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Office Space

August 31, 2019

When it comes to room makeovers, I am very very slow to act. While I adore the idea of a beautifully redone space, I am incapable of making the magic happen. And I am too embarrassed to ask someone else to do it (though if I were ever to win the lottery, my first act as a jillionnaire will be to hire someone to vacuum for me. I know. I’m pathetic.)

So I recently marked 17 years in my church job, sitting in the depressing disarray that was my work area. I took inventory: in the corner, three huge boxes of stuffed bunnies from MLK Day of Service in January; on my sofa, a towering heap o’ Lutheran World Relief personal care kits. In trash bags on the floor, 60 bottles of water decorated with drawings and messages by our little guys. The toy bunnies had not yet found a home (the place we used to send them no longer accepts stuffed animals, since the last donors had given them teddy bears filled with bedbugs). The personal care kits are here until mid-June, when the collection point in New Jersey will take them. As for the H2O bottles, I forgot to bring them when I volunteered at the Welcome Church last month.

But even after I moved these bulky good deeds to other locations, the scene remaining was not any more attractive.  I received the gift of a small orchid plant back in December, and I vowed to fix up my office to be a fitting home for it. But when said orchid rapidly shed all of its blossoms, I took it as a sign: I don’t deserve nice things.

Well, a few weeks ago, The Monday Morning Men, a stalwart group of retirees who do what needs to be done in the church maintenance department, offered to paint my office walls. I chose a lovely shade of light blue, which the guys informed me was called “Teensy Bubbles.” Though I consider that a better name for a stripper than a paint color, I went with it, and now my walls are indeed a Rhapsody in Blue.

New IKEA bookcases! A new IKEA desk! A new IKEA filing cabinet! All of a sudden I started speaking Swedish! But seriously, everything looks amazing. My desk in particular is small and perfect (the old one was a behemoth taking up WAY too much space). This weekend we (meaning Steve of course) will hang up my icons, my cross collection, and my Van Gogh print, and the transformation will be complete.

Sitting in the relative splendor this morning, I have to admit I felt a little uncomfortable. I am so used to a mess, and deep down have thought that’s where I belong. But I am trying to accept that I am worthy of a nice office after all.

And guess what? Yesterday, my orchid suddenly bloomed again. If a plant can be an optimist, maybe I can too.

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    I am an author (of four books, numerous plays, poetry and freelance articles,) a director (of Spiritual Formation at a Lutheran church,) and a producer (of five kids).

    I write about my hectic, funny, perfectly imperfect life.

    Please visit my website: www.eliseseyfried.com or email me at eliseseyf@gmail.com.