Amnesia has its uses. I can’t really remember how awful my back felt when I whined about it almost a month ago. I do remember how long it took to get out of bed or pull my socks on, and how careful I had to be while doing it. Advil, exercises, and time got me through it, and since I really wanted to avoid a recurrence, I went looking for — and found — a new chair.
In the almost two weeks between the buying of the chair in Falmouth and its delivery to Martha’s Vineyard, I overhauled my workspace. I don’t believe that things happen for a reason, but I do believe what when some things happen, it’s up to us to figure out if we can learn anything from them. I learned, first and foremost, that I needed a new chair. I also took a hard look at my workspace and realized that it was out of control.
Note piles of papers here, there, and everywhere, unsorted and often precariously perched. Note junk stuffed under table because there’s nowhere else to put it. Sometimes clutter is just clutter, but sometimes it’s the outward and visible sign of inward, not-so-visible chaos. Between the out-of-control clutter and the screaming back pain, I knew that Something Had to Be Done.
What if I moved that table so that it was short side to the back wall instead of long side? In the nearly six years I’ve lived in this studio apartment, the idea had never once occurred to me. I measured the table and the available space. Then I started moving stuff around — careful, of course, not to antagonize my recovering back.
Travvy really liked this part. He found quite a few tidbits that had fallen behind the shelf, the table, and/or the chair.
True, the other half of the apartment looked pretty scary at this point. My bed, out of sight to the left, was part of the transfer station. I couldn’t stop now, not if I ever wanted another good night’s sleep.
Aha! A cozy little work nook was taking shape. The electrical outlet was no longer blocked by the bookshelf. Neither was the narrow counter space. I could put candles on it and other neat stuff that I like to look at.
At this point I was using the old chair as a desk and my exercise ball as a chair. A week ago, my new chair arrived. It fit right in.
The table on the right, which I bought many years ago at a yard sale, has a new purpose in life. Its predecessor, a VCR caddy I bought from the previous tenant of an apartment I used to live in, was functional but too big for the space. Thanks to MV Stuff 4 Sale, it has a new job — as the art table for a little kid. The big box of fan-fold computer paper that I’ll never use has gone for a couple of other little kids to draw and paint on.
The workspace overhaul isn’t quite done. These two piles still have to be gone through and either filed, put away, or tossed. But we’re getting there.