Was it only four months ago – not even four months ago – that I was revelling in the acres of space, the neat, tidy drawers and the endless possibilities conjured up by my new desk?
The same space now curtailed to a three-centimetre ‘free zone’ around my keyboard? The same drawers now devoid of pens, or even, worryingly, scalpels (note to self, would be good to know where the scalpels went)? The same desk now buried under a blanket of paper that’s as deep, soft and white as the driven snow?
The only thing in clear view is the Keep Calm and Carry On poster that hangs above my desk.
I have no-one to blame but myself. That’s the worst part. The pile of detritus cannot even be written off as children’s artworks to be
recycled filed at the earliest convenience. No, this is notebooks full of, well, notes. Old To-Do Lists (depressingly undone), articles that I’ve printed to ‘read later’ (depressingly unread), the endless ‘guff’ that goes with the grant application process (there is no other word than ‘guff’, trust me – I tried), bills (depressingly unpaid), a birthday present (depressingly unsent) – you get the picture. Even if I had the cool Lizzie Allen wallpaper pictured above, you would not be able to see it.
The irony is that I marched into Mr6’s room today and demanded he clear his desk. “How can you possibly do anything when you have bits of Lego strewn from one end to the other?” I asked, in my most serious, this-is-a-life-lesson Mum voice. (Even as I said it, the full scale of my less-than-stellar example flashed across my mind.)
“But Mum,” he answered, quite reasonably. “Lego is what I do here.”
The same cannot be said for me. Paper is not, technically, what I do here. I’m in a mess, and it’s cramping my style.
Which is why I plan to spend one precious child-free hour tomorrow, a Pre-School Day, cleaning up my office. It’s not strictly productive, and I aim to make my precious child-free hours productive (which is probably my first problem, but there’s a whole different story there), but I think it will end up being the best hour I spend all day. If only to give my thoughts and ideas some room to grow.
I just wish there were a better word than 'decluttering'. It sounds clunky and ugly, even if the results are smooth and beautiful. I might try 'unearthing' instead. That would fit.