Atta-Girl Day, November 23rd, 2013

Even though the New Year rings in more than a month from now, I catch myself feeling behind in proper preparations. The New Year should start with completed year-end books, strategically designed plans and goals based upon accurate reports, but most importantly a refreshed clean office. If the office looks old and stale, how can anyone feel passion and energy for their work?

Sure, I spend most of my work day in my car or sitting in someone’s home. In between appointments I seek places to drink good coffee and catch up with my phone calls, so why would I have a home office?

My home office must resemble the fact that I am indeed a hard-working adult practicing organization like it’s the antidote to an unhealthy bad habit. Yes, I fall off the wagon constantly. Papers pile up on my desk. Random shopping bags of miscellaneous suspiciously work-related things nest up around the desk on the floor. Ugh.

My home office must invoke inspirational and enthusiastic energy so I will perform the mundane tasks of tracking mileage and expenses, filing away or shredding papers accumulating in my portfolio bag, and analyzing numbers. Gag.

My home office must invite me to create and send mailers to my clients with personalized thank you notes, decorating every envelope with a purple-heart stamp after realizing by what slim margin I missed a healthy bonus check. Sigh.

What I didn’t realize until my husband brought it up a few weeks ago, is that where my office had been for the past year and a half actually would be best used as our bedroom, and the sky-lit carpeted space upstairs where our bed lies cold would actually make a terrific office. See, we live in a cute bungalow that at some point was converted to a two-story house when the attic was “finished.” A sad attempt to force heat and air up there never quite worked. In mid-summer Dave and I would peal our sweaty bodies out of bed and slide downstairs to the guest futon where sleeping temperatures were much more reasonable. Winter nights hitting these single degree temperatures drove us either under more blankets, blindly reaching for anything to plant on our cranium-spitting headaches from that piercing sourceless draft… or out from the false protection of the bed back downstairs to the guest futon where sleeping temperatures were much more reasonable.

Why hadn’t I thought of this before? Of course! We can easily prevent further torture and enhance my working day with a lovely day-time space where the skylights perform their proper duty to provide fresh air and illuminating sunshine. By night when the upstairs space kicks me out, I will be ready to cook dinner and run the dogs. But as with most large projects, sometimes the best way to see the plan clearly is to walk away and construct the idea from afar. Just as I conjured this thought my good friend, Andi, called me. “Are you guys up for a dog hike?”

So it was after layering up in wool and down to hike around Indian Lake in what felt like 5 degrees Fahrenheit that I returned home with the vitality and ambition necessary to roll up the sleeves and haul the office upstairs and the bedroom downstairs. Office furniture, filing cabinets, books, supplies, etc all stacked up against one far wall to pave the path of least resistance for the box spring and mattress. Once that most awkward, heavy, and clumsy mattress finally flopped onto it’s new designated resting place, I peeled off another layer and declared, “I’m ready for a movie now.”

Sound sleep is so sweet, especially well deserved after physical industriousness.
Now I look forward to the nesting instincts kicking in while arranging and organizing my new office space. I should make a sign, “Open For Success.”

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