it felt like my body was trying to tell me something. It was trying to point the way in a sense. Today when I rearranged my office, I felt comfortable in there.
We get so cerebral and analytical and, at times I worry we get rather robotic. I can't explain why it feels better to have my desk arranged so I can see the door. I don't know why the coffee shop makes me feel better than the library, but these things seem to matter. Who am I to criticize them?
I suppose what I took from this little experience is to remind myself that I am not only my brain. I am also my body. And sometimes my body wants to eat a cinnamon bun and face the door. Listen to your body.
Unclench your stomach, find your Coffee Cottage and look out the office door.