I am writing this from my new office. Have you ever dreamed of that perfect space? The one that would allow you to write that best-selling novel, that would keep you on task and inspired? What would it look like? Would it have an antique roll top desk and floral wallpaper, a bay window overlooking a lake, or a stocked mini fridge within easy reach? I have dreamed of my perfect office for a long time, ever since I figured out that having my desk 11 steps from the refrigerator was not a healthy work environment.
This past weekend, my husband and I started the ball rolling on creating that perfect office -- or at least as close as I can get for the price of a gallon of paint and a sore back from moving a lot of furniture.
Although I am excited, I am a little uneasy. You see, my new office will be in my daughter’s old bedroom. Is there a statute of limitations on a kid’s claim to her room? She has been in her own apartment for a year and a half. But I know so many parents who have had kids bungee back into their lives when they lost a job. The minute that I repaint the bedroom and haul the mattress out, will my daughter come back like a Karmic boomerang? (Not that I would mind, really honey. This will always be your home.) And when she visits, will she feel awful having to stay in the guest room?
As I painted over the daisy yellow that Katie once picked out, I worried that I was obliterating her childhood memories. Would she understand that the room needed to be painted anyway because of the water damage from the last ice storm? Would she forgive me? My husband wiped a tear away as the last ray of sunshine vanished behind Mistletoe Green.
My giant steel 1950s office desk from downstairs can’t fit upstairs so I have to be satisfied with something smaller. My ideal desk is one the size of a dining room table, (which is another place I like to work) preferably one that wraps around me so I have a place for all of my research to be out and visible all at once. However, my smaller desk is not small enough. It measures 30 inches and my door is 29 and a quarter! Okay, so what else can I use? Fortunately for me, I have a habit of buying old tables, and one that converts into a bench is already upstairs being used as a bench. Put the top back on and voila, my new desk with space underneath for the cats to sleep.
As we shifted furniture around like a kid with one of those birthday party-favor puzzles we realized that an office with only one electrical outlet is not efficient. Thank goodness for power strips and extension cords. Now I can work in the evening and type and print at the same time.
My perfect office would of course be lined with floor to ceiling bookshelves. My new office isn’t. But I’ll live with the moveable kid-height shelves until I know exactly where I want to build bigger ones.
Now there is no turning back. Moving files and finding the right place for pens envelopes, I worry if this was the right thing to do. Will I like working upstairs? Will every little noise downstairs have me imagining knife-wielding intruders? Will the cats adjust easily to my new routine? Without that clichéd excuse, will I write that best selling novel? And will I still feel that urge to wander into the kitchen for a snack?
Well if I do, at least I’ll have to walk a flight of stairs first.