I walk into my home office.
Doesn't that sound lovely? Home + Office.
I see images of home offices in magazines. They don't look like mine. My home office is the dumping ground of my home. It's the "catch all." If something doesn't have a home, it stays in my office, like pergatory, until it finds its place. It's a snapshot of my life, my brain.
Once every three months I clean my office thoroughly. My five-year old has left her shoes on my counter; I take them off my counter. I rip the pages out of my notebook which have nothing to do with my life anymore and I start fresh. Clean out files. Allow my desktop to have a top which is not covered with stuff. And stuff= thoughts. I need my thoughts to be free when I sit down to create.
Currently in my office:
A bag of old receipts.
A box of things belonging in my kitchen but sitting in my office because my kitchen is being renovated.
Dust which reproduced heaps more dust.
Two purses because I can't decide. Both with tags still on them.
The dog and her crate.
Dog toys. And non-dog toys which my dog made into toys. Read: torn tissues.
All the grocery bags which were in the trunk of my car which I had to take out to make room for girls' weekend stuff.
Things to be returned to store. Write this 10 times.
And then these beautiful things as well:
Vintage books which are teaching me how to illustrate.
My calendar design proof.
My business cards.
A children's bible which I enjoy more than the grown up bibles.
Bulletin boards which I carefully culled to reflect designers I admire.
Wooden dutch shoes spray painted mint green.
When my father in law comes to visit, he likes to do some work in the yard. After every time he uses our shovel, he carefully oils it and puts it back in the garage. He respects the work it has done and wants it to work for a long time.
I think that's the same concept with my office. It works hard and it needs to be "oiled" once in a while.
I spent the morning paralyzed by my office's mayhem, but after an hour or so of cleaning it up from its busy season, I realized that I love it all: The life that happens here. The ideas which flow, the drawer full of past designs which will never see the light of day. The beautiful things which came from pruning shapes and colors. It's all here. The good, bad and ugly. I love my office because it works for me. It lets me have voice.
My office is a kaleidoscope of half-thoughts and inspiration and regrets and brave steps. It's a place of creative solace where I don't have to clean up every night, I can just let it sit, let it be.
And life, too, is a kaleidoscope of sharp angles and mismatched colors all twirling in unison, repeating a vivid pattern of energy and choices and love waiting for us to edit and select and then pronounce out loud. In words and music and prints.
I'll clean up my office a little, but I'll never be featured in the magazines. I'll take care of it but that's because I appreciate the work it does. Not for show. My kaleidoscoped office has too much life happening.