I subscribe to Real Simple magazine. I get party invitations in the mail at least six weeks prior to the event. I return emails (usually) within 24 hours. I have spent significant time in the kitchen-organizing aisles of Bed, Bath, and Beyond. I haven’t lost a single student paper in 22 years of teaching.
I’m not Monica Geller of Friends fame, but I’m pretty close.
Everything has a place–keys on the hook; hats in the basket; plastic plates in one cabinet, ceramic in the other.
And if you’re familiar with Season 8, Episode 14 of Friends, “The One with the Secret Closet,” you’ll soon learn that Monica and I have something else in common–hers was her closet, mine is my workspace.
It’s not pretty, folks.
What you see before you is essentially an armoire–one that I close (sort of, it doesn’t quite close all the way) when company comes; but the rest of the time, there it is, in the middle of my dining room–centrally located, the first thing people see when they walk through the door.
What’s currently in my workspace? Let’s see . . . lots of photos of my children (those are always there); my cat’s collar (I miss her a lot), a box of Tic Tacs, some White Out, a Kindle that hasn’t been charged in three months, the latest issue of Cooking Light magazine, an OM (you must check these out), a converter from my recent trip to England, a note from my son that says “I LOE YOU MOM,” a bottle of silver nailpolish, and every paper that needs to find an eventual and permanent home. We won’t discuss the mess on top. That’s for another day.
Charming little setup, yes?
I’ve had many people ask how I can work in this space. But, truth be told, I don’t really see it–at least not when I’m working. It’s my “Monica’s Closet.” Every organized person needs one–a place to stash anything and everything.
When I’m writing, I’m elsewhere. I’m in the sentence, the paragraph, the thought.
And during those times of writer’s block or distractibility, when I look up, I don’t see the chaos of this space. I see photos of my beautiful and growing boys and love notes that melt my heart every time.
For me, an organized workspace is not a prerequisite for creativity. In fact, when I do take the time to take this all in, I can see in this small space my family’s history and our love for each other, our life together.
And that just may be precisely the inspiration I need.