The Fox acquired some kind of book on extreme cleaning, which advises readers to throw away any material possessions that do not inspire joy, something along those lines. Amongst my many possessions are numerous items that most likely do not inspire joy in me, but letting go of them can be complicated as well. For example, I have a drawer in my office that contains nothing but letters people wrote to me in high school and college. I have another draw that houses every notebook I used in school during that same time period. Do these things inspire joy in me? Do I really need to save them?
Probably not. But maybe. What if I want them later? And even if I did toss them, first I would have to go through every single one of them to ascertain their particular contents and meaning.
It’s easier to keep them in drawers.
After many days of ignoring the problem, I finally got it together to knock my work space back into some semblance of order. It’s not perfect–there are still many things (besides the old letter and notebooks that need to be sorted–but at least it feels like an office again, and not like a precursor to an episode of Hoarders.
This layout never occurred to me in the past because I wouldn’t have my back to the window. Originally, I was going to try turning the desk the other way and pushing it up to the window, but now that I have nice curtails I can pretend the window is a wall, if need be. Plus from this vantage point, i can fully experience the joy of living in a library.
While I was putting some things on the high shelf and noted that, by the Fox’s book’s measure, I could easily part with probably 60 or 75% of my books. Individually, I no longer have an emotional connection to many of them. However, the concept of having a library does bring me joy. As long as the books are organized, they’re not any kind of burden.
By the time this is published, I’ll be at camp with the Rabbit, who is much more vested in keeping a clean house than I am. However, we can both agree that it will be lovely to come home and have this space so beautifully cleaned and laid out. There’s an excellent possibility that the rest of the house will be in worse condition than when I left, but my small oasis of creative peace should theoretically remain.