messy desk zen

Today I will clean my desk. Since I live in a one-room studio, I endeavor to keep visible surfaces clutter-free. I rarely let my desk look the way it does right now.

This morning I woke with my brain abuzz like a beehive, zipping through all I hope to accomplish before I go back to work on Monday.

But wait. Before I could get to work, I had a Skype date with Jess, my dearest childhood friend, who lives in Perth, Australia. We endeavor to maintain our bond despite a 12-hour time zone disparity. While I was eating my breakfast, she put her two daughters to bed, and then we met online.

what an excellent baby!

After that, my fiancé David and I had a “date” at the Beverly recreation department, where we got more info on using Lynch Park’s Rose Garden for our wedding next summer. This set my brain abuzz with wedding plans, but on the bike ride home I remembered something important:

I am not my brain.

I knew then that I wouldn’t come home and get straight to work. I’d write in my journal, eat a moofie (cookie baked in a muffin tin-long story), and do a little pranayama (yogic breathing exercises) before tackling the desk. For me, productivity is an addiction. I don’t like the way it feels to be enslaved by my frenzied brain, but I don’t always know how to stop.


Lately I’ve been learning. After the moofie and the breathing and the journaling, my brain has slowed enough for me to see the beauty of my messy desk. Each item on it represents something precious. There’s a little stack of CDs – the recording I made with my students in June. My bike helmet rests atop the packaging that my new Timbuk2 backpack came in. (Timbuk2’s shipping bags are also bike maps of San Fran. How cool is that?) I’ve got a card my mama sent me, a mailing from Grub Street (with art from Susan Orlean on it), the latest issue of The Sun, and a picture of Mom on a bike when she was four. There are stacks of papers to sort and letters to send; the bowl from my granola breakfast and the mug from the tea I drank while chatting with Jess. All of this is good stuff, evidence of a lucky life.

timbuk2, I love you

Now I’m ready to cherish it all as I work to put it away.