Unshaved  ·  Nuclear Test Edition

April Skies

About this time every year, I start to think that maybe I should be getting on with things: making plans, completing projects, sorting out the detritus of my life. Spring cleaning.

After the emotional slump I tend to experience from late December to well into March, the longer days and warmer weather seem to stir some life into me. This year I’ve been more conscious than ever of the changing year, the procession of the seasons. Perhaps it’s because I’m older, and more stable in who I am, that I feel I can stay still and watch the world turn around me.

There is a great gulf between knowing something, and accepting it. One thing I’m finally beginning to truly accept, and incorporate into my life to a greater degree, is the importance of our immediate physical environment. Even small modulations—how tidy it is, whether the floor’s been vacuumed recently, how well organised the inevitable cables are—can have a profound effect on one’s emotional states.

Currently I’m trying to create a humane workplace: somewhere I feel comfortable, relaxed, but most of all, human—a person, not a machine.

There are two aspects to this task. Firstly, accepting this personhood: accepting that I’m sensitive to my environment, and that by altering it I can induce a greater sense of wellbeing. Secondly, the actual work of changing things. Tidying is a good start, but not sufficient; bare walls and empty tables do not a happy person make.

I kicked things off just after Christmas by adding a couple of posters; these have recently been joined by a little display of postcards and photographs, just above my desk. Amongst the postcards I mentioned the other week were a number that other people had sent me, a couple of poems I’d photocopied, and some photos of friends and family.

Having them arranged above me adds emotional texture to the room; it helps make it a home, makes it mine. My space, defined by who I am, and conducive to a continued state of being me.

5 responses

Very nicely written. And I agree, personalising your desk makes a big difference.

This reminds me that I have to organize my home. It is getting way out of control. I am also at a slump, because it was evern since last year June! I have just been too lazy to really accomplish anything that I set out to do. I did not even have any new year resolutions this year knowing that they would be impossible to achieve. Right now, sleeping and more sleeping sounds good.

Doesn’t detritus mean dead or decaying matter? Sorry. Not meant to be critical. Reading through your post reminded me of my college bio classes. I couldn’t agree more in that the workspace oftentimes has an impact on a persons daily emotional state. I am more than likely to have a great day if my personal space is situated in such a manner that keeps me positive.

Yes, I was using it metaphorically to allude to things I’ve not dealt with, situations that have deteriorated through a lack of input and so on.

I always enjoy personalising my desk, at the moment, however I am temping so I end up occupying someone else’s space. It’s a good way of judging the personality of the usual occupant looking at the pictures they have attached to their “partitioning”. Although I never interfere with any of these things I do add a “little something” of my own just to make me feel at home whilst I’m there, I have a favourite cartoon which I attach with two small pieces of tape which I carefully remove when I go, that way I don’t feel so alienated when I’m in a strange office.

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