SOL: Finding My Desk

Today my desk is cleared of stacked books and papers. Everything is where it belongs.

Today no pile threatens to topple over a cup of liquid. It is habitable.  But I’m not kidding myself; I know as the week rolls on, things will start to accumulate, in a pile, a basket, or a bag. I’ll place the book, the papers there with sincere promises to return when I find the time. Give it a week and that tidy desk will be no more.

Every time I find this place of organizational nirvana; I vow to maintain it, to put things away. To abandon my “I’ll do it later” attitude. Every time life rolls on and putting something away is trumped by a more enjoyable pursuit.

Oh to be an organized person. The one who has students leave the classroom with all the chairs up on wiped down desks in a room with a lemony-Lysol smell, accented by the Hawaiian air freshener wafting through the air vents. To be a teacher with completed lesson plans on Friday; who has a neat and organized home awaiting her arrival before sunset.

Sadly, I am not of that tribe. For some reason either because I’m not willing to spend the energy, or because my brain doesn’t work that way, or because I get more out of doing other things, putting things away is the last thing I tend to do.

Reading about messy-desk people, I found an exceptional group of individuals. I could use these people to justify my lack of interest in maintaining order. Studies support the idea that an unstructured environment allows for the development of new ideas and fresh insights. Being one of those creative, gifted types sounds appealing. Could it be?

When I’m not teaching, eating, or dealing with family, my natural tendency is to read or write, not put something away. Does that mean I have the sensibilities of a Twain or an Einstein? Or could it be I find organizing something to be done at the end of a semester, a project, or when I’m looking for my glasses?

Maybe I view organizing the way some people view editing. You know those folks who don’t bother to edit till they have gotten to the end. I can’t imagine waiting to edit. I edit as I write. Then I do a thorough editing at the end. What a mess I’d have if I waited until the end of the piece to do it all.

Perhaps I should approach my desk as a writer. Maybe if I view the pile of papers and stacks of books as something to do along the way, things will make more sense. Maybe if I take a writer’s stance to tidying up,  I’ll find the ability to maintain an organized desk. And find my glasses when I need them.

Thank you, for reading my meandering thoughts atop a tidy desk, for Slice of Life Tuesdays with Two Writing Teachers, and for the wonderful group of slicers who show up every Tuesday to write.

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