I tried to get back to work this week. I did not have to go far, just over to my home office desk. We actually have some desks now.
The office here in our for-now house is strangely reassuring since it is so much like our old home office. Our old house had a loft office with the master bedroom behind the office. This for-now house has the same setup. Even the view from the office is the same as our old house. It is not a great mystery that this would be so. Our old house sat on the south side of a ridge and the for-now house sits on the south side of the next ridge over. If you were a crow flying from one house to the next, you would be there, well, now.
Over the weekend, we put desk together and arranged the few things I had on it. I got mug that someone had given us and put a pencil, a pen and three sharpies in it. I had some drifting papers but I stacked them up neatly. I fixed the resolution on my new monitor. I tried three different keyboards and finally thought I found one acceptable. I tried to gain mastery and control over the copious number of cords from the computer, monitor, surge protectors, a pda, a smart phone and lamps. I found a new place for Sophie’s bed. I thought I was ready to work.
Well, on Monday morning I found that was an erroneous assumption. Nothing was right and I was cranky. These desks are not as deep as the old ones that burned but they are longer. I thought there would still enough real estate to work. What I did not realize was that Sophie stuck out from under the desk. She used all of my foot room and when I dropped stuff off the desk it fell on her. Things were just not working out.
I moved her bed. She did not like it. I looked fruitlessly for this or that cord; this thing was in the wrong place, that thing was not right. I had a keyboard with no mouse or a mouse with no keyboard. I could not get the angle right on my new replacement monitor. There was not enough light, there was too much light. The height of my new chair wrong.
I finally got things organized so I could work. Of course, I could not work. I fussed with the papers moving them from one pile to the another and back again. I checked my email. I went to get a glass of iced tea, I checked to see if Sophie liked her new spot (she didn’t). I fiddled with papers. I drank some iced tea, I wandered around a bit, I made a few phone calls and I fiddled with papers. I wrote a few paragraphs.
Same on Tuesday. I was distracted by boxes arriving, by sheets and pillow cases, by my family, by my chair, thoughts of camping, by the resolution on my monitor and by my desire not to write the report. Literally anything was distracting. I finally knuckled down and drew a timeline graphic for the report. I wrote few paragraphs. When my spouse came home and asked how things here going I said, “I drew a picture today.” He groaned. In hearing that groan I realized then the beautiful graphic was a huge accomplishment since it encapsulated the entire report. It was worth the effort and far more important than it sounded. Still, it was something I should have been able to do in a few hours, not in a whole day.
On Wednesday, Sophie decided that the place she wanted her bed was the place I originally offered to her. I moved it and she plopped down between my spouse’s desk and mine and went to slept peacefully. I was able to work write. I even managed to pick up the phone and make some of the phone calls that were waiting to be made.
I had hoped to finish the report today. I missed that deadline. It will be done by Friday or maybe Thursday. My work has immutable deadlines so being able to produce on time is critical.
It is deceptive how much of one’s focus can be burned away by fire. I was euphoric today because I actually got something done. I did a good job at my job today.