Cluttered life, cluttered mind


I spend the most creative hour of my day here, at my computer in my home study - a converted bedroom that also doubles as a walk-in closet for my man stuff.  Years ago, I took out the closet doors, installed a made-to-fit desk with a slide out for my laptop, some shelves and a bulletin board.  This is home base for my writing, painting, accounting, reflecting, and listening (to music). It can also be an unintentional repository, a place for stuff to land, accumulate, linger.

As I reviewed the mess yesterday, papers were strewn everywhere.  Lanyards from dozens of conferences and special events hung in a hulking heap on the wall.  Almost every inch of real estate was cluttered with something or other.  The picture of Heather from last year's Gala, which sits to my right as a talisman, was covered in a thin layer of dust.


What are the unconscious messages this clutter is sending to me every day I sit down to write, imagine, create, contemplate?  The snarly collection of lanyards, patch cords and headphones is CHAOS.  The calendar, left unturned from August, is STATIC, immovable, stuck in the past or some other place.  The dust is TIME, the fact that it has passed and is passing.  The area carpet, slightly out of position, is MISALIGNMENT and TENSION.

So, I set out to begin the process of moving from coping with the clutter to conquering it.  Extraneous papers were relegated to the recycling bin. Anything that served no purpose was tossed in the trash. Slowly, the chaos subsided, the room came into alignment, and the tension eased.  The picture of Heather and I is nicely dusted, looking as fresh and new as the day it was printed.  I still have work to do, but I'm heading in the right direction.

Almost three years ago, I blogged about losing weight.  It worked.  My diet has fundamentally changed and I remain about 25 pounds lighter than what I was on Boxing Day in 2010.  In that same spirit, I'm going to try and change my ways regarding this personal space, this sacred place (to me), that anchors my thinking, my communicating, my daily practice of writing.  Now that it's out in the world, I can more easily hold myself accountable.

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