In all of my life I’ve never had a home office. I never even had my own desk until I was in college when I went to staples and bought a cheap drawer-less desk to put in my bedroom. Before that I did homework and studied on the floor or on my bed. Sometimes I would use the kitchen table. When Phil and I got married I put the same desk in our dining room in our apartment and then later moved it to a corner in the living room. When we bought our house my $50 plastic desk earned residence in our basement. It has now been transformed into a table that we put bulk boxes of cat food from sam’s club on. We have a decent amount of space in our house so we have an extra room that can be used as an office. In our case, however, it has been used for storage, clutter, broken stuff, a coat closet, an area for Phil to store his many rotating hobbies, and a place for my computer. My fancy iMac sits on top of Phil’s desk along with lots and lots of papers, books, and clutter. I often find myself distracted when I come in this room to do work. I can only do work in this room because……..Wait for it……….I DON’T HAVE A LAPTOP!!!!! I know it is probably unheard of for a person to not own a laptop in 2014 but I do not have a laptop. I had a laptop, it wasn’t a very nice one, but in effort to help my brother out when his computer broke I gave it to him out of the kindness of my heart. I never replaced it because I have a really nice desktop computer and an iPad. The problem with the iPad is that I can’t type papers on it, I can’t work on projects, I can’t store large files on it, and the most annoying thing of all is that I can’t for the life of me figure out how to edit a google doc. on it. For general use, I love my iPad. Its just not conducive to use it for graduate work. Phil has a laptop so if we are ever traveling and I absolutely need to use a computer I can. Since I don’t consider a laptop a necessity and I never replaced my old one, I am confined to this room to do my work. After 2+ months of sitting in here every night I finally declared this my office on Sunday night, its real because I tweeted it. I didn’t have big plans at the time but now I do. I started by asking Phil to relocate his hobbies and to please throw away the broken items that were stored in here. So far, so good. Next I cleaned the desk off. I’m in the process of transforming this room into a comfortable work environment and using it as a place to display my accomplishments. When you spend a lot of time in a specific area you need to feel comfortable in the area, especially if its an area you need to use constructively. I need this office to be a place that inspires me to keep doing what I am doing and to keep working hard each day and chasing my dreams. It can’t be a mess anymore. In effort to make this office feel more like “my office” I did the unthinkable. I decided that I would display some things from my running career. Aside from my 4th of July trophies in my sunroom window, glasses in my cabinet, and my bib number from the Millrose games that I have framed on my dresser just because its cool I don’t have running stuff hanging around the house. My high school and college medals are in a box, and scrap books, awards, or running stuff from high school and college are in bins in the office closet. I know where it all is and I can access it at any time, but I tend to leave it hidden away. What is worse is that in my bedroom closet I have a hat box full of medals, bib numbers, and miscellaneous running memorabilia I’ve acquired post college. When I come home from a race I toss it in and close the lid. Sometimes I take a photo for twitter but then in the box it goes never to be looked at again. I’m not sure when I started hiding my accomplishments in boxes, bins, and closets but I did. I suppose I just don’t value them as much as I should. Perhaps this hinders my ability to be a confident runner and athlete, perhaps this helps me move on from the past and look toward the future, perhaps I just don’t think I am doing anything worth while or special, perhaps I just had nowhere to put all this stuff, perhaps I don’t care about these trinkets as much as I once did, perhaps I don’t think they are worth displaying because not once have I been satisfied with any of the races I’ve ever run even if I ran a PR…..I could go on and on and on but I won’t because that would take a long time to fully analyze. I was inspired by Lauren to do a craft. She made it seem like such a healthy, constructive way to blow off steam and I thought why not take a break from studying for my final and make a craft for my office. I’m not always a crafty person. I’m either on or off when it comes to crafts. My hands are also still numb and my dexterity is lacking so crafting isn’t totally in the cards at the moment but I decided to craft something simple with my post college race bibs. I brought the hat box down and…
It was bursting with stuff! Junior also decided that it was a great place to scratch his ears!!
I turned these into a simple, stress-free craft and strung them on ribbon of course! I did not try to put them in chronological order either, I just simply strung them onto the ribbon at random and then I hung them under the window in my office,
Then I hung the post college medals on my bookshelf.
Already, I feel more comfortable in this room. I want to make a positive, healthy change and display things that I am proud of. I want to sit here and look around and see things that motivate me. I want to see things that I have accomplished so that I can remind myself that I can achieve other goals because I have already achieved these goals. My next step is to hang up my Masters degree from Drexel (aka grad school round 1). I don’t think its fair that I worked hard to earn that and then left it in its original envelope and put it in the closet. I shouldn’t degrade my own accomplishments, I should embrace them and take pride in them. I may even frame some race photos and hang in here. This whole office is a craft gone crazy. I want it to become a representation of who I am, who I want to become, and who I have been. On days when I feel like giving up on my goals I want to come into this room and be reminded of all of the reasons why giving up is not an option. I’ll be posting updates as I craft this room into my own.