I have never seen it so cluttered.
A pile here, a stack there, each item placed in its final resting place with intention.
This is not the work of a vandal “tossing the place looking for anything of value,” this is the work of someone with a plan. A plan with the best of intentions, but with no deadline or action component built into the plan.
So basically, it’s a dream or a wish, not a plan.
The plan has been to place items in strategic places, like items together, with the plan to address them when I am not quite so busy. Yesterday, I wrote about how I have allowed unhelpful thinking to frame the way I approach days that I work. It ends up being “all or nothing.” I can’t do this or that on the days I go to work, even though I have a three to four-hour window to do things, before leaving for work.
It’s not that I don’t have the time, it’s that I don’t believe I have the time.
Allowing unhelpful thinking to frame how I perceive my ability to get things done, I set myself up as a victim. And that is not how I see myself or think about myself. But when depression is pushing its unhelpful narrative into my head and replacing my ability to think clearly, taking action is very, very, hard.
I need to clean my desk.
It’s as simple as that. It should have happened weeks ago. I am finding all sorts of dated items in the stacks. And the sad part is I have a pretty good idea of what is in the stack and where, in relation to the top or bottom, things are. The energy required to remember that is enough to power several city blocks during a heat wave.
And yet I carry that information around in my head, so I do not have to clean the desk.
My business experience screams out that this is not productive. There is no way that flipping through the stack to find the bill that is due in a week so I can pay it online before the due date should require a herculean effort. But for some reason I would rather depend on my mind to retrieve the information than to just clean the desk and put the bills in the little tray at the front of my desk files.
I have had small piles on my desk before.
So, at first, it didn’t seem like a problem. After all, it’s just a little pile, right? Then it’s a little bigger pile, then it’s balancing the pile so the stuff on top isn’t sliding off and starting its own pile on the floor. Now, in order to add anything to the piles on my desk, I need to consult a structural engineer for tips.
In my head, I have framed this as inevitable.
Focus on the important things, and the small stuff will take care of itself. I have looked at my desk recently as “the small stuff.” But for me, it is a barometer for my relative health. As the barometric pressure rises, so does the level of crap on my desk, and my deer in the headlights attitude towards it. I am creating an all or nothing situation in my head that is keeping me from any sort of action.
Historically, I have been able to get out from under this type of thinking.
But sometimes I swash around in these unhelpful thoughts longer than is healthy. Unhelpful thinking gets in the way of just cleaning the desk. I am fearful I might find something I should have taken care of. I might find something I would have enjoyed doing. I might find something that would make my life better.
Who knows what I might find if I just spent a few minutes cleaning my desk?
With a trash can beside me, for instance, I would bet it will only take me 15 minutes to clear the desk. Then another three minutes to get out the Pledge and wipe off the dust from the edges. Even knowing that, I am here on the front porch, writing, and not cleaning off my desk.
There are 3 ½ hours left in my morning before I need to get ready for work.
Let’s see if I can re-frame my thoughts and get this off my plate. A clean desk is a happy desk. And a happy desk is a less stressful desk. And a less stressful desk makes me feel more in control. And I want more control over my thoughts, my life, my more balanced life.
I throw this out just for my own consideration and to make anyone ready ponder whether this is really a trigger for a relapse or the sign of genius? I picture Andy Rooney’s Desk when he was featured on 60 Minutes. It doesn’t mean I do not need to get my desk organized, but it does make me feel better about what It looks like this morning.
So, wish me luck, I’m going to jump in and tackle the piles on my desk.
What gets in your way when you have things you should do?